Love, Loyalty and Old Dogs

I was reminded recently of the meaning of the word loyalty.   The concept of being true to your friends or standing firm in your support for someone or something.   I’m not sure there is anything more important in friendship and love than loyalty.

That brings me to the old dog.   Most of you know that last year we lost our old boy Jock ( who was, by the way, a most amazing writer.  You can see his posts under the Jock The Dog category on the blog).   We were left with Dallas ( who Jock always called “the A-hole”) and Tarra, who was Jocks non-biological sister and partner in crime for all those years.

Tarra is now fifteen years old and has always been the smartest and most mischevious dog.   She is a “getter-backer,” meaning if we leave her or make her unhappy she eats or tears up something to get back at us.  The mail, paper towels, toilet paper, notepads, boarding passes…..anything paper.

Last week, she pulled a paper towel off the dinette in Bella-Bow while my back was turned.   Unfortunately, my heavy coffee cup was sitting on the paper towel and fell on her foot.

Xrays showed a broken toe but also revealed something more sinister.   My old dog has a tumor in her lung.   This explains some of the things I’ve been attributing to her old age: her weight loss, hoarse bark, and lethargy.

After much discussion, the vets’ recommendation was to do nothing but give her the best days she has left.   All other avenues would be too hard on her at her advanced age.

This brings us back to loyalty.    This girl has been my shadow since that day in March 2010 when we brought she and Jock home.   I have a duty in my loyalty and love for her to give her the best I can.

That is what we’ll do.    She’ll finally have people food if she wants it.   She’ll go where we can take her, and we won’t leave her alone if it can be helped.    She’ll get floor snuggles whenever she wants them even if I can’t get back up.

I haven’t been able to process or write about the possibility of losing her, and it’s hard not knowing how long we have.

We’ll take it one day at a time and make the most of the days we have left, no matter the number.


She still has her mischevious moments.

This morning she ate a notepad with the vet’s phone number on it….

Maybe she is even smarter than I thought.

No matter what, her remaining days will be filled with love, loyalty, and some good steak.





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