Friday, April 15, 2011
Erin splashed color onto my black and white canvas, in reflection it seems that life was sorely lacking something until she entered the scene and changed life for the better. Inseparable from the beginning, she was the reason the sun rose and set thus my reason for living for the past 12 years. While she loved people and other animals without limits, it was clear she was "Daddy's Girl" by her devotion and unconditional love. Often in the company of others, she socialized as needed only to return to my side for a seemingly obligatory check-in where I nudged her back into the fray but repeatedly she made an appearance to remind me of her proximity. Contentment and happiness were the order of the day when together and to minimize any anxiety I certainly tried to limit our time apart, all decisions were made in the best interest of Erin and I wouldn't want it any other way.
It was hard being separated from her, so many times at work I wondered what she was doing; I could picture her napping on the couch, lying in the backyard watching the world go by, or searching the house for the treats hidden during our daily scavenger hunt. Everyday before departing for work, a handful of doggie treats were scattered about the house for her to locate, usually they were placed upon the furniture, randomly thrown in rooms or partially hidden under a magazine, etc. The idea was to stimulate her mind, provide some entertainment, and to satisfy her ravenous appetite, rarely did she not find the edible treasures scattered about. It usually took a few minutes at most to locate the goodies scattered about and this came after the required frosty paw or greenie.
Returning from work was arguably the best part of my day as Erin would dash from the backyard to greet me at the door. As the vehicle turned into the driveway she headed towards the doggie door at the rear of the house and as the kitchen door was swung open I'd be greeted with that broad smile and a tail that moved in a blinding blur. Plopping down on the floor she fell into my arms like two lost friends and it really seemed like it was a lifetime of being apart, it was a special time that we both cherished. Next came "Pillow and cover", a phrase that indicated she was supposed to leap into bed for some belly rubbing, cuddling, and a round of horseplay; somehow the bed was not only for sleeping but a site for bonding and tomfoolery
Erin was always loyal to a fault, waiting patiently in the backyard for me to appear at the appointed time regardless of the situation or weather condition. While I admired her loyalty to me, it was frustrating to come home and find her soaking wet in a thunderstorm, completely doused and shivering like a leaf on a tree. Staring through the chain link fence, possessed of a look that wondered where the heck I'd been, she remained in place despite the inclement weather. "Get your butt inside" meant track mud and water to your usual position at the entranceway thus promptly she darted inside oblivious of her physical condition and appearance. A towel engulfed her except for the head and I pulled her close in an attempt to warm her up using my body heat meanwhile she looked lovingly upon me with the most soulful eyes imaginable. It's impossible to remain mad at a creature who is willing to sacrifice their physical well-being and comfort due to their unwavering loyalty.
Erin was "Daddy's Girl" to the very end and even in the face of adversity, her devotion to me was clearly evident. While her body was failing and death moments away, the spirit and determination that everyone admired was still shining through as she attempted to stand and comfort me, it's tearful as I recall that moment but it demonstrates her unbridled devotion and no other act defines our love better. RIP Erin!! Daddy will never forget you!!