We don't have the final appointment yet, but we are calling to make it. We will be saying our final goodbye to my canine mini-me. She is our first dog as a couple, but she's much more. I am writing now because after it's done, I will not be in any shape to write anything coherent about my sweet girl.
Hannah has been my best friend and constant companion. We adopted her from Michigan Anti-Cruelty Society 16 years ago as a 6 week old little ball of fur in March of 1998. You can still see her puppy picture, all filthy and sad-eyed, on their donation envelope.
She was brilliant from day 1, learning to sit on command immediately. She is my mountain goat, leading me through hiking trails in Michigan, Maine, and Colorado. She is my running/walking companion. She is my enforcer, coming to get me when my son started crawling and she thought he was going to get injured. Also, she would tattle on the other pets when they got into trouble. She is my son's guardian, laying by his blanket watching him diligently to make sure he is safe. She is a certified Canine Good Citizen. She is my princess. She is my agility athlete, balancing on the back of the couch or running obstacles in the yard. She is my studio assistant. She is my snuggle bunny, with her silky fur and Fritos scented feet. She is my everything.
Her drive to be by my side overcame her failing legs. She attempts to go up and down stairs to she can be with me in the studio or doing laundry. I have had to fence the stairs so she can't hurt herself. When she was paralyzed, she dragged herself with her front legs so she could follow me out of the office. She also figured out how to escape the camper so she could follow me when I left. Now that she's weak, she follows me with her sad, pained eyes.
I know our pets leave us too soon. I wouldn't change a minute that I've had with her. I also know I have been very fortunate to have her for so long in my life. She has outlived two other pets, Magnus and Persephone. She has helped teach two other youngsters pets, Jenna and Penelope, even though she should have retired a year ago when she was paralyzed, she continued to push forward, overcoming paralysis after two days. She is my stubborn little girl, always wanting to please me. I can't be greedy anymore. I have to give her permission to let go. She is hurting.
When Hannah stops breathing, I will cease to breathe. When her heart stops, mine will stop. I will no longer have my shadow. Half of me is being ripped out of my life.
I love you, sweet girl, baby girl, Hannah Banana, Nana.