two months ago summer was put to sleep. we always thought of her as the healthiest lab we had, but she was only 13 when she went. i still get filled with grief whenever i see her picture, with her sleepy, gentle eyes. the spitting image of her father. she didn't die because of old age. she had to die because we didn't take good care of her. if we'd taken her to the vet 3 years ago when she began developing that tumour we probably would have bought her 2 more years. maybe more.
when buddy was hurt he'd lie in a crumpled heap, not wanting to move. but when summer was hurt she'd pick herself up, yelp in pain, and hobble over to me. and when i had to go she'd hobble painfully back to her spot under the table. it's kind of remarkable how dogs really are man's best friends; in all her life summer never growled at us, or tried to run away, or attacked strangers. sometimes she was kind of dopey and hard to train, but she was the sweetest dopey dog we ever had.
having fermata has made me realise how quickly animals work their way into our hearts and become family. fermata isn't affectionate like summer was. he likes to do his own thing and he doesn't like it when i carry him. for the most part looking after him just entails refilling his food and water and taking him for a quick run up and down the stairs. but every time i look at him, even when he's been really naughty, my heart melts. that one time when we had to take him to the vet i was filled with anxiety, hoping we wouldn't find out that his gut is full of rubber and other random crap he chews on.
i hope to have a dog again someday, when i have a house of my own. there is something incredibly beautiful about the bond a dog develops with you, its human friend, and i would give anything to be able to experience that feeling again.