#SOL16 Day 22
Yesterday my sister said goodbye to her best friend of more than 14 years. She adopted Grrtie, a beagle mix, from a rescue agency. Gertie (as she was called then) had mothered 9 puppies who were all adopted and she was awaiting her forever home. She found it with my sister, Angie. They were fast friends immediately. Angie changed the spelling of her name when she would respond to hugs with a low and gentle…”Grrrrrr”.
Angie took Grrtie everywhere. When she moved from Chicago to Maui, so did Grrtie. When she moved to Boston several years after that, so did Grrtie. Not many dogs have frolicked in the waves of both the Pacific and the Atlantic. She was a real beach babe. She loved making nests in the warm sand, and digging up hidden ‘treasures’ humans had left behind. Everyone loved Grrtie-she was incredibly loveable!
Every day they would take walks together, if not on a beach, on a city sidewalk, or a neighborhood park. “Grrtie, walk?” would get her prancing around like a puppy.
They helped each other through some tough times and were constant companions. In the last several months, as Grrtie’s 17 years were taking it’s toll, my sister (and her equally caring husband), went to extraordinary lengths to make their friend’s life as healthy, comfortable, and enjoyable as possible. I never saw a more devoted friendship. With loving kindness she made the most heart- wrenching decision this past Saturday, as Grrtie stopped eating and had trouble walking.
She got her some palliative meds to make her comfortable, scheduled a vet to come to her home on Monday, and spent the next day and a half pampering, cuddling, and loving on her baby. My other sister spent the night on Saturday, getting in her love and goodbyes. If it hadn’t been my daughter’s last dance competition I would have eagerly joined them. She made Grrtie’s last days so beautiful. She even spent Sunday night curled up on the floor next to her.
I know it took courage to hold and kiss Grrtie as she slipped away. It took courage and compassion to make the decision. It took kindness and selflessness to make her last day so special. She saved Grrtie’s life fourteen years ago. She saved Grrtie from suffering yesterday. My sister is my hero. Goodbye Grrtie. Thank you for being my sister’s best friend. Our lives are all richer for having you in it.