It’s been a sad weekend. Very late Friday night my oldest dog, Abby, developed bloat and was suffering. (Bloat is when a dogs stomach twists and they bloat up.) After many tears and consults with a friend and my Dad, I had to make the hard decision to euthanize her.
Abby is the same dog that had oral surgery several weeks ago. Although we don’t have results yet on what her tumor is, it’s likely cancer and was one more reason I could not put a 14 year old dog through the pain & trauma of an emergency surgery to try and fix the stomach. She was too sweet to be made to suffer.
I promise to share a recipe with you today but first I was hoping you would bear with me while I play crazy dog lady and share a bit about Abby.
(Some of the photos are not the best quality. Sorry)
Abby was a dirty, singed little fur ball when I got her 14+ years ago. She and her brothers and sisters were rescued for the Florida fires that rages in Central Florida the summer of 1998. Her mother was, presumably, killed in the fires. She was so stinkin’ cute and won us over with a lick of the toe. That’s when she claimed us as her own.
Abby was always sort of a neurotic dog. Maybe because she had a traumatic beginning. When she was still a tiny pup she would have nightmares and I would wake to her screaming these little puppy screams. I’d scoop her into the bed with me and she would curl into my neck and go back to sleep.
Abby was so tiny when we got her. She could run under the bottom shelf of the coffee table without hitting her head. And she had the cutest little tiny bark. She used to catch her reflection in the glass on the front of the stove and bark at herself.
While she was just a small pup I would sometimes take her to work with me. At the time I worked at a pottery shop and the owner, C, would carry Abby around sleeping in her arms while she waited on customers. Abby loved that.
As she turned into more of an adolescent she got real gangly and she became kind of a sable color for a little while.
Eventually she became all black again. For a long time the sides of her neck were still tan though.
Sometimes I would take her to the beach. She didn’t like to go in very deep but if I waded out she would swim out to me and try to herd me back in.
She loved to go to my friends R & J’s house and “swim” in their pool. Abby would stand on the top step of the pool and splash the water with her paw and then bite the splash. Over and over and over. It was so funny! If one of us got in the pool to swim she would run circles around the pool and cry and bark until we got out. That earned her the nickname “Safety Dog”.
Abby was also a tattle tale. After Murfee (the beagle) joined the family Abby did her best to make sure I always knew when Murf was being naughty. It was her Lassie imitation. She would run out to me, pace around me and then run back to the room she wanted me to follow her to. If I didn’t follow she would do it again. Eventually I would follow her and inevitably Murfee would be getting into something she wasn’t supposed to. She’d be chewing a tissue or foraging in the trash or something similarly naughty.
I think Abby was trying to get Murfee evicted. 🙂
Abby had shaggy long fur. The hair on her feet would grow so long she looked like she had Yeti feet!
Abby’s first toy was a stuffed hedgehog. She loved that thing. In 14 years she always had a hedgehog. I always replaced them for her after she chewed them to oblivion.
Smoked pig ears were her favorite special treat. She also loved carrots, tomatoes, melon, apple and cucumber. (and peanut butter when she needed to take a pill.) And if you needed to recycle the vanilla ice cream tub she could get it sparkling clean!
There was a park with baseball diamonds close to where I lived when she was young. I would take her over there on the weekends and let her run on the field. She loved it and she loved to chase the Frisbee.
She was scared of thunder storms and vacuum cleaners and baths. When there was thunder and lightening she liked to wrap her body around my head on my pillow and snuggle in. Must have felt like a safe space.
She was very smart and so she was easy to train. She was great at rolling over, shaking, speaking, and she could even balance a treat on her nose.
She was a Florida dog so the first time I brought her to Michigan for Christmas she got to see snow. She loved it. Loved to play in it and chase snow balls. I think because of her thick coat she didn’t mind the cold. Even after I moved back to MI she loved the snow and cold. She was not a fan of hot weather.
Abby had definite favorite people including, a handful of my very close friends and a few family members. When she saw them after an extended period of time she would cry and bark and sometimes pee on their shoes! (She grew out of the pee thing though.)
She was a great dog. I am brokenhearted at losing her. She had so many great and unique perks. I can’t cover them all here or this page would just go on and on.
And in all honesty, I’ve been a crying mess all weekend. Tim and I went to the movie Frankenweenie (fantastic, by the way) and I cried over the animated dog, Sparky. I even cried over the lawn being poop scooped and mowed today. Seemed so final. . .erasing her from the yard.
Murfee and I are both sad.
Abby would approve of these cookies. She loved PB.
I’ll miss her soulful eyes and the way she chased her tail once in a while. I’ll miss her soft fur and the way she would sit with me if I was sad.
I feel lucky to have had her for 14 years. I’ll miss my little Abby.
Thank you for reading the ramblings of a mourning pet owner. I know a lot of people can relate.
Next week we’ll skip the death talk and the dog talk and we’ll concentrate on food.
Peanut Butter Ice Box Cookies
2 sticks butter, room temp
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add peanut butter, eggs, vanilla and mix well.
Add flour, salt and baking powder and mix until well combined.
Shape dough into 2 loafs about the same size as the ready to bake dough you would find at the grocery store and wrap in wax paper. Place the loafs in the refrigerator and chill at least a couple of hours or overnight. (or you can freeze the dough for up to 3 months.)
When ready to bake, remove the dough from fridge and slice into 1/4″ slices. Place slices on a parchment lines baking tray. Bake 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
You know how I always read these Monday morning when I wake up, well I was in tears by the end and could barely finish it. I’ll miss her, too.
I know you will. She loved “Aunt Kennie”. I keep thinking of other things I missed in my post. Like how she used get all vocal when she was playing and she’s sound like she was talking. Sometimes it would sound like she said her own name. And when she was younger she would howl when police sirens went past and it was all cracky sounding as if she were in puberty!
Her head was always itchy and she would rub it on the carpet, which would feel so good her hind leg would start kicking and then she’d almost fall over.
She was such a fun, funny and cute pooch. So playful. And just so soulful, too. She would always mirror how I was feeling. In my saddest moments if I was crying she would come sit and lean against me and little tears would leak out of her eyes. Like she was crying with me.
She was a pretty social eater, too. She liked to be by someone and have some company while she was eating. Sometimes that meant she would get hungry during the night and she would bring a mouthful of kibble into the bedroom and drop it beside the bed and chomp away. The crunching would always wake me up. Lol.
I’ll really miss the old girl. It’s not the same here without her.
What a beautiful tribute to Abby. It was very interesting to hear about her history and her personality. What a wonderful dog!
Thanks, Linda. She was awesome!
Ditto Kendra, reminded me of Harley…such a hard decision to let them go. My heart goes out to you both.
Thanks, Sherry. It’s hard to lose a pet but you have to do what’s best for them. It was sad when Kendra told me about Harley. He was so sweet!
I’m so sorry for your loss. She sounds like an incredible dog!
Thanks, Kari. She was!