I know I use this journal page to write way to much depressing things about my life. It makes it look like I'm depressed all the time. Yet this time, I just can't help it.
14 years ago, I had a dalmatian called "Pecoso" (Freckles in english). He was about 6 years old and I was like 9 or something. He lived at my grandparents farm, were I visited every weekend to spend time with him. Around that time, my grandma got a new puppy, a beautiful orange akita called Lassie (very original I know, but I was 9 so cut me some slack here). At first I didn't like her, she was too energetic for me and kept jumping on me and drooling. As time passed she grew on me and Pecoso, and we were an awesome trio.
In some ways she was the opposite of the typical akita. She was friendly to everyone, she played fetch with me, she was so patient with children. I once saw another kid stick a finger in her eye (by accident off course) and see didn't even blink. She wasn't at all the serious, solemn type. In fact, she often made the dalmatian look calm and quiet, which is not how normal dalmatians behave. Yet in some ways she was exactly like an akita. She was strong-built, determined, stubborn as hell. She was loyal to the core, and I knew I could always trust her. I felt safe with her by my side. I use to "patrol the territory" with the 2 of them, Pecoso would trail ahead while Lassie stayed beside me, so sweet, with my hand scratching the back of her head. One time we came across some mean dogs, a labrador called Kiko and 2 doberman mutts from a nearby house. I knew these dogs were dangerous, so I called my dogs back, but they had already seen the others, and a fight broke off. I started throwing rocks at them, they were 3 against 2 and I was desperate. The rocks weren't working, so I picked up a stick and joined the fight. Thankfully for me these dogs were disciplined with a stick so they were afraid of me and ran away, but Lassie lost half an ear that day.
We became closer after that. When she delivered her first and only litter of puppies I was right there beside her and helped raising the runt, since they were like 9 of them and she could't feed them all. I played with her every chance I got. Watching her run, full throttle, an orange blur through the grass, was a great pleasure for me. Sitting with her in the shade, as peaceful as can be.
As the years passed, Pecoso became ill. He was around eleven years old when arthritis started, making it very painful for him to move his front limbs. We treated him for the pain, but after about a year he couldn't even stand without screaming. I decided to end his suffering. He was 12 and I was 15, he practically grew up with me. It was a hard blow for me and Lassie. There were other dogs in her life, but she seemed so lonely without her partner in crime. Lassie had the habit of eating avocados (yep, I have no idea why, but she loves them), she even stole them from the kitchen when the tree outside was not in season. After Pecoso died, I started finding avocado seeds on his grave. She went there to eat with her friend, so I started joining her, and we mourned together.
Some time after that, as school and then college became my top priority, my visits to my grandparent's farm became scarce, once or twice a month tops. Yet every time I went she would greet me, tail wagging. I only ever managed to teach her one trick: the "hand shake". She understood that whenever she lifted her paw into my hand I'd get all exited and happy, so she would do it all the time with or without an order. Whenever I was sad she would do it, and it always made me smile.
The last couple of years her age had finally showed some sings on her body. She became blind with cataracts on one eye, her teeth started falling out, and her fur became white around the muzzle. She no longer ran like she did before, but she was still my sweet sweet angel, and we could still sit in the shade and be happy. She wouldn't greet me as she used to, but I would go find her and greet her instead. On the bright side she finally learned to tolerate cats, since now it was too much work to chase them away.
On november of last year I found out she had this disease were bone bridges form between the vertebrae of her lower back, paralyzing her slowly (arthro-scondilo-something). At that time she wouldn't stand even to relieve herself, only if I called her she would stand, and only for a few minutes. We gave her treatment and she was doing better, but the vet warned us that this was only a temporary solution, and I knew what laid ahead.
These past few months the medicine helped her stand again, walk around and have a decent, quiet lifestyle, but the effects have ran out. She is barely eating now, so she is weak and thin. This morning-this morning I found her beneath a tree, I don't know how she managed to get there, but she could't stand. I laid down with her for a while, asking myself if it was time for me to make that decision again, wondering if I was strong enough. I was crying, and as she always did when she saw me crying, she feebly lifted her front paw and placed it over my hand.
I have said my good byes to her, my grandfather is taking her to the vet in the morning. She has lived a long happy life, and gave me all her love for the last 14 years. I only hope I didn't make her suffer by not making the call sooner.
I love you my sweet angel, I'm so grateful I got to live with you for so long.
Rest in peace.