I’m not ashamed to admit that I was extremely against getting a dog in the first place.
It’s not that I don’t love animals – it’s quite the opposite, actually. But in my younger and less responsible days, I had a dog. Gunner was a tiny little floofball of hair, and he became mine in 2009, when I was a junior in college who, frankly, had absolutely no business owning a dog.
Spoiler alert: it didn’t work out.
I was a complete mess handing him over to a new family, knowing that I wasn’t mature enough to handle being a dog owner. I vowed that I’d never make the same mistake again.
Flash forward to 2015, and my husband (then fiance) just wouldn’t shut the hell up about wanting a dog.
We have a large yard, he’d say.
We have a house with lots of space, he’d protest.
It’ll be my responsibility, he bluffed.
And so finally, after months and months of pushing his point, I obliged.
We found Dakota – Lucy, back then – at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm in Methuen, Massachusetts. She was estimated to be approximately 7 years old at the time, and was recently surrendered by her owner, who was sobbing as he handed her over. We got no history on her other than that.
She was shy, nervous and reserved. But she showed signs of having an enormous amount of love to give, licking my husband’s face and jumping up to sit next to him.
She spent four wonderful years with our family, until God called her home. Dakota passed peacefully this morning, at home, surrounded by her family, her fur warmed by the sun in her favorite spot on the deck.
Dakota, you were the greatest companion we could have ever asked for. You took a place in our hearts that we never knew was void, and filled it with your immense compassion, empathy, unwavering love and support.
We are so grateful for that, thank you. We can never repay you for the love and affection you’ve shown us, sometimes even when we didn’t deserve it.
Thank you for all the cuddles, and kisses, and quality time spent together. You are the sweetest, most loving dog, and there will never be another even half as good of a girl as you.
We love you, and we will never stop loving you. We hope that you may finally be at peace, no longer suffering and filled with sadness. May you run wild and smell all the smells, and may your body never ache or tire. May you find endless comfort in the warm touch from the grass, and may your food bowl never empty of all your favorite treats. You are forever free.