The One and Only Princess
by Gale Burridge
(Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)
We got Princess from a no kill shelter on Mother's Day twelve years ago. She was a welcome addition to our family of 5 and despite her behavioral issues we persevered. We had made up our minds that a dog is for life and that we would not give up on her. We nick named her "Grinzer" because she had a habit of bearing her teeth at us for no really good reason.
She was a border colllie cross and could run like the wind. Her favorite past time was running and jumping into the lake off the dock, and catching a tennis ball. When she was diagnosed with lymphoma, our family decided to care for her the way we would a dying family member. We fed her, brought her water, carried her outside to lie on the cool snow and bought her a new cushie pillow to rest her weary bones.
She died of cancer yesterday. After two days of not being able to walk, she forced herself up to greet my husband at the door when he arrived home from work. We will always remember this moment as the best goodbye ever. Even in her weakened condition, her will to please us was stronger than anything else.
I feel sorry for anyone who has never experienced the unconditional love of a dog.