Today, I told some people at work stories about my dog Avis.
She was literally a flea market dog – adopted at a flea market for some acquaintances who backed out at the last minute, leaving me holding the bag (or should I say holding the puppy).
Avis was a spaniel(?) mix who weighed about 30 lbs and was quite a character. She escaped three times that I remember, once being bailed out of the pound. She was almost fearless, once launching herself at a GSD/wolf hybrid, only escaping unscathed because I and the other human alertly brought our leashes up short and backed away. She liked being in the water but never learned to kick with her hind legs which resulted in some comical/unsettling moments as she sank by the back end, being resolved by fitting her with a flotation jacket.
As she aged she mellowed (thank goodness!), enjoying more lap and couch time. Ambles around the block became quite enough. She tolerated the addition of younger dogs – Moonpie, Stella, Corndog, foster dogs – to the household.
In early 2005 and at fifteen years of age she had had enough, which is a story in itself. It was time to let go of her. I do not grieve for my loss. While I do sometimes shed a tear or two, the bargain we make with having and loving dogs is that we will almost certainly outlive them. I don’t mourn, I look back and am grateful that I owned her and learned something about the love of and for dogs.