I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas! We had a wonderful day with great food and family. The kids loved all their new toys and goodies. I was spoiled with some fun new kitchen gadgets and warm fuzzy things.
But I must admit that through all of the fun and festivities, there was a sadness in my heart:
Our oldest dog is nearing the end of her life.
Dally has been declining rapidly over the past week and we tried to make Christmas extra special for her. She tried to enjoy herself in the morning by rooting around her stocking like she has done in years past. She ended up just laying beside her stocking on the rug, falling asleep as the typical holiday morning chaos swirled around her.
All of our dogs have spent a great deal of time at my in-laws farm over the years while we traveled. My father-in-law is a man who does not show a lot of affection so it was surprising to have him insist that Dally be the Guest of Honor for Christmas dinner. She had not eaten the three days prior to the holiday but she perked up at the offering of some delicious roast beef.
We spent dinner time sharing stories about Dally and her life of almost 14 years. It was fun to hear of her adventures on the farm from my in-laws. Most of the stories my father in law told us were ones we had never heard before. It was touching to see how much Dally Girl means to members of our family. I honestly had no idea how much they all love her.
But it doesn't surprise me. She has been the best dog ever. So loyal, smart, loving. Fun, playful, trust worthy. Always willing to go chase a ball, go on a hike, explore new places. Always willing to learn new tricks. Always polite to company and other dogs. In her younger days, she was an awesome fly fishing partner - so quiet and gentle around the water and fish. She could herd cattle all day long with a relentless work ethic not wanting to quit until all the work was done. She loved agility and fly ball and looked forward to going to practice. She had an internal calendar and knew what day of the week it was. One time, our fly ball practice day fell on the 4th of July so we didn't have class. She was visibly depressed and gave me an annoyed look all afternoon.
But most of the time, Dally had the sweetest smile and look on her face. This is how I will always remember her.
We will be saying goodbye to our sweet girl sometime in the next couple of days. In the meantime, it will be a bit quiet around here as we spend some extra special quality time with the eldest member of our family. She will be loved today, tomorrow and always.
Godspeed Dally Girl.