I found out this morning that my mom and dad’s dog died. That’s my dog-sister named Honey.
My human sister gave Honey to Mom and Dad after she and her husband went to the pound. A family had been outside the facility, waiting. Hoping that they could turn the dog over to some people who would care for her and not the pound. I forget why my sister brought Honey to my parents instead of taking her herself. Mom and Dad didn’t want a new dog but they took her in anyway. That was about 12 years ago. As far as we could tell, she was part German Shepherd and came to Mom and Dad early in her life.
I had been out of the house for a number of years when Mom and Dad got her, but we still formed a nice bond. She was a beautiful dog and she always let me take pictures of her, even though I’m sure it became annoying after a while. She was patient.
She was a gentle, loving dog who didn’t seem to realize how big she was. Sometimes she would try to sit in my lap, which never worked. She would paw at me, too, not realizing how much her paws weighed. Her tail would slap me on the legs, leaving behind her signature blond hair. She didn’t seem to understand that she was 20 times bigger than our little dachshund.
In her younger years, she was prone to run away any time the front door was opened. She would make a break for it when she saw the chance. She didn’t really want to leave, but she just liked the freedom. I was always worried that she would get hit by a car and kept telling Mom and Dad to keep her collar on so that they could hold her back. Like an old dog, my parents couldn’t be taught a new trick. They always took her collar off.
Honey always watched everything going on outside when Mom and Dad weren’t home. She guarded the car and the house. One night she tried to scare away someone who busted out the back window, but Mom and Dad didn’t know why she was barking so much… until the next morning.
Whenever I would go home to visit, I would always make it a point to show Honey some extra affection. I’ve always learned with children that you can make an impact with them by just providing a few minutes of attention to get to know them. I believe the same is true for a dog. Give her 5 extra minutes and the bond will be there. I usually liked to give Honey a hug around her neck, even though her long hair would end up all over me! I liked to pet her every night before I went to bed and just talk quietly to her to let her know how much I cared about her. I would always let her know what a good dog she was. I would rub the top of her snout, going from the tip of her nose to the spot between her eyes, and that would make both of us happy. As she got older, the German Shepherd hip dysplasia affected her, so I made sure to massage her hips when I would visit because she seemed to feel better after and I knew my parents’ arthritic hands couldn’t do it.
Even as she got older, she still recognized us when we visited. She always wagged her tail and greeted us with one of those excited doggie smiles, mouth open, panting, and happy.
Earlier this week, apparently my brother-in-law and sister discussed telling Mom and Dad that it may be time to let Honey go. She wasn’t in good shape. I don’t know if the conversation actually happened, but I think Dad already knew. Dad told me that he stayed with Honey downstairs last night. He could tell that she just wasn’t herself. She was restless. Mom stayed up for as long as she could and went to bed. Dad kept Honey company, until she moved to the front of the house to be alone, the thing dogs do when they know it’s time. Dad still stayed downstairs and checked on her every so often.
She passed away some time this morning.
I will miss you, Honey, and your beautiful doggie smile. You are a good dog.