She was their baby in the beginning.
Big, sweet, pale blond, Golden dog baby.
They walked her twice a day,
took her to the dog park beach.
She was calm, laid back,
easy going, even as a puppy.
Ben said he valued sweetness
over intelligence in a dog.
And then the human puppies were born.
She quickly became just a dog.
She didn’t seem to mind the missed walks.
She wore a little dog trail to her allotted
poop spot at the far edge
of the new fenced yard.
One of the grandfathers took her
on long, long walks down to the canal
whenever he visited.
The other grandfather brought her
to Brown County for country vacations
when her nuclear family traveled.
Grandmothers bought her new collars
and made sure to give her lots of pats
and scritches under her collar on visits.
All the grandparents slipped her treats
when others weren’t watching.
She was loved.
When the human babies were learning
to stand, she could knock them down
with a wide, slow swish of her big, fluffy tail.
She seemed content and she remained gentle as the children grew,
even if sometimes (when they were very little)
they hit or pushed her for being in their way.
She was so calm, laid back,
She was not demanding.
When I spent the night at her house,
I would wake in the night
to find her standing by my bed,
wagging her tail and looking
at me silently.
Wanting attention, but not demanding.
Her sweetness broke my heart.
She had knee surgery a year and a half ago.
It went badly.
She was never the same.
And yesterday, Ben called to tell me
she apparently had gone
into heart failure.
The vet came to the house.
Surrounded by the people
she had gently and patiently loved,
while the children kissed and patted her,
she was ushered peacefully from her life.
Oh, you sweet dog.
Sweetest dog in the world.
Best dog, Quinn.
Goodbye, patient, loving soul.