Losing my dog — When life piles on
On December 23rd our dog, my first ever dog, Allie Bama took her last breath. What we thought was a leg injury was in fact osteo-sarcoma, an aggressive and painful form of cancer. Our dog was suffering and my stomach was in knots watching this strong, proud dog quickly deteriorate. Two days before Christmas, after consulting with the Veterinarian and hoping for a medical miracle that wouldn’t come, we made the decision to end her obvious agony.
Allie Bama was pit bull rescued from the county animal shelter eight years ago. If common sense had prevailed my first dog would have been a calm, Norman Rockwell type of painting dog. Instead a large, strong, energetic and stubborn pit bull chose us. As our family walked by the shelter cages filled with various types of dogs, our future family member sat quietly with smiling eyes and tilted her head, when my then four year old son walked right up her cage. Somehow I knew immediately this dog was meant to be in our family.
Allie Bama, yes named after the Alabama Crimson Tide, bullied her way into our life and created lasting memories in our hearts. She created forever smiles from laying her head on my wife’s belly, mystically knowing she was pregnant before we did, to sleeping beside me during my own cancer journey. Allie never lived up to the negative stereotypes of the pit bull breed. Her wagging tail and excited happy “Wooki” like grumbles greeted all visitors. Her appearance and bark satisfied my need for our dog to be a visual and literal defense for my family when I was not present. All were safe who encountered Allie unless your intent was to do harm. Allie was our family protector, but to me she was my constant companion, my friend and as my wife told everyone, my girlfriend.
Allie was not perfect and came with her own doggie baggage. More than once, I was her only hope as “that dog has to go” ultimatums were spoken loudly in our house. I could never give up on her, as her eyes always told a story that no one else seemed to hear. She needed someone to protect her as much as she protected us, and I was that person. She had the ability to melt your heart with her excited barks, front leg hops, circle tail wags, gentle paw reaches and for a select few kisses. You were really special, if she grabbed whatever…