This is one of the hardest photos I have ever had to take. I took it, knowing it would be he last one I would ever have of Starbucks - our sweet little Rat Terrier (we think), who was about 15 or 16 years old. No one knew for sure. She was found on the side of the road many years ago, abandoned.
She was the sweetest little dog - not very bright, but she always tried her absolute hardest to please. And she loved us with the heart of a dog ten times her size. The Hubster called her our "me too" dog. And she was. She just wanted to be included in whatever was going on, and she always made sure she was in whatever room of the house we were in. Towards the end, she was blind and going senile but she still loved to go outside and bark at anything that moved; and she lived to go for weekend rides with the Hubster, with the windows rolled down and her nose sticking out. She would practically inhale any treat I gave her, and she always felt so important when we would give her a chew bone that was just for her. She pranced when she had a bone as if to say, "Look at me! Look how special I am!"
She was the Hubster's dog before I even knew him. Over the years, she and I became very close but he was, without a doubt, her favorite. She knew when it was time for him to come home from work, and she would wait patiently by the front door until he arrived. She was stubborn about that, too! She would not budge for anything while she was in waiting mode.
About four weeks ago she started getting sick - coughing and wheezing and acting more lethargic. The vet at first thought it was congestive heart failure, but we later learned it was cancer. She stopped eating her favorite treats and, for the first time ever, she no longer followed us from room to room. But our Starbucks was a fighter and it was clear that she was stubborn enough to insist she wanted to stay with us no matter how much pain she was in, how hard it was for her to breathe. So - we made the decision for her. Sometimes being responsible means making the decisions that hurt the most. I hate that. I hate that more than anything.
We petted her and held her throughout the night. And this morning, we took her to the vet. I know we made the right decision, the merciful decision. But that doesn't make things any easier.
As the drugs were administered, we held her in our arms and told her over and over how much we loved her. We told her that she was the best dog ever. I pray that her last conscious thought was knowing she was a good girl. And that she was much loved.
Starbucks, you are sorely missed.