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Friday, September 25, 2009

Two Long Journeys

Two long journeys have come to an end. The first was a bus
ride. The second involved the long life of our family dog. Some
endings are joyous. Some are sad. But all journeys must end.

Yesterday, I was exhausted by the time I got on the bus after my
ASL class. I had spent 30 minutes chatting with fellow
students, 75 minutes in class and an hour working with an upper
level ASL student on class vocabulary. My head was throbbing and
my arms felt like they were going to fall off. I was so ready to
go home.

The bus came right on schedule. I thought this would be a quick
and easy ride. How wrong I was! Somehow what should only be a
ten minute ride took over an hour. We drove and drove. I have
no idea where we went. I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever get
home.

I was so glad when the bus finally stopped and the driver tapped
me on the shoulder. Home! It never felt so good to be home.
The journey was over and I was home safe at last. All I wanted
to do was flopped down in my reclining chair and rest. That's
where the second journey enters this story.

My mother stopped me while I was walking through the door. She
actually pushed me back outside. "The dog is having trouble,"
she said. "You can't come in."

Luckily she figured out a way to get me inside. I had to take
the long way around to get to my chair. As soon as I sat down, I
understood what she meant. I could small the gas and feel the
"thud" of the poor dog falling as she tried to walk.

This dog is my parent's 15 year old Siberian Husky. She has red
and white fur and green eyes. So beautiful... And with the
usual Husky attitude. She does what SHE wants. Never mind what
we want. My dad totally loves this dog.

Over the past year, she's had some serious health issues. She's
been battling Arthritis, Diabetes and Cushing Disease. She's
deaf and has a huge tumor in her rectum that effects her bowels.
She also sometimes has trouble with her back legs that make it
hard for her to walk and suffers from frequent seizures.
Through it all, she maintained that ATTITUDE. She lets us all
know she's still the boss.

Honestly, if it was my dog, I would have put her down a long time
ago. I can't stand to see a pet suffer. My father talked about
taking her in many times. Then he'd wake up the next day and
change his mind. "She's much better now.," he'd say. I think
his love had him blind to the truth.

It's over now. My father took the dog to the vet this morning
and she was put to sleep. I know he has a broken heart. I'm so
sorry for that but it had to be done.

People will offer their sympathy and I appreciate that. In this
case, there is much sadness but also relief. She was a good dog.
Now she is finally in peace. I am thankful for that.

Life is a journey. Sometimes the journey takes you to unknown
destinations. Sometimes the journey is an inconvenience. Some
journeys are good. Some journeys are about love. But no matter
what, all journeys must come to an end.

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