When my first dog Dee Dee was very old and couldn’t walk far, I would take her to the beach every day. She would totter along until she didn’t feel like it anymore. Then we’d sit together for an hour or so in the sand. She’d lift her face to the sun and sniff the air, a big pitbull smile on her face.
When she was ready we’d slowly make our way back to the truck. Inevitably someone would shake their head at my beautiful girl, pitying her. Some days people would comment to their friend how sad it was. The truly callous strangers would actually tell me I should put her down, that it’s cruel to have a dog so old. My blood would boil at these people but I’d try to contain it and just answer, “She’s just old, there’s nothing sad about it.” But I usually wouldn’t be able to help myself and add on a, “not that it’s any of your business.” or a, “so why don’t you butt out.”
In DeeDee’s typical style she died when she was damn well ready to, not when some stranger thought it was best. At seventeen she had a heart attack in my arms but stayed alive long enough for Britt to rush home from work and drive us all to the vet. We drove along the coast with all the windows down. Dee Dee rested her head on the rolled down window and breathed in the sea air.
She loved Dr. Molly and trusted her. She was comfortable and not scared when she closed her eyes, exhaled and crossed over the rainbow bridge.