If I had my druthers, I wouldn’t be writing this post. It’s too hard, but Stormy deserves it.
We lost my Stormy girl Monday night. The vet said she was in kidney failure. She’d lost weight, sure, but she was eating. I knew because I watched her scarf down her bowl every morning. She wasn’t eating her dry food, but she never really cared for that. She’d always pick up the pieces she didn’t like and leave them on the floor.
She was technically Josh’s dog. He wanted a dog, and we resisted. We were Cat People. Cats are easy and aloof and we were cool with that. Dogs are active and needy and we didn’t think we were ready. But the summer after fifth grade, we took Josh to the Humane Society and met Stormy. That was the name she came with. She was a little over two months, a Shar-pei mix, and her eyes, when we approached, well, they spoke to me. I looked into those same eyes as she closed them for the last time on Monday night.
Josh was more interested in a more active dog, so the people at the Humane Society took us to a play area so we could see which dog was more suited. Stormy was so happy she peed all over everything. We couldn’t bring her home–she had to be fixed, first. I remember going to pick her up at the vet and feeling SO out of my element.
That summer was really rainy, and she didn’t like going outside in it to potty, but she did. We crate-trained her really fast, as I recall. She was so smart and eager-to-please.
As Josh got busier, she became more my dog. I fed her, pottied her, walked her on occasion. Apparently I didn’t walk her enough, because she became really good at escaping. More than once we drove the neighborhood tracking her down. A couple of times we had to depend on the kindness of strangers to bring her back.
She didn’t really like other dogs, probably because she was raised with cats. She liked a schedule, and LOVED it when I was home. I had always wanted her to be a cuddle dog, but she was never very still, until this last weekend. She liked car rides, but wasn’t good at them. Too hyper. She liked me to sing to her, or whistle to her, and her song was “Stormy Weather.”
She’d gotten weaker in the past months, with arthritis, and fell a couple of times, and wasn’t able to pick herself up. But she tried, and she loved to be wherever we were.
The weekend was spent trying to coax her to eat. Lunch meat and eggs were the only things we could tempt her with, and by Monday, not even eggs. We took her to the vet when I got home Monday, knowing we might come home without her, but wanting to hear what the vet said.
I won’t go into how horrible Monday night was, the four hours we were at the vet, the roller coaster of emotions ending in devastation when Josh sobbed into his dog’s fur before they took her back. Fred and I stayed with her until the end, and came home to an empty house. I know, still have the cats, but it’s not the same. The house is sad without Stormy and her smile and her happy tail, and the clicks of her toenails on the hardwood floor. For 13 years, I came home from work to her, and yesterday I didn’t.
She was such a big-hearted girl, one in a million. I miss you, Stormy-girl.