March 28, 1998 - May 27, 2011
As small as it might seem in perspective of so many things going on in this world right now; tornadoes, massive loss of life, famines, floods and orphans ... today, our family says goodbye to our 13 year old black lab, Ally.
Doug and I were married on March 14, 1998. Two weeks later, March 28, 1998, Ally was born. A pure bred lab was she, we picked her from a bunch of pups that were living under a deck with her Momma. The day we showed up to choose, Ally was the first to get her big ol' paws and awkward puppy body up to see us. She was also the only one with a distinct white marking under her neck.
13 years later, she has watched 3 kids come into our lives and together, we've been family.
Ally starting having signs of aging some months back. Last night, Doug noticed she wasn't eating her food and would only drink. He would be leaving for a trip first thing in morning for a long day trip. As he went to bed he said he wished he didn't have to go so he could take Ally to the Vet - he just didn't think something was right. He said that when he got home he wanted to take her to the vet first thing Saturday morning. Morning came and I opened the door to check on Ally and found her "sleeping" peacefully in the same spot I would find her each morning. Only this time, she didn't jump up and greet me at the door. This time she didn't slobber on me. This time, after calling her name a few times I knew.
Our Ally girl was gone.
We shed quite some tears, the kids and I. This is their first experience with loss and it was definitely traumatic. It also felt a little like a piece of our past passing away with her. Having her from the moment our marriage began, today has felt as though a piece of that sweet time and our past went with her.
Our time with Ally holds many memories. I found myself reflecting over the last 13 years and giggling over some of our "Ally times" today. I will never forget the 2 plus years we lived on "Ridgedale" in Arlington, Texas. We had about 20 oak trees throughout our property that were covered in squirrels. Those silly squirrels spent their days and nights taunting Ally and Ally spent her days and nights chasing them from tree to tree. Oh her glory days for sure! It could be a 100 degrees out and she didn't stop. Her high light came on the day she actually caught one. The phone call from the neighbor telling us so (as they could hear the squirrel making squeals as Ally threw it around thinking she was "playing) still plays out in our heads "Can you go outside and get the squirrel from Ally ... she's beating it to death and I just can't take it". That win made the squirrel chasing dog even more determined for the next chase.
And the time the blue jay flew into our massive living room window and fell to the ground. Ally, curious what had just happened went to see what had just joined her favorite patio spot. Little did she know, those blue jays are protective and they began dive bombing at her head. Daddy didn't let his girl down though. Strapped in leather gloves, he ran out to save her from those ferocious birds.
Ally had her hay days for sure. Arlington has many memories of park time with Ally. Long walks, chasing squirrels and moments of complete frustration when we were sure she was "addicted" with squirrels on the brain.
Moving to San Antonio was the therapy she called for. To a house with less trees, Ally's life became more quiet ... though more joy filled as she soon shared it with two kids to taunt her instead and her new love quickly became her days at the deer lease. Deer lease adventures wouldn't have been complete without Ally running along side the jeep. Oh the stories I would hear of her completely wearing herself out ... running non stop. She'd sleep for days after each weekend.
Ally LOVED the deer lease days and only in the recent years did she get left behind. Poor girl, age had gotten the best of her and she just couldn't keep up.
Our little ode to Ally. ;-)
I am so thankful to Papa and PiPa who come over today while the kids were away and took Ally for us. I couldn't muster to do it alone. She was cremated and her ashes will be spread in a place called "Paws for heaven" near Canyon Lake. Dakota's biggest concern was where would she be buried.
Rest in Peace Ally Martine. It already seems too quiet in the yard without you. All my complaining and fretting of the little trails you made in the yard and the hair you shed on my porch left me with mixed emotions this afternoon. Your prints are still there ... but will soon be grown over and be gone. BUT, the print you left on our family will remain. Our dog. Our kids friend. Our Ally.
One morning I awoke to find that Dakota had written on a sticky and stuck it outside on the door so Ally would know she was loved. This picture makes me smile. Even Ally got Dakota notes.