The few young adults were not good fits for us (a bit hyper, those dogs) and we were about to give up when the Shelter manager, Tom, said "you wouldn't think about an older dog, would you?". We said we might.
He introduced us to Renee Louise, who had come in with another dog who was completely shellshocked. Renee Louise, though, seemed ready to go home. She was brownish black, already turning white, and was docile. We learned she had never been in a home, had likely eaten from a bag of food thrown in the back yard, and that she came into the shelter covered in tick and flea bites. She was around six...maybe a bit older, no one really knew. She had lived rough for however long she had lived.
And so it was time to change that.
Cody met her, and gave a big wag that she could come home. We knew we couldn't call her Renee Louise, and Tim named her Shasta. And so Shasta she became, and Shasta she lived, until about 9:45 this morning, when we put her gently into the long sleep.
She was filled with love for us. She loved Cody and her cousin Gus. Other dogs were merely tolerable, if not her sworn enemies. She raised our cat Stella from her kittenhood, to the point where now Stella occasionally 'barks' along with Cody. She was the patient petting dog for neighborhood children.
She wasn't a perfect dog...she got car sick (even on quick trips around town), she could have her unpleasant moods, and she loved a good poop snack. But she would give up her life for us, and guarded us tiredlessly. She was brave, she was loyal, and she was loving. What else could one ask for in a pup?
She was never sick, or never let on that she felt bad. It wasn't in her job description. So when she stopped eating about three weeks ago we were a bit worried, but thought she would bounce back. She didn't. A tumor, probably lymphoma, in her chest cavity caused even sitting up to be an endurance test. She just wore down, and gave up the fight. And while we weren't ready for her to go, we knew it was time.
We love you Shasta. We'll always love you and we'll never forget you. You have a bit of our hearts with you. Good Bye, sweet girl.