Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Our Days With Dusty

It's always hard saying goodbye to a loved one, even if that loved one happens to have fur, paws, and an ever-wagging tail. Yesterday, we said goodbye to our sweet Dusty, the gray, feisty peek-a-poo who loved us unconditionally for the last 14 years. He lived a good long life full of walks with mom and attacking the vacuum, and we knew this day would come quickly, but it's still hard to say goodbye to the pup that you've shared over half of your life with. I guess it's just another little reminder of how precious and temporary life is, and how we've got to make the most of each day we are given. Because someday those days run out.


We got Dusty in November of 2001, just a few days after our first puppy, Walter, was hit by a car. I sobbed and sobbed for days, then told my dad that I wasn't sure I wanted to get another puppy because I would love it and I didn't know that I wanted to love something that was going to die. Pretty profound thoughts for a sixth grader. But we all missed Walter and the day to day activity that comes with having a puppy, and thus, Dusty joined our family. He was a crazy, fluffy pooch who had spent his first few months living with another family who had other bigger dogs, so when we first got him, he ate everything in sight, and made himself sick. Eating the trash and grill scraps would continue to be one of his favorite pastimes. Silly pooch.


Dusty quickly settled into the family when Kirk was four, Scott was eight, and I was twelve. He slept on the foot of my bed every night, and waited outside my door for me when I moved away to college. We always said he was a dumb jock: never very good at playing fetch or doing tricks, but he had some mad ups.  He was the most loyal of dogs, and had a deep deep love for our Grandma, going on long walks with Mom, and getting beyond excited every time someone came home. He loved riding in the car, especially if he could stick his face out the window. And he had a deep passion for puppy cups at DQ (watching him eat them was hysterical). He was always your biggest fan when you came through the door, even if no one else was there to greet you or got up to say hello. He was just another quirky member of the family.


Dusty hated men he didn't know, and always barked when people hugged. He was so protective of me that he didn't like Aaron at first, but he warmed up to him pretty quickly. After we were married, Dusty came to stay at our house a few times when my parents were out of town. Last year on my birthday, we took him to Grinder's and then to the dog park. I'll always love the memory of Dust tumbling head over heels as he tripped while trying to sprint down the hill after a bigger dog on the other side of the fence. Always so fierce, and unaware that he actually weighed 7 pounds full grown. Our little fighter who kept at it until the very end.

Dusty's wild side showed through when he had a little fun with some blinds, peed on our comforter because he was scared of the dark, and attempted to run away when we left our garage open (but only because he was mostly deaf at this point and couldn't hear us calling his name). Despite all this, we loved the little guy who snuggled at our feet all night, snored, and jumped off of the bed in the morning, ready for the next adventure. He made you feel like you were his favorite, the person he couldn't wait to see. He kept you company at night when no one else was home, and waited in the window all day for you to return. He was the best puppy.


As the years passed by, we knew Dusty was getting older and that his time could be short. After all, we'd been more than blessed with this crazy pooch who had spent so many years sharing life with us and all of our friends. Life as we knew it had just always included him. In the end, things happened pretty quickly. He even went on a long walk just a few days ago. But by the time he was getting sick and went to the vet, they said almost everything in his body was failing. He'd been on IVs before and had made a comeback, so we were hopeful, but when my parents went back they said he was only getting worse. And so, we had to let him go.

It's going to be really hard and weird for a while, but we are thankful that he didn't have to suffer long, and we are even more thankful that we had so many wonderful years of loving the crazy, feisty, stinker of a puppy who filled our hearts with so much joy and laughter. We'd do it all again.

We'll miss you, Dust. Thanks for being the best dog we could ever ask for. We loved every minute.

Currently,
Kelsie


Today, I'm linking up with Twinkly Tuesday, Link it To Me Link Party, and Turn it Up Tuesday

12 comments:

  1. Gah. Tears. Our dachshund, Hogan, just turned 14 last week. He's definitely getting older, and I'm dreading this day. It's weird how an animal can become such a big part of our lives. I hope your beautiful memories of Dusty can be just a little bit of comfort for you.

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    1. Thank you, Kayla. It's so true, they become just like a member of the family. But the memories for sure make it all a little better. It was so worth it to have him as long as we did- a blessing that not many experience! Hope you enjoy Hogan as much as you can!

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  2. I'm so sorry =( I know how hard it is.. I just lost my pup in March who was 13 years old. We got him the exact same time you got Dusty, in November 2001. It's crazy because I was only in elementary school at the time.. and now I have a baby of my own! We grew up together so it really was like losing a family member. Keep your memories close and lots of pictures on your wall <3

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Jacquelyn! I know he was just a dog, but they definitely become a member of the family. It's definitely a blessing to experience such a long life with a dog though! Memories are the best for sure. Thanks for reading and sharing!

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  3. Ahhhhhhh, TEARS!!! Kelsie, I love how you chose to write this. It's such a beautiful way to remember Dusty. I had to say goodbye to my golden retriever last year and I was in tears. I still cry when I think about her (tearing up right now). Sending lots of prayers and hugs your way. xoxoxo

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    1. Thanks so much, Ashlyn! I really appreciate it!

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  4. Kelsie, omg I'm in tears! Dusty sounded like such a wonderful puppy to be around! I love how you wrote this post. It's such a lovely way to remember him and the fun times you spent with him. I still cry when I think about the time I had to put my golden retriever down exactly one year ago. It's not easy... Sending lots of prayers and hugs your way. xoxoxo

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    1. I cried when I wrote it too, so we're even :) He was great! Thanks so much!

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  5. So sorry, he is so cute! And you all look so happy in these photos. WE just got our children their first puppy last Summer (it's Winter here) So she is only 8 months old. My daughters were 10, 7 and my son 5 when we got here and I'm hoping they will make many memories with her as you have with Dusty. Big Hugs xo #TwinklyTuesday Mackenzie Glanville (reflectionsfromme.com)

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    1. We were definitely very happy, and blessed to have our sweet pup so long. I hope your kiddos get the chance to have a nice long string of memories with your new puppy. I'm sure she is so precious. Thanks so much for your kind word and hugs, Mackenzie! They mean so much.

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  6. Kelsie, I'm so, so, sorry for your loss. I've always had cats, but I've grieved the loss of each one, and my daughter J still cries, 4 years on, over the loss of a close friend's dog Pumpkin. Always hold those memories close! Thanks for linking with #TwinklyTuesday.

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    1. Thanks so much Sadia! Memories are the best for sure.

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