No tears....no tears.....Abbie is still around! The "goodbye" is just because tonight is my last night staying with her while her human parents' and sisters are in Vancouver, B.C. to catch some of the Olympic games.
Abbie is 14. That is getting old for a lab. I have been her dog sitter for almost 12 years. Usually I stay with her for anywhere from 2 nights to two weeks, probably 4-5 times a year.
Abbie is a special dog. I mean, everyone thinks their dog is special. Abbie is not my dog but I still think she's pretty special. She's kind of my God-dog, like having a God-child. I'm like her God-mother (you know something funny, I just retyped "God-Mother two times- I kept spelling it "Dog-Mother", isn't that weird? God is dog spelled backwards, too!)
Anyway, back to the special part. She's really smart, she just has a savvy way about her. She loves people, although she's not very fond of other dogs. She's sensitive and emotional. And protective.
When she was younger, I remember tossing her red Kong over and over as she sprinted across the yard to fetch it. My favorite thing was to make her sit and stay, then I'd throw it. She'd wait, posed like a statue, until I gave her the signal to go get it!
We use to take long walks. Now, Abbie limps. She had a cancerous tumor on her leg removed a few years back, but is doing fine now. Her black muzzle is gray with age, her deep brown eyes are now a bit cloudy, she has a shaved spot from recent blood work and tests on her liver (she came back with a clean bill of health.) She still has some assorted squishy non-cancerous lumps.
Actually, Abbie is on some new medication and seems almost a few years younger than the last time I stayed with her! She is moving a little better, has more pep in her step on our short walks- just down the street and around the corner and back. She is eating her breakfast and dinner better. She just seems happier.
Here is a little video I took of Abbie the other night in the kitchen as I was fixin my dinner and she was begging. I was talking to her like I typically talk to dogs, like they understand English. Sorry, I know it's kind of silly!
I always get sad when my time dog sitting Abbie ends. I give her a hug and a pat before I close and lock the door. What if something happens in the next couple of months before I see her again? What if that is the last time I see her? I dread the day her owners call me with bad news about Abbie.
For now, I enjoy every moment being a pseudo dog owner, enjoying her company and taking great care of her.
She's my God-dog, and I wouldn't do anything less.