We lost our beautiful girl, Tasha, on Friday, March 11th. Words can’t describe how much I miss her, or what an amazing dog she was. In tribute to my sweet girl, I’m sharing a few pictures of her happy life. She was almost 15. Keep in mind that digital cameras weren’t what they are today 15 years ago, so the earlier pictures are a little fuzzy.
Tasha at 8 weeks old. Look at those ears! You’ll see that she grows into them.
At 12 weeks. Wasn’t she pretty?
We got Maia when Tasha was about 4 months old. They’ve been as close as sisters since. Maia is lost without her Sissy right now.
One of my all-time favorite pictures of my two girls.
Tasha loved Jake instantly and always checked on him throughout the day to make sure he was still there, and still okay. Jacob had to wear a heart monitor for the first month after coming home from the NICU. Tasha was on constant alert to make sure he didn’t beep.
My favorite picture of Tasha and Jake hanging out together when he was a baby.
Tasha’s favorite thing in the whole wide world (aside from her family): fetch! I actually bought Frisbees in bulk because she went through them so fast. She’d chew pieces off them for us to throw! Anything could be thrown in Tasha’s eyes, from balls and Frisbees to itty bitty pieces of leaves that she’d spit out on your lap.
This picture says everything about the personality difference between Tasha and Maia! Tasha was always alert and ready for action. Maia prefers the quiet, relaxing life. Someone off to the side must have had something in their hand that could be thrown. That’s her “I sense a game of fetch in the works” look.
When Coop came to live with us, Tasha was instantly welcoming. Maia, not so much, but Tasha loved everyone. Coop had a really rough life for the first 6 months before we rescued him. I think Tasha was really comforting to him and helped him learn how to be a dog with a home rather than a dog stuck in a cage.
My beautiful girl, age 7. That’s her “what’s up?” look. Behind those pretty brown eyes, she’s secretly thinking “I may look relaxed, but I’m totally up for a game of fetch if you’re thinking of throwing something!”
Even as they got older, Tasha and Maia were inseparable. I have dozens of pictures of the two of them laying together. I just wish I knew how to explain to Maia that her sis went for the Long Bye Bye.
At age 13, Tasha was still pretty spry! She LOVED playing in the snow. Jacob couldn’t build snowmen around her because Tasha ate all the snow balls for it! I remember one time, we were sledding and she jumped on the sled with us! She absolutely loved a good snow ball fight. She started slowing down a lot right after this. Went into retirement, I say.
My sweet girl’s last day with us. We knew it was her last day. We made the arrangements on Wednesday to let her go on Friday. About a year ago, she really started having a harder time getting up and down. We tried everything from steroid shots to arthritis medication for dogs to aspirin therapy. She got progressively worse. Around Christmas, the vet told us she didn’t have much time left. I couldn’t face losing her during the holidays. Ever since New Years, I’ve known it was almost time. She continued to decline, and the decision had to be made.
We spent Thursday treating her to all her favorite treats. I laid with her, brushed her (I actually kept the fur from the brushing in a bag, I don’t know if that makes me strange or morbid, but I am keeping it) and spent time with her. My mom made her a chicken dinner and carried her out on to the grass so she could walk around the yard one last time. Then we carried her upstairs so she could sleep in my room. She hasn’t been upstairs in a long time because the steps were too much for her, and because she got hurt trying to come down them. She spent the night visiting every room, restless.
On Friday morning, we took her to the AWSOM animal clinic. The staff there is incredible and sensitive. They let us take all the time we needed and didn’t make her get up on a table or anything. They did everything right on the floor next to her. I told her that she would always be my dog, that she was a good girl and that I loved her. Then she went to sleep.
She may be gone, but my promise to her remains: she will always be my dog.