I feel like I’ve written this post a million times in my head. It always starts with tears (yep, here they go again) and a lump in my throat. Memories come flooding in, I laugh at the good and sob when the end comes crashing through.
16 years ago we found Opie- ok, he found us. He was our boy- our good GOOD boy. Floppy ears, floppy tongue- the perfect ball hound who wouldn’t stop chasing until you forced the ball out of his mouth or hid it out of exhaustion (your exhaustion not his!) He burst into our lives, quickly taking over car, couch, bed and our hearts. He was decorated for every holiday and doted on like the 1st baby in a family. Oh yes, he was our boy.
About a year or so later Adam brought up the idea of a second dog. ABSOLUTELY NOT. WE HAVE NO ROOM. REALLY? MORE POOP TO CLEAN UP?
But then I saw HER. I was taking photos of homeless dogs and cats for a rescue group back then. I saw cute puppies all of the time, and outside of Opie none of them really tugged at my heart, but THIS girl DID. She was sitting at the back of a crate all curled up like a cat. She was the smallest of her siblings but she was way too cute to ever be called a runt. She had perfect circles around her eyes that looked as if she was wearing glasses. Oh, my heart leapt and I immediately called Adam. He laughed at how quickly my adamant “NO” turned into “but we have to have her!” She was still too young to be adopted but I filled out an application, snapped her photo and rushed to get my film developed (yes, before digital thank you).
She briefly had the name Mini and almost ended up as Elvis, but in the end we laughed about a really long name and the song Inagodadavida came up. And there she was, our Vida.
Opie loved her - and he slobbered on her and drug her around until she got to be bigger than him. They were buddies from the beginning.
She hated that he was so obsessive about tennis balls and would even steal them and force him to chase after her to get it back. And so it went for a good 10 more years.
Their age would eventually catch up with them and there was less chasing and more exploring, more sleeping, rolling in the grass and catching warm summer rays.
The end isn’t as important as any of this, but it happened one year ago today. Our girl, our Vida traveled from this world, embraced in our loving arms and washed in our tears.
Exactly one month later, almost to the hour, we held Opie in the same way and said our second round of goodbyes and another downpour of tears.
So what is this all leading up to? Both of our 4 legged children found us through my work with a pet rescue group. 16 years later, the work that this and other Central Texas groups have done is phenomenal. Austin is now a No Kill city thanks to a spark in a friend’s eye that would eventually become Austin Pets Alive! Dogs, cats, bunnies and even guinea pigs are finding loving, forever homes through the tireless efforts of groups like this one.
Give a gift to another –or even yourself! Pricing can be found here. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email me. And even if you don’t purchase from me- give a little something to your local animal shelter – it doesn’t have to be monetary! Your time is precious to them–a special walk, a scratch behind the ears, someone who stops and talks to them- you can be a source of happiness for them even if it is brief!
As a friend of mine pointed out, one day our packs will run together again…
Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.