Several weeks ago one of our beloved dogs died. She was with us for almost ten years and we miss her very much. Her name was Alafair, named after a character in one of my husband's favorite fiction series.
We adopted her in 1999 from Pets and People, a pet adoption organization up in the city. Several months before this wonderfully fateful trip, we talked back and forth about getting a buddy for our other dog, Streak. We both knew when we went, we would come home with a dog. One would grab our heart and we would bring it home.
My husband saw her in a crate with another dog. She was not feeling well, but her magic still worked on him. I was hesitant. The volunteers took her from the crate and I sat with her on the floor while B went to find out more information about her history. He was gone for at least 15 minutes. In that short time, Alafair stole my heart. She curled up in a tiny little ball very close to me as I sat on the floor. When B returned he bent down and told me about her history. She was about 18 months old, rescued from the animal shelter and was sick. He said we didn't have to take her, but with tears streaming down my cheeks, I said "I can't bare not to take her". That began our love affair with this little one.
When we got home she slept almost 24 hours straight. She ate only a little bit. Within a few days and a trip to the vet she was much better. Over the next few years her personality and confidence grew. When we first took her on walks, the sound of cars frightened her and she skittled cross the side walk. Over time walks became her most favorite thing (although she adored her buddy, Streak). In our house we couldn't use the word "walk" because she knew what that meant. We called them a "W" until we both were ready to actually go. Even putting on a pair of shoes would elicit high pitched yip, "Can we go? Can we go? Oh please, oh please".
We miss her very much and she will always have a special place in our hearts. She was gentle, devoted, and alive with life.