Oh, Pookah! Here I sit, trying to compose your “We Remember” write-up for the Old Dog Haven website and I am struggling from the pain of losing you on the day that marked our eight months together; and from trying to find the words to portray what a wonder you truly were. When you arrived – bounding in and landing on a bed with your huge smile – I used to wish I could ‘have words’ with the person that abandoned you at 13 years of age. I used to imagine demanding an explanation for all the scars on your face and the untreated spinal and leg injuries that ultimately did you in. Lately, though, I realize that I know those answers and that instead, I would have told your former owner that it was karma. Their actions denied them the joy of living with a dog so blissful, so loving and so loyal that even in your last hours, when it took all of your effort to stand, you did it to press your beautiful head against my leg and try to follow. Our gain, their loss – Karma. As hard as you tried to keep up, it was clear when it was time for me to be a true friend and send you on your way. You and your foster siblings had fun at your Going Away Party, where you devoured two extra-long bully sticks even though you couldn’t use your front legs well. I had to laugh as we were leaving for your last vet appointment and you stopped to stick your head in a trash can to find the wrappers. You were ever a busy girl, helping (yourself) to the groceries on the counter before I could get them out of the bags. Your enthusiasm for the challenge rose to the level of a professional athlete, and I marveled at your determination to make your broken body work like a puppy’s. So, Pookie, let’s have this be your “We Remember” write-up. If reading this can open someone’s heart to the joys of living with a senior dog, regardless of how long you have together, then there’s a little more karma you’ve brought to this world. Yes, losing you hurts terribly, but I wouldn’t trade a second of our time together. You knew you were my heart. I made sure you knew.

Pookah passed November 2015