So I didn't know if I would write about it, but here I am.
This week, our ol' family dog was sent to a better place. She lived to be 16 years old...what is that in dog years, like 800?
Anyway...back in 92, when I was 15 years old, my dad took on a new job as a pastor in Salmon Arm. Until then, we had been living in Smithers B.C. for the past 7 years. It wasn't an easy time to move exactly. I had good friends, I was entering grade 11, I was at that awkward stage of life where it isn't cool to be the NEW kid. It wasn't fun to leave, but it was good to start something new in a beautiful new town.
The first summer was pretty weird as we had been used to hanging out with our friends daily, and now was hanging out at home and with our siblings, renovating our new house and trying to tackle the huge yard. I had an "incident" the day we moved in, resulting in a trip to the ER and 10 stitches in my head. I got a nice little hair chop at the site of the injury, leaving me feeling even more insecure than I already was at how I looked and would be presenting myself to this new church and new people.
Some time in this whole blur of me being either depressed about having left my friends, and feeling so lost and alone in a new huge highschool, and yet happy about the new people and new life...we got a dog. I wasn't there, but my dad picked out this puppy for Anna and brought it home for us. It must have either been on a whim, or that he was feeling bad about us having being uprooted, or maybe none of the above...but he surprised us with this sweet puppy that really did win us all over. We aren't really pet people. The last dog we had did not love us in return and chose to bolt anytime the door was open.
And so, we did our duty with this puppy...gave it the name Cookie, fed it, walked it, chased her, played with her, washed her...all the things you do with a dog. She was a "piano dog" with my mom and walked the students in and out and then sat on my mom's feet during each lesson.
Fast forward about 10 years. The family grew up and moved out. Everyone sort of does their own thing and the dog ended up with mom for most of the time. We all married, had our children (8 of them between us). Cookie was my ring bearer. (Just kidding). She is there for every Engel Christmas. Anna eventually took her back and had her for the past few years here in Salmon Arm. And she just kept going and going like an ol' energizer bunny. Cookie started losing her hearing, but still would on occasion run around in her figure 8 like she used to years ago. She was never good with small children, so she became a bit of a nuisance with the kids.
My dad decided it was high time that we threw this dog a birthday party, since we don't do that sort of thing ever. We figured that maybe it was what she was waiting for! So just two weeks ago, we all went to my mom and dad's for a 16th birthday bash for Cookie. She got some nice dog treats, my mom made dog bone shaped cookies, and it was fun for all.
Then last week, the poor thing started getting sick. She was puking, not eating, hardly moving, covered in flies. Anna couldn't stand it anymore, and knowing how old she was, made the decision to put her down.
So Cookie now resides where waffles are served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Chasing bunnies and balls is offered all afternoon, and sleeping on beds and laying on furniture is totally allowed (never was at our house).
That's what I'd like to think, anyway.