Goodbye to my favorite girl
This post is for me. Not you. Read it or don’t read it. I’ve spent the last two days crying and maybe this will help me stop. Every time I think I can’t possibly put out another tear, here comes a flood of them.
This is Morgan.
In this picture, she’d just turned 11. We chose her from the Tampa Humane Society in late February 2000, the day before closing on our first house. She was a birthday present for me from my new husband. At the time we had three ferrets, so we chose to get a puppy who wouldn’t mind sharing the house with the carpetsharks. Morgan was this rotund ball of fur, shy around people and other dogs. Didn’t much care for the ferrets.
I have so many good memories of this dog, more than I can possibly ever put here. I will always remember putting Morgan in the front seat of my Nissan Sentra on a Saturday morning. She was my copilot as I ran errands around the city, usually consisting of making payments to various utility companies, or cashing a check. (The people at Bank of America always gave her a treat.) Afterward, as a reward for being good, I’d take her to the dog park where she was quite content to run like a fiend.
She’s so much my dog it isn’t even funny. She was never really affectionate, and when she was, it was on her terms. She’d let you know when it was okay to pet her, thank you very much. If you tried before then, she’d turn up her nose at you and walk away. She also had horrible Spring allergies. At one point I was sharing my loratidine with her. And this dog hated the heat. You can’t blame her with all that black fur. She’d stick her head out of the dog door, assess the situation and nine times out of ten, determine it was just too damned hot for her to be taking her precious self outside.
In our first house, Morgan always knew when I wasn’t feeling well and would curl up next to me on the bed or the futon. As she grew older, the times she would actually sleep with me grew farther apart, but I relished each of them. Some of my favorite times were when I would be reading a book or writing on my laptop, and Morgan would choose to rest her head on my feet. Within minutes, my feet would be roasting from her body heat, but you couldn’t get me to move to save the world.
Morgan had a death wish. She used to chase down sixteen wheelers and motorcycles, and although she was trained in just about every other way, nothing I would do or say would convince her these vehicles which could squash her in no time weren’t her enemies. Heaven forbid you tried to jog past her. Some part of her was a herder, and she was serious about her job.
This dog was also very serious about her food. Serious. There were only two things Morgan got mean over: anyone who messed with her feet or anyone who messed with her food. She was a good ten pounds overweight as a result. One time, I had left a half-eaten package of peanut butter crackers in my purse and unthinking, had left that purse on the floor of our house. I sat down at the computer as I usually do and after a few minutes, Morgan followed me in. She dropped the package of crackers at my feet and looked up at me expectantly. I was so tickled that she hadn’t eaten them, I gave them to her anyway. (So yeah, I contributed to that weight gain… I took her on daily walks too!)
In the eleven years we were blessed with Morgan, she saved me from bashing in my husband’s face with a cast iron pan when I was insanely angry with him, instead allowing me to take her on long walks. She went on at least six road trips with us to various parts of the state. We lived in five different houses/apartments in six years and Morgan endured them all. She was a part of a family which included the three ferrets mentioned earlier and is now leaving behind another dog and a cat. She saw me through three degrees, and all of the studying/late nights that went along with gathering each of them. She was also my buddy through eleven years of insomnia. No matter what time I woke up, wandering the house, she was there by my side. She didn’t always look happy about it. lol. But she was there. I became an author and Morgan was the first animal featured in one of my stories. She also became one of my pen names.
On September 15th, my husband noticed some swelling in Morgan’s neck. I had to leave that day for business out of town and had him take her to the vet despite the fact I prefer to be there for any of her appointments. My husband called to tell me the vet thought she had lymphoma and she was too old for treatment. We did try a few chemical treatments, but she didn’t respond. This past weekend, I was out of town again for business and my husband texted me that things weren’t looking good. I prayed she would last long enough for me to come home and spend some time with her. I agonized over whether I should go in to work, afraid that if I did, I would miss out on her last moments. From the moment I got home, work became of distant importance and I laid down next to my girl. My husband and I stayed up the entire night, trying to make her comfortable. Morgan grew too weak to even stand and she spent the night moaning. As terrible as it sounds, I knew I’d rather see her dead than in pain.
This morning we helped Morgan cross the Rainbow Bridge. And I know she’s on the other side waiting for me.
I will always love and miss you my girl.
January 2000-October 24, 2011