A Tribute to Hannah
There are some events in life that are so painful, but yet so special that you make yourself relive them over and over.
I will never forget Hannah hiding behind me even before Mark called to her to go to the clinic. She didn't want to go to the clinic after being poked and prodded so many times. But like the "pleaser" she was, she always went when Mark called to her. I laughed. It was funny--she was so smart. I cried, because she thought I would protect her and I couldn't.
I smile when I think of the way she sat right by my side on the way to Columbia to the vet hospital. She was so happy to be going on a trip, but of course had no idea what a sad thing this really was. She thought the whole thing was terrific meeting new people that were so interested in her. Everyone was a potential friend and playmate.
I had no trouble leaving her--she was having fun and I knew if anyone could help her it would be them. But I couldn't pick her up. I didn't want to talk about her prognosis face to face with the doctors, I just wanted her home. Mark was my savior.
I'll never forget how quickly she went, but with such strength and dignity. Until the day she died, she would eat anything from the table, but no dog food. She continued to greet everyone at the door, even when she was too weak to do anything but drop heavily to the floor when trying to lay down.
I'll never forget having to leave her every morning her last week to go to VBS. I said goodbye to her every day as if it would be the last. I asked her to please not go while I was gone, and she hung in there. One morning I said, Hannah are you going to be ok and she just looked up at me from the floor and wagged her tail deliberately two times.
I'll never forget saying goodbye to her and wishing the next day, I had just waited one more day. Did she know how much I loved her and how much I was going to miss her?
I still see her sitting in front of the fireplace, stretching out on the couch, and laying at my feet only to be stepped on over and over.
My late night buddy is gone and I miss her terribly. But we cheated death by allowing her to be released from her pain before it totally debilitated her. And she was at home where she belonged. For that and for all that she gave us I will forever be grateful. She was a faithful friend to the very end. When I asked her to close her eyes, she did. And she was gone.
Author's note: "Hannah" was the posthumous recipient of the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association's "Pet of the Year" award on
January 23, 1999.