Last night around 9pm I was sitting here thinking that by some miracle I made it through Kaitlyn’s birthday ok and I felt good about that. Then the phone rang and it was a man asking if I owned a big brown dog and I said I did. I knew in my heart at that moment what happened. He said he had hit my dog with his car and she was dead. I had a collar with our phone # on it is how he knew who to call. There’s damage to his car I guess is why he called, though maybe if not he might would have called….I like to think so, but most people don’t if they hit a dog.
My dog was a chocolate Labrador retriever named Savannah. I bought her as a 6 week pup back in 2009 and she would have been 5 years old 2-1-14.
I bought her on my own. My husband Allyn did not want a dog as they are expensive to keep if you take care of them and he felt we could not give a dog enough attention since we both worked. After almost 30 years of him not wanting a dog, I just went out and got myself one anyway. I had just had a horrible depressive episode and had to go on medical leave for weeks from the hospital I worked at. I didn’t know where my future was, if I would get better or what. I wanted a dog to take care of and love. I always loved animals and always had a dog at all times when I was growing up. I thought that we would be good for each other. My husband came to love the dog, and Savannah actually began to love him more than she did me. She loved me ok, but she LOVED him. But I didn’t mind. From the very start, I worked on house training her. I wanted her to be an indoor dog and let her go out and play at times. I taught her how to sit, lay down, shake hands, and how to let me know she wanted to go out and potty. Many freezing mornings were spent waiting on her to do her business outside at 4 a.m. But I could not teach her not to jump on us or anyone else. We took her to 2 different training schools and worked with her at home, and we could never teach her not to jump on us. Our dreams of her being an indoor dog soon ended. She would have ruined our house.
Also, she was a nipper. She had razor blade sharp teeth when she was a puppy and she mutilated my hands and arms. I had to wear band aides all the time. I tried everything to teach her not to do this but the only thing that worked was time and the fact that her baby teeth fell out and was replaced by duller teeth. So the biting stopped.
When we got her I got an invisible fence. The kind where you plant a wire around the perimeter of the yard you want them to stay in and they wear a shock collar. The collar will warn them with vibration when they are about to get to the shock border and then shock them when they get too far. There is a training period for this and we had to plant little flags around the perimeter to train her. Then eventually the flags were taken down and she knew the boundaries. In almost 5 years she had never gone out of her boundary about 3 or 4 times and those were situations like when it snowed, the battery had died and those things. She was free to run around an acre of our yard, chase birds and rabbits and deer and just meander about and be a dog within the boundries.
We bought her one of those nice Dogloo doghouses and kept it full of nice hay padding. We also had a physical fence that we put her in if we needed to for any reason, her house was in there. We took her to the vet regularly and gave her worm and flea treatment every month. We played with her twice a day and she kept fit and would run and fetch.
A couple of weeks ago, she started getting out of her fence at night and run around with some other dog and I would be awakened by the sound of her whining and barking under my bedroom window in the wee hours of the morning because whatever tempted her to get out and take the shock, did not tempt her to get back in and endure the shock of getting back in. So I’d get up and get her back in.
She kept doing this and we pondered what to do. We could give her away to somewhere where the traffic is not as bad, but we didn’t want to give her to someone we don’t know. We could give her to our brother in law who lives far off the road into the woods almost, but she would have strayed away from there too. We could keep her permanently in her physical fence, which was small, or tied up, which we did not want to do.
So then I was called by a woman the other morning and she told me my dog was at her house 3 miles away. I had to go get her. So then I thought since night time seems to be the problem, I would keep her in her physical fence at night and let her out during the day time. I tricked her into the fence by feeding her in it for about 3 nights and after that she could not be tricked. I could not catch her, she would run from me. Yesterday I tried so very hard to get her in that fence, I tried everything I could think of but I could not get her in there. So I had to give up. A few hours later she was dead.
My heart is broken, my husband’s heart is broken, and my daughter Stephanie’s heart is broken. I may never leave the house much again since she is the reason I ever took any air outside since Kaitlyn’s death because I would go out there and play with her. I loved her velvety snout, her warm, soft, silky ears that smelled so good, and the way she smelled of hay from the hay in her dog house. I will forever miss those sad puppy dog eyes. I will miss play times with her where she would fetch her toy, and then rest for a while when I would pet her and talk to her.
I think how strange that she would die on Kaitlyn’s birthday. We got Savannah a year after Kaitlyn went away to college so Kaitlyn didn’t see her much, but when she did see her she spent time talking to her and they loved each other. So maybe they met at the Rainbow Bridge.
We will love you forever Savannah and we will always miss you. Goodbye girl. May you chase rabbits, birds, and deer in the place that you have gone.
The Rainbow Bridge
“Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….” Author unknown…
Rest in peace girl…..