We live with two dogs, Noah and Yogi. I got Noah my senior year of college and Mickey and I adopted Yogi for 25$ the year before we married.
Yogi is a dumb chocolate lab who is always happy, always silly and wonderful with the kids. When Oliver was a baby he used to crawl back and forth over Yogi for hours. We have always gotten a kick out of how funny he can be...if there is a rope laid across the floor, he won't cross it and will often whimper as if he is trapped in those types of situations. We adopted him as an adult, who was clearly abused and malnourished. He only weighted 35 lbs when we got him and quickly gained weight and at his heaviest with us was over 100 lbs. We had to be careful though because in the beginning he didn't know when to stop and once ate nearly a half a bag of dogfood and we were concerned he would die right then due to how distended his belly was. He aIso once ate half of a chocolate grooms cake and an entire box of roach motels...safe to say the dog has a gut of steele. He loves to fetch and swim and lay his big heavy head in your lap and stare at you. He still can be counted on to run and greet my car anytime he is outside when I come home.
Noah was adopted from a friend when he was 6 weeks old and 12 lbs. He has been my buddy and has been through nearly every rite of passage with me. I was a senior in college when I got him and he was with me through nursing school, different boyfriends, meeting my husband, 6 houses, marriage, 3 kids, 2 miscarriages, my current pregnancy, grad school, probably 5 jobs or so...He is nearly 13 now. I always felt like I won the puppy lottery with him. Not only was he the cutest puppy, but he was super easy to train and such a fun dog to have. Before children he went to the beach with me every weekend and often times on weeknights. Sometimes we would go to dog beach, but other times we would just go sit on the docks and watch the sunsets and sailboats and watch the birds. Noah was tormented by the birds and there was a time or two where he would leap off the docs and swim after them. He loved to swim when he was younger. When I met Mickey we would take him out windsurfing. Mickey would windsurf and I would kayak. Noah would wear a life jacket in the color orange so we could spot him if he swam too far out...I would sometimes go get him with the kayak but he could balance on the front of Mickey's board and ride in. Noah is pretty crippled now, but still manages to follow me around the house and will always sit by the tub while I bathe. He has always been in tune to me and if I cry I can always count on him to be by my side. When he was younger he knew sign languageand could sit, come roll stay speak...the works. He will still howl if you howl with him, but his joints limit his mobility. He mostly sleeps. He has always been overweight and we have struggled with that his entire life...he is always looking for a picnic basket. haha. Even now, you can tell he is paying close attention in hopes to get something extra to eat. I can always count on him to keep the floors clean.
My first date with Mickey was actually a nice long walk with Noah to a park where we sat and chatted and played fetch with my beloved dog.
They are both such great dogs. It has never been difficult to find sitters for them because everyone loves them and enjoys having them around. I have been asked on many occasion to give one or both of them away to people who loved them. Of course, that was never an option. Yes, they shed a lot and eat a lot...but they have been our faithful companions and we always knew that they would be part of our family until the end.
We have known for a few months that it was time to have Noah go to sleep....and I have been so emotional with this pregnancy that I just haven't been ready to do anything about it. Over the past few months I have noticed Yogi getting more and more short of breath and this weekend he started wheezing. I felt there was probably something wrong with his heart. We knew he was 11 and it could be bad, but also thought it was possible that he would just need a medication, because he is still such a happy dumb dog. Mickey took him to the vet today and we were informed he has a paralyzed larynx and the vet recommended euthanasia. Due to his age, surgery was not truly an option and she felt that he will likely suffer if we prolong this too long.
We decided this would be our last weekend with our "Grandpa Dogs" (as Oliver belovedly calls them). On Tuesday afternoon we will go with them and sit beside them both as we say goodbye. We have not worked out further details as far as burial or cremation or kids...but tonight we did tell Oliver and Eliot that they would be going to Heaven soon and Oliver said he was a "little sad". I think since they are so old, they are more like furniture to the kids in these last few years. I am still a little in shock regarding Yogi because it was not what I expected to hear. I am sad that I will never get a photo of Auggie with them, but I am hoping Auggie's arrival will help distract us from their absence.
Needless to say, this weekend will be full of photos and maybe a paw print or two...in preparation for our final good-byes to our two faithful friends.
Here's to Noah and Yogi!!! Our big teddy bear dogs!