::Good-Bye, Abercrombie::

Today is an unbelievably sad day.

I learned the true meaning of loss. Tonight I received the phone call I have been attempting to prepare myself for, my ten year old boxer was put to sleep.

To those who have never experienced the love and devotion a dog provides; mourning the loss of a pet might appear absurd. However, I have experienced why dogs are considered man’s best friend.

I can vividly remember the day I picked Abercrombie out of the litter. Actually, she picked me. She ran up to me, ignoring all her brothers and sisters, sat in my lap and gave me a huge kiss. I knew from that moment I had to have her. I knew waiting two more weeks would be a test of patience.

I can still see the night I brought her home. It was the end of a three day basketball tournament somewhere down here is So-Cal. My assistant coach, who my family bought her from, let me come over that night because I just could not wait until morning. It was way past midnight when we arrived at her house and Abercrombie was sitting at the edge of her gated area, wagging her entire butt and doing a little dance. I was so excited to get her home I could not wait to cuddle up with her on my bed and sleep the night away. Little did I know she had other plans. Abercrombie kept my mom and I up until at least three in the morning. I think she only feel asleep because I passed out and she had no one left to play with. However, sleep that night was a luxury. It was not long until Abercrombie woke me up crying because she had peed all over my bed and had no where dry to lay. Although I was completely exhausted I could not be angry at her precious little face. All I could do was laugh and hold her tiny little body in my arms. Abercrombie was perfect.

Abercrombie, quickly became my best friend in high school. She was my shoulder to cry on during my first real high school break up, the happy face at the end of a long swim meet or a tiring basketball game. She always kept my bed warm while I was gone doing two-a-days. She was my running partner at five in the morning and my snacking buddy at midnight. She was my reason for staying home on Friday nights.

I will never forget how terrified Abercrombie was of the tiny pig statue in our back yard the first night I brought her home, how she never learned to wag just her tail, it was always her entire butt, or the fact she never understood she was seventy pound boxer not a seven pound lap dog.

I will always laugh when I recall trying to teach her to swim at Whiskey Town Lake. I put her in the water and she just sank, hardly able to keep her muscular body above water. She will remain affectionately known as Monster in our family. I will remember the heartache I felt leaving her behind when I went to college. She use to sleep outside me bedroom door, waiting for me come home. More importantly, I will never forget how she would jump up and hug me every time I came home from college.

A month ago my parents met Austin and I in San Luis Obispo. It was a little family pre-Christmas get together. But it was also an opportunity for me to see and say good-bye to Abercrombie. A part of me believes she held on for one last visit. I am forever grateful for our rainy weekend together on the central coast.

The rational part of me knew her days were numbered. However, the over-attached, emotional woman that I am never thought this day would come. I know Abercrombie is no longer suffering, and that is what is truly important. This simple fact does not ease the pain nor stop the tears.

She is missed.
October 31st, 2000 – January 20th, 2011