Friday, March 1, 2013

Grizzley: Hard to Believe It's Been Ten Years

Today marks the 10 year anniversary of the death of my beloved childhood dog, Grizzley. Even after an entire decade, I have a hard time believing that she's gone. While I may have added to my canine family with Zoe and Emma, I still think about Grizzley regularly and often mind myself comparing my two pups to her. I'd like to think that she's their guardian angel.

Grizzley with me and my brother on the day she joined our family.

Looking back, I should have realized that nearly 13-year-old Grizz was getting old and sick, but in my mind, she was the same adventurous pup that she had always been. I thought she would live forever...and the moment that I realized she was slipping away was the hardest experience of my life. 

Grizzley, me, Damon and Prancer in 2002
My parents were out of town for the weekend, leaving my brother and I home alone with Grizz and our cat, Prancer. It was a typical blustery March day in Washington and I remember letting Grizz out to go to the bathroom on Saturday afternoon. I can still picture her walking back up the driveway to me and coming inside for the last time. She curled up on her dog bed by the fireplace and I went to my room to read. 

A couple hours later, my brother knocked on my door and said, "Hurry, Grizzley is acting weird." I rushed to the living room and knelt next to my furry best friend. Her body was rigid but her eyes were responsive. I grabbed the cordless phone and frantically called my mom. I didn't know what was wrong or if we could help her in any way. In the short phone conversation, I realized that I had no choice but to say goodbye to the best dog that I had ever known. I watched as she took her last breath and I burst into tears. 

The next couple of hours were a blur. My mom contacted my grandparents and they drove the thirty minutes to pick us up for the weekend. There was no way that I could be alone. My other grandpa, who lived closer, came by to move Grizzley outside.

My parents returned on Sunday and I took Monday (and I think Tuesday) off from school. I spent most of those days crying. 

On Monday evening, as the grey sky drizzled and the daylight began to fade, we buried Grizzley on the side of the hill near our house. We made a cross and decorated the area with flowers. 

Ten years later, the memory still brings tears to my eyes. I guess you can never truly get over the loss of a great friend. 

I love you, Grizzley!

June 1990-March 1, 2003

Our last photo together, New Years Eve 2002

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