Friday, November 9, 2007

An Ode To Shasta

My dog coughed (yes, coughed) most of the night for the last two nights. She sounded like an elephant with a chicken stuck in her throat. The vet said this may happen. She has a heart murmur and it will get increasingly difficult for her to breathe lying down and sleep comfortably. She is, after all, almost 14 years old (February 23, 2007).

I write so much about my boys on this blog, I thought it was time to write about my one and only girl, Shasta Ice Princess (name given by others). I got Shasta when I moved to Florida after college and had no friends or family nearby. She will always be my “first born.” Those that treat their pets as children will understand this. She graciously took a backseat when the boys came along. As they grow, she loves them equally whether they are playing with her or ignoring her.

I could write pages and pages about Shasta and her special qualities and our life together. But, I’d rather post photographs so I’ll just share one thing.

Shasta is very old, so is not as playful as she once was. She is also deaf, so calling her name to get her attention is no longer an option. She sleeps so soundly that we have to shake her to wake her up. Every time I do this, I fear that I will give her a heart attack. Her deafness has increased her olfactory abilities, however. She can be in another room sound asleep when I arrive home, and my scent will wake her from her slumber and she will find me in the house. She has always had a good sense of smell. Before we had kids, we had to play hide-and-go seek with our dog. Shasta could find my husband hidden somewhere in the house by smell alone. Whenever I asked, “Where is he?” she would run off to look for him. And find him without any hints from me. What a genius!


BOSSY said...

Sweet Shasta.

Nicole Brady said...

Your story brought tears to my eyes because we lost our beloved American Eskimo, Blizzard, almost a year ago at the age of 11. He was our first child and we accepted that for several years of unsuccessful fertility treatments. He spent his last year or so with that horrible cough - we were told it was caused by a heart problem and that the vet could not do anything and would recommend we put him down. I hope he knew how much we loved him and miss him. That's awesome that you honored Shasta with a story.

Unknown said...

She is absolutely gorgeous! What a special friend to have... I miss having a dog for this very reason.