Today, my mother phoned and asked us to come out right away. She had something to tell us, she said, through sniffles and tears.
All the way out, I was remembering the day that I was all alone and my mother had to tell me on the phone that my Great Grandmother had passed away. With every turn in the road, I anticipated what she would say. Someone had died, that was for sure. Who? My Grandfather? Grandmother? My Step Grandmother? My Stepfather? My cousin who is getting married this very weekend? I was so nervous by the time we drove up the lane that I felt like I was frozen to the seat of the car.
I walked up the lawn and into the house that seemed to be deserted. No one was around, not one of the cats, not even our dog Tasha who usually is the first to greet someone at the door. Everyone was shut away in their rooms.
Then Mum came out and walked the length of the hallway towards me. Earnest followed and the Teege came out too. They surrounded me in the kitchen and Mum told me that Tasha had passed away the night before. We all hugged and cried, our emotions pouring out for her. We sat around the table and remembered all the love she had for us and her home. She was always a good dog but she was most at home here on the acerage.
I had been out to see the cats a few weeks ago and noticed Tasha looking unusually thin. She wasn’t as spry as she normally was that day, nor the last day I saw her; waiting for us to come up the walk to the house. Mum told me she didn’t think Tasha had ate much in the last few weeks. Yesterday, when everyone had returned from baseball practice, she was laying in the shade beside the house and because she couldn’t even get up, Earnest had to carry her into the house. Mum was up with her until 1:30 last night and they had decided to take Tasha into the vet today but Earnest found her in the morning and she had passed away.
The thing about Tasha going is that I’m pretty sure she didn’t go because of old age. She was 12, yeah, and she had a bit of a white beard going on, but her very rapid decline in health tells me that it was either cancer or something poisonous that took her. She was fine a few weeks ago. A few weeks ago she was still running around and being her usual goofy self. She was a bit more lazy when she wanted to be in the last year or two, but that was because she was happy and content and a little bit on the old side. But she would still come when you called and would still follow you up to the gardens and would still love to see that you came to visit her.
It goes without saying, but I will say it because I need to… Tasha, you truly were the best dog, you made everyone’s life a whole lot better and we are all very sad that you had to leave us so soon. You always made us laugh when you would come barrelling down, running as fast as you could from the gardens to the house, taking that turn as fast as you could, your body going faster that your feet and you nearly tripping yourself up because you could barely stop yourself from going over the edge and potentially flying right into the house. But you always seemed to make it and you loved how that made us all laugh. You were such a goof, but you were also the happiest loyal watcher over our family and we thank you for every bark that warned up with there was wind whipping through the trees, bears, cougars, deer and moose coming down to eat. I promise to always remember you and to try to visit you in the spot that we thought would be the best place to put you as often as I can. I’m going to miss our brushings and your tripping us up with your laying in the middle of the hallway.