The thing is, I didn't even want a dog, back when my little brother went with our mother to the local humane society and chose the mutt the people there said was three years old. It turned out that she was only ten months old. When she first arrived at the house, she was timid and quiet, much less like a dog than I'd feared she would be. I didn't like dogs, so I liked that she wasn't running around and barking and wanting to play all the time. As the dog my brother had named Sid began settling in, she became the puppy she was in age, the puppy she remained up until the end of her life. At first, I was a bit appalled by her big dumminess--by her running around and wanting to play all the time (though she wasn't much of a barker until well after she was deaf). But somehow, by the time we'd had her for six months, I was on the way to becoming a dog person. I know this because of the photographs I took that Christmas: the dog sitting pretty, in all her old-school shaggy hair, in the middle of strings and strings of lit-up Christmas lights.
There's much more to say, and a characteristically impoverished amount of time and energy in and with which to say it. She had been getting progressively weaker and lighter of late; she was increasingly losing control of her back end. And this morning, things got to the point where my parents decided that she was letting them know that the time had come.
Right now, the rest of what I would say is largely unutterable.
When she was first groomed, she was a velveteen puppy. She growled if you nudged her from under the covers. If she were playing with a tennis ball and you rolled two other tennis balls into the mix, she would stick with the one she'd originally chosen for her play. She loved coffee cake, meaty juices and organ meats, hot oatmeal made with milk, Pop Tarts, and bananas. She liked it if you batted her head around gently. She dragged her snout over the carpet, especially in the mornings, in order to scratch it. She hated camera flashes and loved licorice whips.
She was such a dog.