The summer before I started high school my family and I moved from our small house in the city to a larger home, with a larger yard, in the county. The stipulations for this move was that dad would be able to have a John Deere riding lawn mower, and mom could finally have her chocolate lab.
We got Annie that November. I remember reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time on our way to pick her up. I remember pouting because I wanted a small dog. I remember my sketchy high school boyfriend performing his greatest act as my boyfriend by telling me to suck it up and enjoy the new puppy.
Annie was a lovely dog. Loyal. Kind. Always happy to see you. Always ready to bark when asked (like when the convicts would cut the grass along the highway) and when not asked (like at the plastic bag blowing through the yard). She was patient as, over the past few years, we brought several small annoyances into her life. Like the addition of another dog and cat, and my tendency to bring my dog and cat home for visits. (Annie and Zoey have particularly had issues, but eventually learned to respectfully avoid each other.)
I'm sure you can tell where the rest of this story is going. Awhile ago the vet found some cancer in Annie's mouth, which he easily removed, but it came back and was no longer easy to remove. At 12 years old, we pledged to keep her comfortable for as long as we could, but we can now no longer keep her comfortable. Today mom and dad...well... you know.
I'm glad she's not hurting any more, but she'll be missed.
For the sake of ending things on a brighter note, I'm taking more pictures of the painting results right now and will immediately load and start posting tomorrow!