Meadowmeres Birchwood Dynasty
May 19, 1998 - May 14, 2013
Dyna came to us as a gift at a time when we had a very large hole in our heart. We were visiting a new litter of puppies that were Dyna's grandchildren. As we returned to the car and were putting on our seat belts, Karen told me that JoDee had offered to let us bring Dyna into our home. Karen wanted to know what I thought. I unbuckled my seat belt and said, "Let's get her."
We decided that we should think about it. So we drove down the road an hour to Bangor and stopped at a Pizza Hut to discuss it. My mind hadn't changed but now acting more mature we called JoDee to tell her that we did want her and that we'd get her in another week after getting the house ready for a new dog.
Dyna and I had a special relationship. At home in Maine, she'd spend hours in a recliner chair that she claimed as her own in my office. She was not a licker or a kisser which is odd for a Labrador Retriever. But through the years, she managed to sneak about 30 light licks on my face. They were special and rare. Affection, like everything else with Dyna, always came on her terms. She was the queen and she always acted like the grand matriarch she had become. But in a quiet moment, she'd push her head against my chest, spin around, and lay on my lap, motionless, for hours.
She was an incredibly strong and determined dog. I stayed with her through all her surgeries. They let me extubate her at a major surgery where I monitored her for 8 hours afterwards. No matter what was thrown at her, she took it and owned it. She never complained and I never heard a cry from her in the 6 years she lived with us.
She had the biggest smile I've ever seen on a dog. For whatever reason, her mouth was formed in a way that made it look like she was smiling. While I slept with her on the floor her last night, I looked over at one point. Her breathing was labored and she was terribly weak. But there was that distinctive smile on her face. Even in this dire situation.
There was no denying that she had been failing. But she was determined and we let her fight. Finally, she let us know that she couldn't fight any longer. So as we docked in downtown Washington, DC, I arranged for a veterinarian to come to our boat to end her pain. There is no truer act of love. I know because it hurt so much to do it.
Looking back, I've learned a great deal from her. Be tough, be honest with your affection, and always smile. I miss her terribly and will never forget her warmth.
Paws out, soft landing girl.