Friday, November 14, 2008

NaBloPoMo Day 14: Garnet

My best friend, who is blind, got a guide dog when we were in college. Garnet was a big black lab who had a stubborn streak and an occasional attitude problem. At Kimberly's wedding, Garnet snored loudly through the service. She walked Kimberly into puddles in an effort to keep her own feet dry. She was more eerily human in her non-verbal communication than most people that I know.

When Garnet retired three years ago, I know it was a tough decision for Kimberly to make, but Garnet was getting older and arthritic, and Kimberly worked long days which Garnet spent mostly laying on the floor. I wasn't worried about Kimberly, whose independence I had already seen demonstrated for two years before Garnet came along, but more about the dog, who was very much a working girl. It's not as if retired dogs take up golf or do some volunteer work. I couldn't imagine Garnet without a job to do.

Over the past few weeks, Kimberly has been saying that Garnet's been getting weaker. I know that she doesn't think she gave Garnet all the love or attention she should have over the last few months, but Garnet's love for and loyalty to the Boss Lady never wavered, I'm sure. The two of them have been such an unbreakable team for the last twelve years, I can hardly imagine them apart.

Garnet was loved by everyone who met her, not just for being a cute doggie, but for being devoted, keeping Kimberly safe and independent, and even for the smart mouth to which she was prone. When I read this yesterday morning, I sat down and cried.

Kimberly, Michael, and Ian: we're thinking about you.

Garnet: congratulations on a job well and faithfully done. You've been a part of my story, as well as a part of the story of some of my favorite people in the world. Here's to squeaky toys, a bottomless bowl of kibble, a big spot of sunshine to nap in, and a much-deserved rest that you are finally taking. We will all miss you more than you know. Good girl.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

Thank you so much for writing this. It means so much to me to know that she touched other lives. Animals have an amazing capacity to love and to inspire love. I believe the true mark of a person is how they treat animals. I miss Garnet so much I can hardly stand it. Thank you for missing her with me.