It's hard to believe that five years has passed already. My husband would probably say that January 29, 2002 was the beginning of the end of life as we knew it. It was the day our very first foster dogs arrived. They were dogs # 7&8. It amazes me now that we agonized for weeks about how to fit them in, if we could handle two more dogs!
Preacher and Franklin had been in the shelter for well over a year. Franklin was afraid of his own shadow and Preacher was so depressed he wouldn't even eat. Preacher liked nothing better than food--didn't matter what kind of food, where it was served or if it was actually meant for him, he just loved to eat. The loss of appetite was bad sign, as it was in December 2006 when not eating led to his final trip to the vet.
Today Franklin is adjusting to life without his best friend, adjusting
better than I am some days. He spent this afternoon running twenty miles in his favorite wheel position of a six dog team.
We explored a new trail today, which we all enjoyed.
No longer afraid of his shadow, Franklin is a happy, playful, silly 7 year old. He loves to pull, he loves to play chase with his both his canine and human buddies. For the first year we had him the only real way to interact with him was to play a game we call "Get Frankie". He playbows and barks, I chase him saying that I'm gonna get him. We still play Get Frankie almost daily, but now we play just for fun. Franklin isn't hard to catch anymore! He seeks out attention and even snuggles on the futon some nights.
Preacher was never shy, never timid. Even when he lost his sight, he never lost his courage. He took over this house within days of his arrival, claimed a spot in the hallway as his own and dared any other dog to try and move him.
This is my favorite picture of him. Taken in the fall of his first year with us, before he lost his sight, before his hips hurt, before age took any toll on him.
Preacher became my best friend, my shadow and part of my soul. He showed me what real forgiveness, bravery, dignity and acceptance look like. Five weeks after his death, it is still painfully quiet without him. I still stop every night where he used to get fed, simply out of habit. I still say "it's ok buddy, it's just me" as I step over his sleeping spot in the porch. He is still very much a part of this place.
Happy Gotcha day boys. Look what you two started!