Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
Wrestling with a number of complicated emotions this morning.
In 2007 we adopted a one year-old coonhound who we named Cassie, to be a companion for our greyhound Oracle. She was a sweet little oddball who hoarded socks and chewed nervously through the slats under our bed during thunderstorms. She had both boundless energy and an energetic bound, and delighted in disobeying me when I called her back. She once skirted past the boundary at a dog beach and I ended up chasing her down the rest of the shoreline for 45 minutes before she stopped long enough for me to grab her. She would take toys that manufacturers insisted were indestructible and prove those claims false.
Five years ago, shortly after we had Robin, it became clear to us that we lacked the means to give Cassie the environment and attention she needed to be happy, and she began expressing her dissatisfaction in increasingly difficult ways. We decided she needed a new home that could provide her with a higher quality of life. It broke our hearts into tiny pieces, particularly the day she freaked out about walking into the PAWS-run shelter we were planning to give her up to.
Those of you who were around five years ago might recall that we had a pretty spirited social media campaign to find her a new home directly; a few days before she was due to check in to PAWS we connected with a family of four who had a younger coonhound of their own, a male with strikingly similar colors and patterns on his body. The house included a large, enclosed backyard that I’m told became her favorite place to exist.
Her new owners have kindly kept in touch with us since they took her in and I know that she’s been a valued and beloved member of their family. I also know that she’s had a few medical issues as she’s grown older, and this past year she began to show signs of dementia, which have been slowly robbing her of her personality, and medication has not been effective. She’s going in to the vet today so she can pass peacefully, while our best memories of her are intact and unspoiled.
She came to us by way of Tennessee, a hunting breed who collapsed into a shivering mess at the sound of anything resembling gunfire. The week we first adopted her from Anti-Cruelty, she caught a severe case of pneumonia, and for a 24-hour stretch at the emergency vet we believed she wasn’t going to make it. She’s had a handful of other close calls due to bad luck or her own mistakes, but still managed to escape the worst of outcomes. She has enjoyed a nice, long life anyhow, and I feel glad for the part I’ve played in that.
Goodbye, girl. I hope wherever your spirit goes next it is vast and unfenced.