I adopted Peaches when she was 3. The day before Independence day. She was a happy but sad looking pup, she was heartworm positive, had a bit of kennel cough, and an ear infection. I saw how she was with my friend’s baby that day…and I was hooked. Despite everything else she was happy. She also bore the same tattoo as my number for one piece of my government issued equipment. All six digits. In the same order. It was fate.
I had never had a dog before--1) because we moved all the time 2) I was always gone as an adult. She was a whim. I went home on July 2…couldn’t get her sad puppy dog eyes out of my mind. I went back the next day and adopted her. Was I mad? Probably. Work was really tough since I was always gone and I had no family nearby. I needed her more than she probably needed me. I ended up being wrong. We all needed her.
I entered into a pact with my sister. Peaches was with her the day of the shooting at VT. Peaches was there on my wedding day. Peaches…she’s been the quiet constant that showed me the quiet side of love. She shows the side that no matter what there is something to be happy about. She’s the reason I volunteered at the Humane Society. Part of the reason we made leashes. She and Ida share a terrible likeness—cancer. It’s horrible to think, she doesn’t know. Everyday she’s going on walks, eating her food, getting belly rubs, and all the meanwhile this cruel disease is inside, destroying something I love. I know it happens to people. I sometimes wonder, if I didn’t know would that make it easier? Harder? What about with people? I also wonder, how is it I knew. I knew with both Ida and Peaches. I just knew. Something in their eyes. I seriously think when it is time, they want you to know. Almost a "Hey, just want to let you know, I hurt, but I'm still here."
Someone asked me if I now see what the purpose of a dog’s life is. I don’t think I can fit it into one heart or sentence or word…she’s loved by my neighbors who she runs across to greet, the other dogs she plays with, my family, my husband. She gets scared of thunder and tries to hide. She places her paw on your luggage when she doesn’t want you to go. I see her purpose—it’s really unconditional love, loyalty, and friendship. By your side, ride or die. So Peaches, I’m never going to be ready, and the selfish part of me wants you to live forever. In my heart, you will always be the best mistake I ever made on a whim. Something I did so right when everyone thought I was so wrong. Thank you for showing me you got through the heartworm treatment, kennel cough, ear infection…meanwhile I had laryngitis at the time. We were quite the pair in 2006. You’re a tough dog, who went through Katrina, who’s family left her, only to be adopted in my humble mind by a better family with so much love to give you.
Thank you for showing me your purpose. Thank you for showing me how to love and forgive. Thank you for keeping me company. I love you.
**UPDATE** On 6/5/2017 with heavy hearts Peaches had to be put down to rest. She almost made it to her 14th birthday which was 7/3 (I adopted her on 7/3/2006 at 3 years). Peaches, it's been a rough week, but I am so happy I got to see you one last time girl.