|Shamrock Hegarty January 1999 - March 2012|
Photo taken March 14, 2012
We met you at the Kitchener pound on St. Patrick's Day 1999. Took you for a walk. Or rather, you took us. That never much changed. Four year old Daughter begged. I had been somewhat serious about the pound outing. You were named before we left the parking lot after making the application to adopt you. That mandatory three day wait to adopt was exciting and terrifying. I was expanding my circle of dependents, willingly. The small Canadian Hegarty clan of 2 humans (me, Daughter) and one cat (RIP Cadbury) was about to include a canine.
This past St. Patrick's Day, our fourteenth together, I wondered about the upcoming ultimate decision I was facing. Because you did give us warning dear girl. I thank-you for that. We all knew it was getting close. And last week, after you had perked up again - perking up at this stage was measured by your ability to get up and down the steep old staircase in our house - I briefly thought back to the days when you could still hear me speak but you were showing clear signs of slowing down. The days when I'd say, "It'd be mighty helpful if you just up and died on us one day so that I don't have to face the ultimate decision."
Of course, the ultimate decision is making the appointment. The one with the needle. The one with the public portrayal of tears, even if that public is the home visiting veterinarian.
You and I communicated well for 13 years. I didn't always agree with you, nor you with me. But I guess you agreed with me on the ultimate decision and conveniently died this weekend on our front porch. The very same porch we sat on together for many an evening....you racing through your elder years while I meandered into middle age.
I don't know how I'll cope with losing two dependents in one year...Daughter to University and you to the ultimate dogapalooza in the sky. But I won't think about that now. I'll think about your goofy smile, your crooked ears and your never ending supply of adoration for your clan. And the formidable number of complete strangers that stopped me over the years to tell me how beautiful my dog was. Perfect, even in death, you were.