Yesterday I did the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and I let my sweet boy Peanut go. He had recently gotten very sick and been hospitalized while I was out of town for the holidays, and had recovered for a short period of time. His diagnosis of kidney failure was severe, and untreatable. After much heartache and reflection, I decided to let him go now, while he was feeling better, before he got really sick again. I had some time I could take off work with the holidays, so I decided we would have our last few days together, and would make the most of them.
My dad and step mom Tami brought Peanut home from the shelter when I was 16. ( I am now 30.) His name was Biscuit, but they felt he was more a Peanut, and so he became "our Peanut." He has been with us for over half of my life. When I think about that, I feel so lucky to have had him for such a long time. He lived with my dad and Tami, and soon my little sisters until I brought him to live with me in Seattle last New Years Eve. We brought in both 2014 and 2015 together. He spent a year with me in Seattle, my constant companion in a place where I didn't know anyone, and still do not know many. Even at 15 (or is it 16, 17... we really don't know) Peanut bravely entered the new world of being a city dog again, after having become a country dog for the last 7 or so years.
He had to wear a collar and leash again, he took car rides with me wherever I went. He went into some Seattle stores with me, everyone turning to see where the little clicking of toenails was coming from, and aww'ing over what a cutie pie he was. He even rode the Seattle Metro bus with me a few times... including a memorable summer evening when we walked along the Seattle waterfront. He braved the new weather, cold and rain, like a champ! He became a road trip buddy as we explored, and he even saw mountains with me. Through it all he made me smile every single day.
Peanut is a special dog who fought a hard case of heartworm in the first couple of years we had him (thanks to my Dad and especially Tami for sticking through it with him) and even survived a grouchy dog taking a swipe at his ear. (They both used to stand!) :)
He was extremely smart and listened better than any dog I have seen. He could only do a few tricks (like sitting and laying down) but he really shined when he would walk off leash like a gentleman, didn't jump up on people, was fantastic with kids, and somehow ALWAYS knew it wasn't proper to poop outside in a beer garden or a Seattle neighborhood market. :) Sometimes on our walks around the neighborhood, Peanut would stop when we passed kids, and wait to be petted, always a little sad when they didn't. On our last night together though, he came with me babysitting, and made the little 2 year old boy Jack SO happy, and I think Peanut was pretty happy too. I'm not sure I will ever find another dog like him, and am so thankful for the amount of time he spent with us, and with me. I think he would have kept on going forever if only his body hadn't started to let him go.
During our week together, we had a rare day of sunshine on New Years Eve, so Peanut and made a few stops at some of my favorite places around town. He indulged me and let me have a little photo shoot... but mostly I think he was so happy to be well enough to walk out in a park and enjoy the beautiful sunshine. Here are some shots from that day:
First stop Gasworks Park.
Next stop,Kerry Park in Queen Anne
And our last stop of the day (Poor Peanut was exhausted by this point)... was Golden Gardens Park.
Back at home, Peanut had a good rest. We spent as much time together as I could in the next couple of days, trying my best to balance smothering him with all the love I could give, and letting him have the alone time that he so often craved.
I grabbed a couple videos that day at Gasworks, when Peanut was feeling his best. He had an extra bounce in his step.. the sunshine and off leash freedom will do that to ya ;)
If you every think of getting a dog, please go save one (or two or three!) from the nearest shelter. They will spend every day after, thanking you. But really, you are the lucky one.
Rest in peace my wonderful pound pup, Peanut. Thank you for the love and joy you filled my life with.