My Dinah and I have been growing old together - unfortunately more rapidly than I'd like, especially during the past several months.
It's been a good run. Ten years. Not long enough.
She's suddenly developed a severely painful-to-touch boney protrusion on her face.
My heart is breaking, as I ponder the possibilities told to my by her wonderful vet.
So I simply want to tell of her story - to share her with you.
It's known that she was beaten horribly as a young puppy by her first owner. when he tired of her, she lived for longer than a year chained in someone's yard, even in the bitter frozen winter time. There, she was fed garbage, and allowed to breed indiscrimanently.
At some point a neighbor ran over her. The driver cared for her for 3 months, while her fractured pelvis slowly healed. Then she returned to her chain.
When that owner tired of her, and took her out to shoot her.
She escaped, waliking over 45 miles alone, eating newspaper. We know that, because for days after she was rescued, that's all she excreted.
She was rescued by BRAT after a kind woman found her, starving, and close to death, on her backyard deck.
My life was graced with her through a BRAT adoption.
She's a common girl - her tail only loosly coiled, markings and pedigree too ordinary for competition, with a large scar adorning the top of her left front leg.
Dinah is the most beautiful and sweetest blessing in my life.
She has seen me through some terrible times. The onset of Diabetes, with resultant neuropathy so severe there are days when walking is nearly beyond doing … four strokes in quick succesion, and other events I'll not share here.
She has the sweetest of personalities. If you've read The Red Tent, you can understand why I call her Dinah.
Her brave dignity, unconditional love, and ability to remain sweet tempered with every person she meets (even the ones she doesn't particularly care for) have been my best source of inspirition and encouragement through the worst - as well as the best - days of my life.
Of every gift & grace I've received in my 61 years on this planet, I am most grateful for Dinah.
And my heart is breaking - as I know our goodbye gets closer. It is too quick. Too soon. Damn it.
My religious denomination teaches so many good things. But its tenents include one teaching that simply cannot be true.
It's the doctrine that animals have no souls - and therefore do not go to heaven.
I know they're wrong about that.
Dinah has the soul of a saint.
If I happen do well enough to merit an eternity in heaven and there's no place for Dinah there - it's not a place I want to be.
How could heaven possibly be heaven without her?
It's said God is love.
He must be. He made Dinah.