Goodbye Joplin

About 10 years ago the contractor that gutted and renovated my parents’ retirement house told my mom about a puppy they had gotten and could no longer care for. So we went out to their house to take a look at her. I will never forget walking around the side of their house and catching sight of this sweet little yellow girl just as she leapt directly into my arms. It was love at first sight and a few minutes later she was riding in my lap happily licking my hands, until the car sickness sank in that is, and then I was desperately trying to get her mouth pointed toward the floor instead of my lap.

She was my husband’s and my first dog. We named her Joplin, after Janis of course. We spoiled her rotten. Although to this day she’s the best trained dog I’ve ever known.

And last night she died. Out of nowhere. I mean, yes, she was about 10 years old, but other than some arthritis, she was in great health. Unfortunately we had to send her to my parents to live after The Girl was born because Joplin got pretty angry. Actually I think she was more sad than angry. She loved both kids, but she was so sad to lose her parents to them. And more to the point, our attention. So when she started peeing every single day in the same spot in The Girl’s bedroom, we took her back to my parents’ house where she would have more room and all of their attention. She was happier there although I missed her desperately and her us. But last night when my parents got home from dinner she had lost all use of her back end and was having trouble breathing. She was gone within about 15 minutes. The vet thinks she probably had a heart attack.

And I am devastated. She was my girl. So I am just going to envision her running full out in a huge grass meadow, chasing down endless tennis balls. Young and gorgeous and lightening fast. Keep on running my sweet blonde dog, keep on running. We love you so much.

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