We met as you came barking to the front door. You wore a tiny white sweater that protected the wound that was not healing. They’d found cancer there, and it had spread to other areas of your little body. After barking your hellos, you laid down on your belly with your legs stretched behind you and gently rested your head on your outstretched paws and closed your eyes. You looked so peaceful, like a little Buddha. Coincidently, that’s why your family had chosen white for today. May you be at peace, gentle little soul.

We met on your couch. Your tail wagged so hard and you gave kisses with so much love and energy behind them that you left a big wet smear on my glasses. Your mom had covered nearly every last inch of the floor with pads both to help you on your legs that kept giving out and to catch the accidents that came more frequently as you’d been losing control of where and when you used the potty.

We met as you growled, barked, and seemed to consider biting me. It wasn’t your fault. You weren’t expecting me to be there, a stranger standing in your living room. I gave you medicine to help ease the anxiety you’d been experiencing lately. Within moments, you were so comfortable, snuggled up on your bed with those who loved you close to you. Your family told you how much they loved you, how they were so very lucky that the local shelter didn’t identify you as a pit bull so that you’d have a chance at life. You had an incredible life, loved by so many and so very special to each of them. They’d celebrated you every day you were with them. Yesterday they’d baked you a pie. We laughed at how you were thick and chunky now, but you weren’t always that way. The shelter had to hold you until you’d gained enough weight to be adopted, you’d been so starved. Your ears, cropped in an uneven way showed how hard your life had been before this family found you. Yet you didn’t let that awful beginning influence your celebration of being alive, of taking care of those who needed you. You were a best friend.