Cassie Pinansky, our family dog, died today.
Or at least, that was the plan as of yesterday, when my parents called and told me their plan for today, to put her to sleep. (Sleep? Bah. Euphemisms are for humans. She's dead.)
Cassie, I mourned you years ago, when I went off to college. I expected to see you very rarely after that, but you were in my life so much! I saw you every time we were in Maine together, you were my best friend during some of the most lonely times I had in my family home in Virginia, and you were Dad's conduit for emotional expression with regards to escaping the doldrums of real life more times than I can count.
We got you a little while after we moved to Virginia, so you weren't my childhood dog, but you were the dog of my adolescence. When I was a disgusting pre-teen, you never judged me. When I smelled gross or looked gross you didn't care. When I wanted to kill myself, you still loved me, and when I stopped wanting to die you loved me just as much. When I would cry over a boy or a girl or the crippling fear of the onslaught of life, you sat next to me or sometimes on top of me and made me feel the weight and warmth of you and the beat of your heart, and for that I am eternally grateful.
These past few years you turned into a very Old Lady Dog. Your once gloriously floofy backside and your sweeping fan of a tail drooped, your nose frosted, and your charming bounds slowed to a halt. We're not sure if it was a brain tumor or something else that kept you from being able to balance, that made you stressed and panting and neurotic, that kept you from smelling and licking everything you possibly could get your tongue near, but whatever it was, it killed you. I'm sorry about that, but everything dies. Even you.
Cassie, even though you were a bandana dog who never liked to wear bandanas, I love you, and you were a very, very good dog.