My trademark iris

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Goodbye, Briley

On Christmas Eve, fourteen years ago, some cold-hearted, sorry excuse of a man tossed a 6 month old puppy out of his truck, onto the median of Briley Parkway and drove off. My brother happened to see it happen and quickly stopped and grabbed the puppy and took him to my parents' house. This little guy was appropriately named Briley. He looked like a miniature golden retriever, was very scared and shy. He was terrified of the broom and of men in uniforms. He seemed to be content and loved to chase tennis balls in the backyard. He stayed with my parents for 4 years, until my mother passed away in 2000. I took him home with me when my father sold the house.

Briley adapted well to becoming an indoor dog after spending 4 years outdoors. Of course, he needed a bath if he was going to stay inside. He quickly learned that baths made him feel good, so he would hop into the bathtub for me. After he was dried and brushed, he went to the cabinet where his treats were. He always knew when he had been good.

He was my constant companion. He followed me around the house, standing guard at night at the foot of the bed. He watched from the deck as I cut the grass. He loved walking around the block and pranced with his chest out and head held high. He was so grateful and happy.

Four years ago we noticed he was slowing down a bit and sleeping a lot more. My husband brought home a stray 6 month old American pit bull puppy that had showed up at his workplace. Briley was intrigued, and quickly decided he wanted to impress this little girl. He showed Gremlin the ropes and they became fast friends. They were always together, exploring the backyard, napping on the deck, play wrestling. She was just what he needed to perk him up and get him moving again. Age finally caught up with him this past year.

Almost deaf, going blind, arthritis so bad he could no longer navigate stairs, Briley was struggling to do anything. He tried so hard, and it was hard to watch. For all the love and companionship he gave us, we owed him a peaceful, dignified end. It would be selfish to allow him to get worse, maybe suffer pain. My heart is broken, but my sweet little guy is at peace. It was the last thing I could do for him.