"It's just a dog" is a phrase you may hear from a human who has never had the opportunity to welcome a woofer into their pack. Having had several dogs during my lifetime, I can attest that they do indeed become a family member. These woofers become part of your daily routine, they offer affection without expecting anything in return, they provide an opportunity to meet people otherwise not given, they offer a chuckle when most needed, and often times they grow up alongside the children you raise. They are wholeheartedly a HUGE part of your memories, your experiences, and at times your point of reference. When they pass, whether at an old age or unexpectedly, a tough time ensues for those they leave behind. Hoofer Linda and I had the great pleasure of meeting Hailey when Hoofin and Woofin first came into existence. She sadly passed a week ago, but her presence will live on. As you will read, she was quite a character.
M is for More Milk Bones
Although she lived a full active life to the end, her passing last week wasn't an easy one. Hailey was one of our first Woofers and let's just say her standards set the bar for our services. She knew what she wanted and when she wanted it; milk bones specifically! We always knew where to find her upon our arrival. Either tucked away in her carrier, in the garage foyer, or laying on the kitchen somewhere. When we first started our services with Hailey we would take a walk around her lengthy block. She often would pick up leaves unintentionally via her long-haired snout along the way. By the end of our walk, Hailey would always decide to pick up the pace and would run all the way home. A workout for the Hoofer for sure. What was the rush? The promise of a milk bone for sure!
To some pet sitting may seem like a time to make sure all the dog's needs are met; food, water, love, and exercise. However, it does provide an opportunity to develop a more meaningful in depth relationship. Having pet sat for Hailey several times both Hoofer Linda and I certainly have some fond memories to share.
A One of a Kind Woofer
Hailey was more than "just a dog" to us. She was the epitome of strength, individuality, persistence, and clear on her vision of what she wanted. She decided whether we would either walk around the whole block, just down the driveway or never leave the garage stairs. She wasn't going to compromise her wishes to please the Hoofer. Her strength evident in how far she would walk given such short legs or in maneuvering the several stairs on the deck. Her individuality seen in her grooming styles and in her unique personality. Her persistence seen in her endless request for milk bones….only Hailey knew when she had enough. None of these traits diminished at anytime and she held true to them until the end.
So Hailey wasn't "just a dog" but a big part of her family's memories, her family's laughter, her family's surrounding, and the recipient of much love. I have checked in with her owner Laura and although difficult time for them all they will continue to keep her legacy alive via numerous stories. She will certainly be missed, but NEVER forgotten.
For those who have lost a beloved furry family member, I extend my condolences. In hopes to ease your sorrow, I'd like to share a great article I found in hopes that it will help in coping with your loss. "It isn't just a dog" but a treasured family member that will forever be in your heart and thoughts. The rainbow bridge is where they have crossed where all is abundant and I can assure that you will meet again with a wagging tail.
Written by: Karen Kane (the original Hoofer)