I met Princess in the fall of 2009 just a few weeks after I met Korina. It was the first time that I went to Korina’s house. I walked in and immediately heard the sound of rushing paws and the click clack of nails on the hardwood floors. Here was this chubby barking ball of black and brown fur that I would soon come to know as Princess. I learned that Princess was a rescue given to her by her first boyfriend Freshmen year of high school.
Every boyfriend that Korina ever had, had met Princess. But Princess took to me a little differently than the suitors that came before me. I was told she acted different around me. Maybe it was because I immediately fell in love with her and gave her a lot of attention or, maybe It was because she knew I was the boy for her girl.
Korina and I got married in the fall of 2010 and we took Princess with us to our first run down apartment. I started walking Princess and slowly but surely this lazy chubby pup leaned up and became crazy active and we loved her even more. Even though at times her hyperactivity was draining and she would poop on the carpet every once in awhile, we loved her.
We moved into a nicer apartment and princess was happy for the adventure. Once she went running off by herself to explore a state park. We feared that we had lost her forever only to see her pop out of the brush 2 hours later with a “why are you guys so sad? I said I was coming right back?” look on her face as she merrily jumped in the car. We were furious, but thankful.
About two years ago we were out at my parents farm and she decided to go adventuring again. Only this time when she made her way back she was scuffed up and frazzled. Something had happened out there. We don’t know for sure, but shortly after she developed a bad case of mange that got worse the more stressed she became. We spent the next two years constantly medicating, bathing and keeping the mange at bay.
Then we brought home Killian, and she looked at him for a long time and then wanted nothing to do with him, ignored him completely. Which was fine, she was an older dog by now 12 years old give or take. Which is a lot for a dog, much less a Rat Terrier Chihuahua mix. So we kept him away from her, let her do her thing but I could tell it’s like she knew that this little boy was the perfect fit for us.
It’s like she’s been there all along guiding and making sure things have gone as planned. She helped Korina pick me out, I am sure she takes credit for Killian in some capacity as well. She’s seen Korina through high school, college, marriage, a family and starting her own business. She’s given her approval to all our other pets and friends. She has always had Korina’s best interest at heart. Korina’s always loved her. Korina’s always consulted her. Princess has always been a perfect friend.
At the start of October Korina and I quietly realized that we were getting close to the end. Princess wasn’t acting like herself any more. Her mange was getting worse even with medication and special vet suggested shampoo’s. She was quiet, her hips were getting stiff and she had a far away look in her eyes. Korina and I finally came to the decision that she wasn’t going to get any better, that this was the last time. That she was ready to go. Driving home last night after taking Princess back to Korina’s parents home to say a farewell to her friends I told Korina what I thought about Princess.
I think Princess has always been helping us get to where we needed to go, even if we didn’t know. I think every bark was a reminder to keep going. I think back on the times I didn’t rush up to her as happily as she rushed up to me and I profoundly regret not burying my face in hers enjoying her licks of approval and smelly breath. I think she’s recovered from this manage so many times because she knew she wasn’t done taking care of us yet, she had to get us just a little bit further. I had this moment of clarity giving her, her last bath Wednesday night Looking into her deep dark eyes I could tell she was ready to go this time and she understood what we were doing. “I’m okay with this dad, I’m just tired.” she seemed to say.
She helped Korina get the boy, have the baby and figure out what Korina wanted to do.
Princess’s story has always been about Korina. Because after all that’s what our dogs do, don’t they take care of us. It’s been a pleasure to watch this perfectly hyperactive pup change Korina’s life.
We are putting her to sleep today, Friday November 4th 2016, outside our apartment and under a tree in our front yard where she liked to lay and soak up the sun.
We are burying her on my parents farm, where she loved to run, under a large chestnut tree over looking fields and facing where the sun sets .
I hate it more than anything, but I know two things that give me a sliver of comfort.
She is going to be at peace, no more scratching, bleeding, stressing or pain. Only peace and love.
That she knows she did her job. She took care of her girl.
She Had This.