by Jennifer Watson
(Atwater, CA USA)
Hannah laying on the back of the chair...one of her favorite spots
In September of 2001, I lost one of my dogs to an illness. I still had 2 dogs at home, but it felt so lonely without Emily. I thought that getting another dog would fill the void that she left, so in March of 2002 I saw a picture of Hannah in the newspaper. She was pet of the week at the local animal shelter. I decided I wanted her.
I went to the pound and told one of the employees that I would like to see her. She opened the gate, and Hannah walked out, went straight to the door, and started pawing on it. She was ready to go. When I got her, she was covered in fleas and ticks, and she smelled. She went home with me and immediately got a bath. The adjustment with the other dogs took a very short time. My Poodle didn't care about her as long as she left him alone. My silky, however wasn't too sure. Hannah sat on the couch, and him on the chair, and they growled at each other. Both of them trying to be the boss. I still haven't told my silky, but Hannah won.
Within a few days, Max, my silky, and Hannah were best friends. Unfortunately, I just wasn't feeling the connection with her that I wanted. I did eventually get the attachment to her that I craved. She absolutely stole my heart. Hannah was very independent. She loved attention all the time, but when she really wanted it, you had to be ready to give it. She loved to paw at you to let you know she wanted to be scratched. As far as going outside went. She went willingly if she heard a noise and wanted to bark, but if she didn't want to go, she wouldn't. She hated to get her feet wet, so if it was raining, she wouldn't go out, which meant sometimes she didn't go potty all day. We never had an accident in the house. The only reason she went out when it was raining, was because she had to go potty really bad.
One thing Hannah used to do that I loved, was waking me up when she needed to go out. She used to climb on my chest and put her face as close to mine as she could get. All I could feel were the hairs on her face tickling me. I would open my eyes and she would be right there. Hannah was such a wonderful dog. In July 2009 I got married. My husband had 2 dogs already, so we became a family of 5 dogs. His dogs are 75 and 82 lbs. Hannah was 14 lbs, and the other 2 are 20 and 30 lbs. I have always been afraid of the big dogs hurting the little ones. I knew it wouldn't be intentional, but accidental isn't good either.
On December 28, my husband and I left to take his mom home. She lives about 3 1/2 hours away. My stepson and daughter in law were home. While we were gone, all of the dogs went out in the backyard together. We were about 2 hours from home, and got a call from our neighbor that the big dogs killed one of the little dogs. He told us it was Max, my 11 yr. old silky. I was devastated, and sick to my stomach. When we got home, all I wanted to do was hug my other dogs. I was greeted not by Hannah, but by Max. I had to start the grieving process over again for Hannah.
We don't know why they killed her. I choose to believe it was an accident. My husband told me it was quick. I figured they broke her neck. My dogs were my saviors during a very bad relationship, that I was fortunate to get out of, so losing one of them is like losing my child. I still can't think of her or look at pictures of her, without breaking down. I feel guilty for leaving her. I feel that as her "parent" I should have protected her. At this point, I am very protective of my other 2 dogs. It is hard, but the little dogs and big dogs are always separated. I don't hold a grudge against the big dogs. Like I said before, I choose to believe it was an accident.