I know, I know. The wedding already happened and I'm still not spilling the lush details. I swear, it's close, I'm going to tackle the daily blogging for the month of June and slowly dole out the whole wedding story, every bit of it. We're still waiting for the majority of the photos to come in and I'll just keep rolling it all out as we go along.
But today, I just want to say goodbye to my old friend Ingrid. She's been gone for a week now and it's very sad. We all knew this was probably her last summer. Summer was never her best time. She was 12 years old, which is very old for a 140 lb. dog with bad hips and bad teeth. In fact, every summer for the last couple of years, there has come a point where Dad has mournfully predicted that she wouldn't make it through to the fall. We certainly didn't think she'd make it through all the way to twelve, which is a conservative assumption of her actual age. The adoption flyer said she was three when I brought her home in December of 2001. And that flyer had been hanging up at Petsmart for a year, so maybe she was already four by the time she joined our family.
Some observations about Ingrid: she was never, ever mad at me. She was always happy to see me (and pretty much everybody else) and she had a great sense of humor. Sometimes she'd run across the yard to me and I would think, "Oh god, she's not going to stop," and my life would flash before my eyes. But she always stopped, and always wanted to give me her big heavy paw. She hated helicopters, sirens and municipal vehicles with flashing lights. And bicycles (sorry, Patrick...). She didn't like strange men or kids walking past our house on Eastside Avenue (that's why she eventually went to live with Dad out in the country).
When she first came to live with me, we tried having her be an inside dog. She even slept in my bed, where she snored heavily and tried to spoon me. That lasted exactly one day. Brandes and Dad built her a pen (this was when I was the sole occupant of the little house out on Ashland City Highway) and it was woefully small. Eventually, after a couple of years of trial and error, we determined that the only fence that would hold Ingrid was one she didn't *want* to breach. If she could lay up against the foundation (or, ideally, the door) of the house where I lived, she would never try to leave. That's when it really worked.
Even though she spent the last few years as the galloping snowbear of Leiper's Fork, where she was doted upon by Dad and Lynn, she remained my big dog. We just went out to visit Dad in April and got to spend some quality time with the Biggest. I'm glad for that. I'm grateful that she was loved and fussed over up until the end. Thanks to Dad and Lynn for that.
RIP Biggy Bigrid, the Biggest Ingrid. Missing you today, my happy happiest.