You are reading this Friday. It’s Thursday afternoon as I type this, this morning we said goodbye to Midnight. And after a lot of angst and guilt and any number of other emotions along with floods of tears I’ve decided to make this post about Midnight and not about my emotions about having to put her to sleep. There was no choice. It had to be done. I’m glad I had the courage to do the right thing.
So let me tell you about Midnight.
She was two or three years old and spent her days chained to a doghouse in the snow. I’m not sure if the guy had a new wife, or if after three years of struggle she finally won, but she was banished to the dog house and they advertised in the local classified paper. Free black lab cross. I unhooked her, opened the door to the minivan and she jumped right in. She sat in the passenger seat head proud and happy as can be. She said goodbye to that place and never looked back. She loved riding along, and when I got out of the car to do an errand she would sit in the driver seat. Funny dog.
I do believe she would have gotten into any vehicle with any person. She should have been owned by a trucker.
It was clear Midnight had been in some sort of accident. Her head was lopsided, and caved in on top. Her tail had been broken. She was always stoic, even when the Vet had to put a drain in her neck from a dog attacking her. She would just look at me with those eyes.
The boys were four years old. Bud was afraid of Midnight at first, but Bug happily got on her back and “rode” her around the house. Until Midnight started down the stairs – he bailed at that point. Bud and Midnight finally made friends. She was a perfect dog, well almost. She wouldn’t play. She had no concept of what a ball was for. She was the first dog I ever owned that didn’t know how to play.
What did Midnight love, other than riding in cars? Swimming. When we first got her we had a pond and she would follow the canoe. And if you took her out in the canoe she’d jump into the water. We took Midnight to the river in the summer and she would charge right in and just swim and swim. The only problem was if anyone was swimming she would try to rescue them. That got a little tricky, as most people weren’t interested in being rescued by an over enthusiastic lab.
Midnight loved her food and for a while she looked like a land seal. But we got her running more and changed her food so she was healthier. She loved to chase down the field mice and voles and toss them around. Not so nice for the rodents around here, I know. But she didn’t bite them. She’d catch them, toss them up and then pounce on them again. Of course they all died of fright, but at least she didn’t eat them.
We had Midnight three years when we adopted eight month old Zoey. She mothered Zoe and they became inseparable. A year or so later Moose wandered onto our property and Midnight kept him in line and was a key component in Moose’s reformation.
Midnight would sit with me, and sometimes come to have her ears rubbed. She wasn’t an affection hound like my other dogs, she was happy to be near me and get an occasional ear rub or pat on the back. Unlike most labs, she was very protective of her family and her house – she’d raise her hackles and chase people off. She liked to stand between strangers and our children. She was fierce, but she never bit. Just scared the crap out of people!
She hated having her picture taken, but we have one or two. I will miss you Midnight. Go run with Molly and give Grandma Nancy and Grammie Hilda big kisses from me. Don’t forget us. You will be in your family’s hearts forever.