We noticed that Taylor didn't feel well this weekend when she spent all day Sunday laying inside the house. She has always loved being outside in the yard, so this was not like her. Monday morning my parents had to help her to her feet so she could go outside, but after some pain medicine she seemed to feel a little better. Thinking maybe her hips were just bothering her (common in German Shepherds), my parents left to spend the fourth of July at my brother's house. They returned home late that evening to a very sick dog.
It took both of my parents to get her in the car Tuesday morning, and at the vet, my mom had to get assistance to bring her inside. Sweet Taylor did not feel well at all. After spending the day at the vet, we got the news we didn't want to hear: kidney failure. The vet told us it did not look good, but that he would do what he could. The last two days were spent flushing Taylor's kidneys out and trying to get her body to respond to medicine. This morning, though, it seemed as if Taylor was only getting worse.
I hate so much that I was unable to be with Taylor during her final moments. My dad said she perked up when he and my mom and brother walked in. I like to think she was glad they were there. Both my mom and dad said it was a peaceful goodbye for our girl.
Taylor, also known as Tay Tay or Tater, was a part of our family for over ten years. My brother Ben brought her home from college as a puppy and she eventually made herself at home at my parents' house. She had her fair share of bad puppy moments - like when she ate every button off the back of my bridesmaid dress for my brother's wedding (luckily the day after the wedding and not the day before) - but she grew into the most well-behaved pet we've probably ever had. Not many dogs would welcome in three new puppies (Minnie, Henry, and Lolli) as well as she did. Of course, she always needed to get one good growl in on them to show them she was boss, but after that they were pals for life. In fact, they all thought she was their mom. Henry, for one, spent hours kissing on her and following her around.
Puppies weren't the only ones Taylor loved, she also welcomed in three new babies (Jett, Bren, and Parker) even though they stole all the attention away from her. There aren't many dogs that would lie still on the ground while a two-year-old climbed all over them. It always made me laugh because the look on her face while they pulled her hair said "Really?" but she just let them have at it.
Over the past year, we've known that old age was catching up to Taylor. Many a times we have said "She sure will be a hard dog to replace." But that's the thing, I don't think you can replace a dog like Taylor. Her German Shepherd and Lab mix made her unique, but so did her laid-back personality and loyalty to everyone in our family.
I will miss seeing this face as I pull up my parents' driveway. She usually stood to greet me when I got out of my car. As she peered through the bars of the fence the look on her face didn't indicate that she wanted to be let out, but that she wanted me to come in. Come in and play.
I feel certain that both Greta and Minnie were standing at Heaven's gates this morning, ready to welcome her in with tail wags and lots of sloppy dog kisses. We'll surely miss our girl, but I look forward to seeing her again one day.