From the day I met her- late March of 2002 - she shared her fabulous personality with me bringing so much joy to my life. She taught me how to care for someone - from the first few weeks of sleepless nights because she needed bathroom breaks and was scared, to teaching me how little control I had over another living, breathing thing and everything in between - she made me the Mama I am today. For that I am grateful.
Her gifts didn't stop there. She was the best workout buddy a gal could have, she was ALWAYS up for a romp through the woods, a run down a trail, a hike to anywhere, a walk, any type of exercise outside. She loved to roam - she always roamed in the mornings - we were the best morning couple ever. She was fiercely loyal - she loved me more than I could comprehend. She was my constant companion.
She rode shotgun or stood with her front legs on the middle console and her back legs on the backseat so she could see everything - she would lick my face the whole ride. She loved riding with the windows down - she taught me all about chasing daylight. There is no better feeling than enjoying every ounce of joy that daylight brings. Another joy I can thank Emma for.
She embraced David immediately - they say dogs are great judges of character. I would have to agree. He's the best human thing (besides my mama!) that has happened to me in my life. She did her part to woo him:) Then she weathered the additions of not one, but two fun-loving, joy-bringing, wild and crazy little girls who loved her something fierce. And while the chow she had in her kept her loyal and fiercely protective, she had enough "mutt" in her to lovingly welcome three more humans and one fury best friend to her life.
I'll never forget the day I brought Cain home - he was a rescue from a friend of a friend, four months old and NUTS. Emma didn't act like I was alive for a week, but she eventually warmed up to the wild and crazy boxer that would be her lifetime companion. Their love was deep, their friendship was so sweet and she gave us all the biggest gift of welcoming all the crazies into her life. She ruled the roost, and for that I am grateful too. While Cain is bigger than Emma ever thought about being - she was my protector. I never worried when she was around.
Emma would have been 13 years old in February - I thought we had at least another two to three years with her - I thought the "mutt" in her would allow her to live as long as possible. I was wrong. A brain tumor eventually caused enough problems (though we had no idea she had one) that we had to say goodbye on November 21st. Honestly, the saddest day of my life that I can recall. I have loved so many that I have lost over the years, but thankfully never a constant companion and best friend.
Having to tell our children that Emma was gone was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Then watching my five year old cry crocodile tears for her buddy, her constant companion, heartbreaking. We've all cried so much over the past two months, but we've also laughed a lot, reminisced, smiled, and remembered what a good friend she was. She was a part of the best thirteen years of my life - she watched me take my first real-world job, live alone as a big girl, meet my husband, meet my first-born and my second-born, buy our first home, and the list goes on. Life wouldn't have been the same without her, and for that, I am forever grateful.