It is barely 6a. and I've already been awake an hour. After a night full of tossing and turning, I finally got up.
My daughter texted me late last night to let me know they had decided Friday was the day.
There was such a finality in this text, like many I've received before, but this time was certain.
Bauer is their precious dog, an 11 year old Australian Shepherd. He is named after Jack Bauer, the star of the hit TV drama, 24, played by Kiefer Sutherland.
Like Jack, Bauer managed to overcome every obstacle thrown his way: heart worms-requiring a year-long treatment program, an attack by ground wasps-where Seth had to rush him to the vet for an anti-sting treatment, lost for three days on the streets of Marietta-Tracy picked him up at the dog pound after having an ID chip placed under his skin, hit by a car-where he limped for days yet smiled bravely through it. And of course there was the fleas and ticks that would attack him from time to time bringing the pests inside the house with him. With each one I was told either by text or phone call. That's part of being The Faraway Nana, and it's good to be able to connect in good times and bad.
Through all of this, Bauer has watched his place as first in the home and heart of our daughter and son-in-love give way to second to Norah, then third to Bradley, fourth to Stella, and finally fifth to Brielle. He has gladly stepped aside with his added responsibility of guarding them all and herding them when he could. It was he who made them laugh for the first time as infants, and he who never lost his love of playing ball with Nana.
Like most dogs, he has been faithful to be a "best friend" to all of us.
But right before Christmas a tumor was discovered in his mouth. Bauer's gift of outwitting the impossible couldn't overcome this one as it has continued to grow and stifle his ability to eat and drink. It has taken his life away little by little until...