For me, May 24th will always be Anna’s day. It’s both her gotcha day and last day. Those two days were twelve years apart and so much happened between them. Although we had a lifetime together, it was not nearly long enough. So today I am thinking of and missing my sweet Anna Banana.
Unfortunately, Anna missed getting properly socialized when she was a puppy and before we adopted her. She was fearful and reactive to many things so we spent a lot of time trying to help her feel more confident. She overcame quite a bit, but never totally relaxed around strangers. She had a heightened sense of stranger danger so we did not put her in situations where she had to meet people or be in close proximity to people, especially in her home. It wasn’t always easy and prevented us from doing some things, but it was more important for her to feel safe.
Despite and because of Anna’s fears we did a lot of different things to help her – attending agility classes, socializing at a local doggy day care, walking and running around our neighborhood, kayaking, walking around the lake and beach, playing in the yard, training in the backyard and driveway, traveling across the country, having visits from my parents who were so good about giving Anna the space she needed, swimming in the pool, and lounging in the backyard. It was a good life and one I miss.
Today I am remembering that life and all the things Anna loved. She loved learning tricks and playing games. She loved chasing her little sister and herding her like her own personal sheep. Anna loved kayaking and walking at the beach, lake, or near any body of water. She loved rolling around in the grass. She loved agility classes and learned so quickly. Anna loved laying in the sun even when it made her pant from the heat. She loved to chase me when I swam in the pool. She played with toys when she was younger but grew out of it, letting Karlie have all of them. Anna loved to play defense when Karlie chased tennis balls. She loved to play in the snow. She had the softest ears. Everyone said she was beautiful and she was. She loved to sit on the lawn chairs, put her nose in the air, and sniff. She looked right at the camera when I took pictures of her. Anna learned tricks SO fast. She didn’t pull on walks until we were headed towards home. When we went kayaking she laid down in the back of the boat and rested her head so she could watch everything. And sometimes she was so relaxed she fell asleep. She took all the foot room on the bed at night. She loved her little sister like no other. She gave me my love of running because it was so much less scary than going for a walk. Anna was the sweetest girl and taught me so much about doggy body language and reactive/fearful dogs. I am forever indebted to her for that and for bringing Karlie into our lives. I miss those girls and the life we had together.
Happy Anna day, my sweet girl. I love and miss you.