Oh Maple, how I hated that they gave you up at 13…the only home you had ever known. I cried when I saw your emaciated body and your rotten teeth.
You came with your “sister” greyhound, Ruby…she too was thin and starving but she seemed stronger than you. She had two ear infections and you insisted on mothering her by licking her ears. I could tell you needed each other.
I hated that you wanted to run and you fell, too weak to do what all greyhounds love doing. But I marveled that you wobbled outside and watched the squirrels chatter in the big tree, your ears up straight and alert.
I watched you two girls eat….and eat…..and eat! I watched Ruby gain weight and strength daily but you struggled for every ounce.
I hated that your coat had never been brushed and your hair started to fall out and you needed a bath so desperately. I hated that you were so beautiful and proud and stubborn and no one appreciated how amazingly special you were. I loved brushing your coat and watching the huge clumps of dead, dull fur go flying in the breeze….I loved seeing the soft fur underneath begin to shine.
How I loved watching you curl one paw over your ear while you slept…..I prayed your dreams were happy ones.
I loved watching you become part of my family...no longer dependent on Ruby, but looking for me or Jerry or even Max.
I loved seeing the scale move a tiny bit every time we weighed you…..success was an ounce, not a pound. I think you knew I was so proud of you.
I couldn’t cook enough for you….I loved watching you enjoy every mouthful. I loved watching you blossom…..I was smug….we beat the odds….we made you healthy…..you were going to have years as an old lady in a home full of wonderful misfits. But I hated the limp I saw….I prayed , I begged, I promised anything if it would go away. I hated that it got worse, quickly. I hated to see you struggle again….feeble…..but so darn proud…..never a whimper…..not a sound.
I hated to see the light go out of your eyes when you went to that place where “they” promised me you would be young and whole again. I would love to think that is true…..it’s the only gift I could give you.
I love you Maple Sugar, Maple Syrup, Maple Tree….I love that I got to share even such a short time with you. I hate that you are gone….four months was not enough.