abk Journey: The End of an Era

“I like being exhausted. I like to exhaust myself. I want to be totally…used up, you know, by the end.”- Christian Bale

When Becks Bostic became my companion almost seventeen years ago, her energy level was on another level. Wild and crazy was an understatement. When we went on walks, she walked me. When we went on runs, she stayed step for step. When I asked her to be still, she couldn’t.

Fast forward almost seventeen years, that energy was completely depleted. She couldn’t see. She couldn’t hear. She could barely stand. Her bladder had a mind of its own. It broke my heart to think it was the same dog, but it was.

So on Tuesday morning, through a heavy onslaught of my tears, an absolutely incredible life came to an end.

She had as many, if not more, negative attributes than positive ones. She didn’t listen. She couldn’t sit still. She ignored invisible fences, even while they shocked her. She ate everyone’s food. She fought everyone else’s dog. She exploded pillows. She destroyed toys.

But she loved fiercely. For sixteen years, nine months, and eleven days, we were together. We probably spent about six thousand days with each other. Walking, running, watching TV, snacking, wrestling, and playing. I talked to her like she was a human. She knew everything about me!

She and Christy had a love/hate relationship. She nuzzled both kids protectively. She messed with Tucker, fought Sarah, snuggled with Happy, and largely ignored Flash.

She was one of a kind. That’s just how she was wired.

For roughly fourteen years, regardless of what shenanigan she had pulled that day, she hopped into my bed at night, and we snuggled ourselves to sleep. That all changed about three years ago when she started having trouble with her bladder, so she couldn’t sleep in bed. She was still as lively as the day was long, but instead of a good snuggle to end the day, it became a mere pat on the head.

About a year ago, she really started going downhill. She was still a menace, but only a partial menace. She laid down a lot, but I don’t think she ever got comfortable. I don’t know if you’ve ever watched someone or something so full of life lose that zest, but I can assure you, for me, it was torture.

She was with me for my entire adult life. Monroe, Wingate, Charlotte x 2, The Farm, The Fishing Camp, and Ocean Springs, MS. Every day when I came home, she barked like a maniac then kissed me on the nose when I walked through the door and bent down.

I can’t fathom that she is gone. I literally thought that she would live forever, but it was time.

Her legacy will live with my children. I am able to care for and dote on them almost solely because of the relationship Becks and I had. We went through the entire life cycle together: newborn to elder. She taught me how to take care of someone other than myself.

I have more stories of her than you can imagine. Almost seventeen years of them. She dressed up for Halloween. She got bitten by snakes. She picked fights with dogs five times her size. Much to my chagrin sometimes, she never wavered on who she was.

She lived a very abk life a good decade before abk was ever invented. I love her. I miss her. My baby girl. May she rest in peace.

Have a great week.-Benj

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