Normally, I would spend some part of my day doing something crafty, but today I ran errands and am now celebrating. If you aren’t a dog lover, you probably won’t be interested, but our dog Aggie turned fifteen today. She’s a golden retriever whose life span should be between 10-12 years. She’s an amazing dog. At fifteen, she’s still spry and happy and full of life. She has to be in the same room as me or at the very minimum outside the door.
We got Aggie as a companion for Noel, the yellow lab seen in the photos of me on this blog and my YouTube page. Noel was the first dog we had that loved me more than she loved Rich. For Aggie’s first five years of life, she loved two things, Noel and destroying furniture. She was a wild child and found every way possible to ruin furniture when we weren’t home. We gated her into a laundry room and part of our kitchen and used a latch to close the door that lead to our family room. She didn’t like that latch and figured out how to push the bi-fold door just right so the latch would open and she had free reign. Once inside, the world was her oyster, or our furniture was hers to ruin. Her first move was the couch. She was really devious, and lifted the cushions of the couch pulling the stuffing out from under the cushions. When she was finished, the cushions fell back into place and the couch looked perfect, except for the floor full of stuffing. Next came the love seat. We thought we had fixed the door so she couldn’t get it open, but she is wily and got inside again. She destroyed the love seat the exact same way she destroyed the couch. The couch looked perfect until you sat on it and the cushions sank almost to the floor. The love seat was a fast project, so Aggie had time that day to ruin the antique piano we had. It had a wood veneer finish and Aggie tore the veneer off both sides and the legs of the piano. Needless to say, Aggie was a terror as a puppy. She didn’t pay a lot of attention to Rich and me, and we thought that was the nature of a golden. Once she turned five, everything changed. I stopped working and she had someone to play with besides Noel. Aggie loved Noel and we got Bella so that Aggie would have another dog when Noel passed. Our vet said that Aggie and Noel were so closely bonded that we should expect Aggie to pass shortly after Noel. The only answer was to give Aggie a baby of her own, so we got Bella, another golden. Aggie was devastated when Noel died, and we didn’t realize how devastated until about two weeks after Noel passed. In the middle of the night, Aggie let out this horrible moan like her world had ended, and in a way, it probably had. She seemed to snap back and as Aggie got older, we started to worry about the bond she had with Bella, who has a very gentle soul and how Aggie’s passing would affect her. Enter Honey, our half golden, half English retriever. Aggie’s not really interested in Honey when we are home, but we cage Honey when we are gone, and Aggie spends her time sleeping in the same room to watch over her new baby.
When Noel died, Aggie became my dog. She won’t let me out of her eyesight and frets when I’m not home. If I go downstairs, Aggie goes downstairs and even though she struggles on stairs, spends every evening with me when Rich and I are in the “man room.” We used to have date night on Friday nights where we would watch movies and eat popcorn together on the couch. Now Aggie thinks half of the couch is hers so Rich sits somewhere else. Of course she needs help getting up on the couch, so Rich helps her up and she has a blanket as I’m not crazy about having the dogs on the furniture. Since Honey, there’s no controlling it, as Honey thinks all furniture is hers for the taking.
Aggie sleeps beside me on her bed on the floor and makes sure she finds my hand if it’s hanging over the edge of the bed so she gets a little extra attention. She lays outside the door when I take a shower, as it’s too hot in the bathroom for her. She’s taken over for Noel in loving me, and I make sure she knows she’s the queen bee.
Aggie loves to have a pillow under her head when she sleeps. She’s got the sweetest face and the worst breath of any dog I’ve ever met. Her teeth are great but her breath is gross. No reason for it and so far, nothing has ever made it better. She likes to think she’s a lap dog, but she’s a big golden, normally weighing around 85 pounds. It doesn’t matter, she can always find room on our laps.
And so we are celebrating today, as fifteen years is a long time, but passed by so quickly, and we’ll be broken hearted when we lose her. A love letter to my best girlfriend, Aggie.