Saying Goodbye is so Hard - Amber January 20, 2023
Steve named you Amber based on the book “The Chronicles of Amber” by Roger Zelazny, the name seemed to fit because of your wonderful Amber colored coat. I remember when I first saw you. You were born on March 10, 2008, but I had to wait months, until you weighed 2 pounds, to be able to adopt you. You were so tiny and precious. You took some cheerios from my hand and I was reassured that was a very good sign. It was love at first sight for me, but it took you a few weeks to decide if Steve was going to be your “person” or if it was me. I was rooting that you would pick me. Once you bonded, you decided I was your soulmate and you needed to be with me all the time for all the love.
You were so stubborn; I could not get you to walk on a leash. We were a pair, me pulling you down the sidewalk and you laying on the ground refusing to walk. I traveled for my job and I found out that you hated doggie day care. Steve and Christine would take turns watching you while I was away. Once, while on a trip, you stayed in Stanton with Christine and Sam. They went for a “walk” one afternoon. Down the block was a home filled with Travellers; the kids could be exuberant. Christine was walking you down the block (so carrying you) when the kids spotted you. One of the girls screamed at the top of her lungs “OMG SHE’S SO FLUFFY!!” You turned and looked at Christine with the most aware human expression imaginable. Your expression read, “Are you kidding me?" and "You’re not letting her hold me, right?” "That was it, I am so fluffy I’m going to die." Your opinion was that it was just fine if it was done with someone else. Christine let you know you were in good hands and didn’t put you down. Steve and I took you for a walk-through the apartment complex behind us, Victoria Mews. A little girl around six years old walked up and asked me if she could have you. I said no. Stephen and I walked a few yards away, and Steve replied under his breath so only I could hear “only after you pry Amber’s leash from my mother’s dead, cold hands.”
I had to get professional help to groom you because of your wonderful, stunning Amber coat. You were so fluffy and beautiful but with your double coat, you were so hard to groom. Your fur got tangled at my meager attempts to brush your coat. At about 6 months old, I almost had to have your luxurious fur shaved. The groomer spent hours but was able to get the knots out. I learned my lesson and had your professionally groomed for the rest of your life
At 6 months when you finally weighed 4 pounds, enough to get spayed, your vet chided me that I had to stop holding you all the time and put you down to let you walk, I begrudgingly put you down and laughed because the vet tech immediately picked you up and carried you around. I gave the vet a look and she just shrugged her shoulders, with a bemused expression. When I took you to places like the vets, people would say “Oh, Amber is here”, it was like having a celebrity next to me.
You had dedicated fans even when it was cold. We traveled with those fans so you would stay cool. One of my favorite photos is of you sitting in the fan with your fur blowing around you. Sometimes you had 2 fans blowing your fur in different directions. Emmy and Erv inherited one of those fans.
One of my favorite gifts was a wooden cut out of a Pomeranian that Lindsay painted to look like you. It will forever stand proud.
You did things your way, you were independent, spicy yet charming. You were my runway model – you knew how to strut the catwalk. Always a girl who knew her mind. You were 7 pounds of alpha female who was in charge. You knew what you wanted and mostly got your way. You were willing to take on a large chow/pit bull mix that got aggressive. Nothing stopped you; you had full awareness that you were the queen.
You had a favorite little toy you used to carry around like a baby. We had to retire it when Alice moved in with us because Alice was going through toys and would have shredded your baby.
Your favorite treat was cheese. I couldn’t even say the word because you understood what that word meant. You would sneeze when I asked you to “speak”, it made me laugh. Sometimes you would do a low growl when asked to speak and it scared people nearby. I had to explain that it was how you “spoke”, and it was not a sign of aggression.
You kept digging up my seeds when I tried to plant flowers. I had to build you a sandbox and hide dog treats in the sand so you would leave my plants alone. You loved that sandbox. Mama cat taught you to catch a mouse, you were so proud when you caught your first one.
You were a snow bunny, you loved to dance in the snow and loved the cold. One time you walked off the porch and into a pile of snow way over your head. I pulled you out and saw you with a snow beard, you were so cute. I would have a path shoveled out front which allowed you to prance around in the snow for a long time. I adjusted my world to suit you, my feet froze because I kept the AC on high to keep you comfortable in the car. You were a great rider in the car and loved to travel. I knew when you cried on our last trip to the Outer Banks, you were slowly letting go of this world.
People loved you; I have dozens of pictures of you being held by friends. I met people who lost Poms and they would hug you extra carefully, remembering their own lost love. People loved you; they would lose their minds.
As you got pickier with what you would eat, Christine cooked your special food that you loved. Now, you have no appetite and only eat bites of food. You went through so much medically and kept bouncing back. You were a fighter and beat the odds. I loved you for how tenacious you were. I called you my little Mercedes since your vet costs could have paid for a mid-level luxury sedan. We agreed that if you kept fighting, I would keep helping you.
Now it is time to let you go and I have no choice. You taught me how to love unconditionally, I love you so much it hurts to realize that time has ended for you. It is impossible to forget a dog that gave so much to remember....