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In Memory of Betty

We got Betty in 2008, she came into FBRN because her owner was having to move out of her daughter's house...or some other equally strange excuse, i don't really remember.

She was blind and deaf, and 13 years old. It was hard for me, because with us, having a dog means living their whole life with them together, even into their golden years. I felt sad for her, such a big life change for an older lady.

At first she was nervous, and I was nervous too. I was having a hard time trying to console her because she was blind and deaf. I never had a dog with a handicap before, let alone two. I remember when I had to wash the blanket she came with the first time, I felt terrible. It was only her second day with us and I thought this was the only familiar thing she had from her life before. But she seemed unfazed, and showed less and less signs of confusion in the coming days. One of the first things we learned about Betty (there are quite a few) was she loved to eat! Our dog (Michi) gives us a run for our money when it comes to food, but not Betty! Hallelujah! Betty had a tenacity that I could not have ever imagined. At first I would carry her to the back yard and put her down and she would just stand there, taking very few steps. A few weeks later she got dubbed "white lightning" because the girl could move! We had to build the "Betty Barricade", it was a low fence across our entire back yard.

bettyA few days after that went in, I turned around and there she was standing in the patio. I called Adam and told him Betty got over the barricade, he said "No way!" So I carried her back to the yard and watched. She would walk to the barricade, feel her way down it, pick a spot, then put one leg over, look left then right, then swing the next leg over, stand for another minute, and do a bunny hop over with both back legs. I always thought that was amazing, she had no idea what was on the other side, it could have been a sheer drop. So that is what most amazed me about her, her will to do what she wanted, and go where she wasn't meant to! The other, was her ability to have her life turned upside down, and still find it inside herself to trust a different situation, different people, just a whole new life. She loved her peanut butter Kong, it was her right before you go to bed treat. She would wield it around, then lay down and lick it for a long time.

As the weeks turned to months, there were good days and bad days. The times when she was content to walk slowly through the yard, and the times when she was seemingly frantic, going in circles. We would do our very best to include her in our family, and she seemed to enjoy when the other dogs would nap near or on her. It was hard to tell what she felt, and we had to tell ourselves she was doing ok until she was showing some true signs of her failing body.

We couldn't pretend she was ok any longer, and in June'09 we had to help her on to the other side.
We are sad without her. Her snoring (you could hear it from the other side of the house) is gone, and our kitchen doesn't have the familiar "bonk" of cupboard doors as she milled about in the wee hours.
We miss you Betty, and we hope you are looking down and seeing the people (and Frenchies) who loved you in the end.
-Her forever foster mama, Heather