Today was a rough one. We had our sweet beagle girl put to sleep. Scout was 14 years old and in recent months had lost a lot of weight and energy. In the past week she stopped eating and drinking. It was time.
Indulge me, please, and let a proud dog momma share some Sweet Baby Girl Scout stories and pictures (hover over the pics for caption goodness).
Before heading out to choose our puppy from the litter, I read that it was best to choose one that came to us right away. That was supposed to mean it was friendly, even though I was a complete stranger. The ones who stuck too close to Mom were supposedly less outgoing. The six puppies were released from their pen and spread out all over the yard. The one that would be Scout came straight over to me, yanked on my shoelace, and ran off. We’d found our girl.
We brought her home to Bailey, Daryl & Sally’s two-year-old beagle we were dog-sitting for the weekend. Scout promptly tried to nurse her. For the next two days, poor Bailey had to run from the little nipper—Scout just wouldn’t give up. Bailey was EXTRA oh-so-happy to see Daryl & Sally pick her up after their trip.
We lived in Vic’s weird little house when we first had Scout, and she spent her days in the laundry room, which housed the water heater. Scout got bored, and puppy + boredom = no more insulation on the water heater. What a mess. When a realtor walked through the house with us to prepare for its sale, I assured her we would replace the insulation. She said, “Don’t worry, I’ll just tell buyers you had a puppy.” Hm. Easy. (Unfortunately, that didn’t work on the shredded carpet.)
We visited our house frequently as it was being built. Puppy Scout left “trademarks” at several stages of progress. Marking her territory?
Jay’s comment on my Facebook post today reminded me of this one: we had my office Christmas party at our new house when Scout was about seven months old. Some people (look at me, not naming names!) thought it was funny to get her worked up so she would beagle-bark. The Christmas tree lights were hooked up to The Clapper, and Scout’s bark was so sharp and loud, she made the tree lights go on and off, on and off, over and over.
When we’d visit Vic’s parents in Seattle, Daryl & Sally were occasionally there at the same time. Even when D&S weren’t there, Scout would make a beeline to their guest room looking for Bailey. Poor Bailey never really did learn to love Scout—they had such a weird start; who could blame Bailey?
Scout was great with kids; playful but patient and sweet. Here’s my favorite picture of her. Katie was a couple days old, and Scout was just learning that her place in the House of Manullang might have (TOTALLY) changed. She adjusted just fine.
We’ve got tons of pictures of the kids playing with Scout. I especially love these.
Grandma Mary was one of Scout’s favorite family members. If Grandma was sitting down, Scout was next to her. If Grandma was laying down, Scout was curled against her body and content to sleep for hours.
At Christmastime, Scout’s favorite place was under the tree. I don’t know if it was because it was warm or because she just wanted to be with us at all times. Year after year, this was where she could be found if the tree was up.
She was a smart dog, but her hide-and-seek skills lacked a certain something.
Scout was such a tender comfort to me while going through chemo—feeling awful became feeling not-so-hot when her warm body was cuddled up to me, sometimes for an entire day. She was a perfect companion and the best napper EVER.
And oh, she was such a pretty girl.
This photo, taken almost four years ago, shows Scout at her chubbiest. Looking at this now, and remembering how she was so scarily thin and bony when we cuddled her as she took her last breaths today, it’s hard to believe it’s the same dog. Her health had declined so much. I don’t think Victor or I wanted to admit it for a long time, and now we both feel terrible that we prolonged her suffering for our own selfishness. Honestly, though, it was only in the last few days that she really seemed to be having discomfort—she moved very little, wouldn’t eat or drink, had trouble getting up the stairs. She went downhill very quickly. But even yesterday, she walked around the house until she found me in my office and curled up under my chair. Scout was a social girl until the very end.
And this is how I’d like to remember our dear Little Miss Scout—silly, photogenic, sweet, gentle, funny, and adorable.
My sister’s Facebook status today was such a nice sentiment:
I once heard that our dogs have souls. And very often those souls are reborn into another dog - and we get them back. I so hope my little niece, Scout, comes back soon.
I love that idea so, so much.