Amber came to live with me in November of 2010. She was meant to be a foster dog, one to be adopted into a good family so I could bring home another foster. I knew she was special from her first days with me; big, beautiful and with such a friendly happy personality. She went to the adoption days and charmed everyone she met, both animals and people. If other dogs seemed inclined to fight, she seemed to know ahead of time and would move in between them to defuse the hostility. She served as the unofficial “greeter” at the adoption days; when encountering a small child, she immediately sat down and waited for them to come to her. Children loved her and so did I. Even so, when a wonderful family wanted to adopt her, I was happy for them all. Amber could have her own kid and a loving family.
Through no fault of hers, Amber had to come back to BREW. I went and got her and we continued going to adoption days and meeting and charming people wherever we went. (If you do a search for Amber 2010 you’ll see her and read what a special dog she was.) I did notice I was getting sick before each adoption day. Eventually I realized it was because I was afraid someone else would want to adopt her. So in 2012 I adopted Amber. She was my buddy, companion and my big girl. We brought other dogs into the house, all fosters, except for Hoosier who came to stay with us until he went to the Rainbow Bridge. Amber always seemed to know that no matter who else came or went, she was here to stay. Her spot was at the top end of the bed; she was a wonderful warm body snuggled in next to my back.
In December she started to lose weight and I noticed she had a tremor. Off we went to her loving vet who checked her out, asked a lot of questions and told me we could get an MRI but it was likely my girl had a brain tumor. We came home with vials of medicine and the knowledge that our time was coming to an end. I held her as much as she would let me and went through the process we all have to go through when losing a family member.
On February 8, I knew it was time; I needed to let my Amber go. A friend took us to the vet’s office; since Amber didn’t need to worry about her diet any longer she had a big piece of sharp cheese on the way over and while we were waiting. I held her and cried while she breathed her last. I wasn’t the only one crying; everyone at the vet’s office loved Amber too. The tumor took Amber from me but it never managed to take her beautiful spirit.
I came home to a house that will never seem the same. Now, some six weeks later, I still find myself looking and listening for my big beautiful girl. The tears still come unexpectedly. Amber’s two foster sisters don’t know why I cry so much, they just know I’m so sad. Amber is now back with me in her place on my bureau where I can see her every night before closing my eyes.
Will I ever again open my heart as I did with Amber? Maybe; probably. Just not for a while.