Abby started her time with us as just another foster beagle. She wasn't supposed to stay. But I fell in love with her at the first adoption day we brought her to. We sat there, on the floor at Petco, for 4 hours and no one even looked at her. Everyone wanted to adopt a fun, cute puppy. No one had any use for a fat lemon bagel who snored. She looked at me that day, with her sweet face and big, loving eyes, as if to ask, "why does no one want me?" and from then on, I was in love.
We kept up the farce of her as a foster dog for 7 months after that, each month going to the adoption day, and each month no one looked at her. I was secretly happy because I didn't want to lose her. No other family was going to love her as much as we did. Finally, in the car on the way to yet another adoption day I resolved that it would be her last. She was coming home to stay, even if having 4 dogs seemed absurd. She was part of our family.
Wouldn't you know it, that day several families wanted to meet Abby and swarmed us when we got there. I didn't say anything, I just let them meet her and pet her, but even if they were the best family in the world, they weren't going to be good enough for our Abby. I signed the paperwork and she was finally ours.
She never really refined into a “good” dog but she was just so darn sweet, it didn’t matter. She loved to chase squirrels in our yard, though she could never catch one the way she charged at them, arroooo-ing. I’m sure the neighbors loved hearing the Abby squirrel-alarm first thing every morning.
She lost almost 30 pounds on the green-bean diet, but never lost her love for food. We called dinner the best 30 seconds of Abby's day. She figured out how to open the closet door and get into the dog food bin, and once helped herself to a significant portion of a 20-lb bag.
She ate an entire box of freshly-picked tomatoes from my parents’ garden and on another occasion, a 5-pound bag of flour intended for Christmas cookies. Abby's motto was always, "eat first. ask questions later."
Her zest for life was intoxicating. She was so bad she was good. She loved to give over-zealous, sloppy, wet kisses. Her whole body wiggled when her tail wagged, as though it couldn’t contain her excitement.
She was with us for less than two years before the mast cell tumor took hold. She put up a good fight, but it had spread too far. Despite the pain she was in, she was Abby until the end.
In the month before she died, though weakened by the cancer and the chemo, she still figured out how to use the step stool to get on the kitchen counter and helped herself to a pizza, a loaf of bread, a stick of butter, and a pound of cheese.
We love you and miss you, Abigail.
Keira and Jeremy Rupon