We knew she was the right dog for our household when she and Clyde met for the first time and she snapped at him when he tried to mount her at the skeevy insurance/dog rescue office where we adopted her. She had been adopted as a puppy and returned to the shelter when she got “too big.” But she was perfect.
Emma was boisterous and playful. A little instigator, who would drag things off of shelves and counters, only to let Clyde do the eating and take the blame.
She loved toys and she didn’t like to share them. After she and Clyde ripped open their Christmas passages, we would soon hear Clyde whining and inevitably find Emma with a stockpile, either on her bed or in her mouth. I think the most she ever fit in there at once was three giant squeaky toys.
She knew how to make herself comfortable.
She loved to give kisses and sniff our faces. Sometimes she’d follow that with a burp, for good measure.
When she played with Clyde or Bradley and was really into it, she made this high-pitched groaning sound, like she was ululating. It was her expression of joy and it grew to be ours, as well.
She kept a close eye on the trees for birds and squirrels.She was always on high alert for potential yard intruders, and let us know with an insistent bark when something wasn’t right. In true herding dog form, she policed conflicts to ensure that all parties pawed the line, even when the cats tussled upstairs, Emma offered her faithful guidance from one or two floors below.
When we cried, she licked our tears.
She cuddled, within reason. Eventually she’d just up and leave, heaving herself onto the floor with a sigh. She needed her alone time. But when Bradley laid on top of her for hours on end, or buried in behind her on the couch, Emma was a patient pillow.
Emma was a true lady. Sweet and deeply invested in doing the right thing. She never whined to go out (which we wouldn’t have minded at all) and instead relied on Clyde to whine at us on her behalf when she needed to relieve herself. Even on the table at the vet’s office, before that final injection, she crossed her dainty paws as she tried to relax.
Looking back, we can see that her last few weeks were hard, but we didn’t know she was so sick until that last day, when her face and her labored breathing told us it was time. It was as if she hadn’t meant to intrude on our day, but she needed help that only we could provide.
We will miss you, darling girl. You were an amazing, lovely, sweet, and happy dog. Bradley is doing her best to cheer Clyde up, but you have left a hole in our lives and hearts that will take much time and many tears to fill. We love you, and we will see you again.