Sausage on guard duty

Sausage was a great dog.  All 15 pounds of her.  She was born a dwarf, a cross of Anatolian Shepherd and Catahoula dog.  A dog that would weigh perhaps 130 pounds at maturity.  She was our darling, but she  had the most vicious bark…….growl…….and attitude…….We would joke (not quite joking actually) that if someone were to go into the yard, they would have to lie down and she would maul them.   She had the most amazing crocodile teeth.  On a full sized dog, one would not have wanted to see that coming near……but she was our baby, and was the best girl.  We got her when she was 4 months old.  She became my departed husbands pet project.  She didn’t come with much socialization skills, and he worked and worked to get her tame, or at least trusting.  She loved him unconditionally.  As his illness progressed, she maintained a post by his bed.  When he passed away, after we had said our goodbyes, the mortuary man came.  He drove up in his Chevrolet Suburban, and rolled out the gurney.  I took Sausage outside while the man packed up my husbands body.  He brought the gurney out the front door, down the walk, to the waiting Suburban.  My husband would have appreciated his last ride being in a Chevy actually come to think of it.  After they drove off, I stood out there with Sausage.  She walked to the front door and followed the walk to the front gate.  Then she did something I had never seen before or since, she lifted her head and howled, the most unearthly sound.  She knew, her man was gone.  Still makes me tear up.

The winter that followed was horrible.  4 1/2 feet of snow that arrived over something like 4 days.  Then it stayed forever.  By this time, Sausage had moved outside and was my front yard dog.  Even with a heated mat in her doghouse, I felt terrible about her being outside.  She would not stay in though, if I tried she would bark to no end, and I finally gave up and let her stay out.  Guess since she didn’t have my husband to watch, she wanted to be outside where she could see me.  My friend would stop by and give her treats, had all summer.  One day, she came by and I asked Sausage if she wouldn’t like to go and live with Aunt Judy at her house, maybe just for the winter.  She joyfully went with Judy, and there she stayed.  Through nail polished toenails, gold neckchains and little pink dresses she lived with Judy.  Under the daybed in the living room in the winter, she lived a truly pampered life.  My husband would not have understood about the nail polish or the dresses, but he would have appreciated that Sausage was loved so much.  When Judy went away over Thanksgiving and then at Christmas, it was my pleasure to take care of her animals, and to spend some time with Sausage once again.  She had not been spayed due to her odd build, and had developed a mammary tumor in the last year.  Judy and I had decided no surgery, that when she was done we would know it and let her go.  This morning, after bidding Judy good morning and high fiving her on the way to feed the other livestock, Sausage went to the usual post in the front yard – lay down and passed away quietly on her own.  The other dogs were standing by, and when Judy came back out to go to work, she found our little guard dog had gone.  Farewell sweet Sausage, so many wonderful funny memories we had together.  We  know you are with Michael again.  Thank you for sharing your life with us.

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