Our beloved labrador Whiskey died at home this week. We held her close as she succumbed to natural causes. She was 13 years old.
The relationship between dogs and their owners can resemble the bond between children and their parents, studies have shown. We are a close-knit family, and Whiskey has helped us cope with “empty nest syndrome” when our son went off to college at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore in 2020.
Since she was a pup, Whiskey has joined our family on our outings in the foothills, along the coast, and in the High Sierra. She loved to swim at Lake Tahoe, and join us on road trips, camping outings, and adventures on our sailboat. Our son grew up with her.
Whiskey — whose fox-red coloring just happened to resemble a favorite sipping bourbon — enjoyed fetching the newspapers each morning, holding her leopard doll (see photo) and greeting the Federal Express driver, Jessica, with her wagging tail. Jessica loved Whiskey and often had a dog treat for her.
We have spent the week remembering Whiskey, sharing our favorite stories about her life. This afternoon, we finished creating a big photo album of memories — one for ourselves and another to send to our son.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” — Winnie the Pooh/A.A. Milne