Shared by Denise McRae
What can I say about Savannah? We all love our dogs beyond reason and so know our perception of them is colored by this lack of reason. Savannah burst into my home in approximately June 2003 as a foster. She was one years old and her former owner had bought her lot of toys, a stylish collar and raised eating bowls but was giving her up because Savannah wouldn’t let her “just sit quietly and read.” The owner thought Savannah was hyper. No; she was a puppy. She was bow-legged, pigeon toed and owned any room she entered. I was not looking for a second dog; I had a big beautiful boy, Fitz, who I adored. People came to meet her. She was too small, she was too red, she just wasn’t quite right. They all said “what about that one”, pointing to Fitz. No; he’s mine. I started meeting the prospective parents outside. Do you know what it’s like to not invite people into your home in Arizona in the summer? We were dying in the heat and they thought I was hiding something. I was; the big beautiful Golden. Finally, one family said she wasn’t very pretty. With outrage I said “she’s perfect.” And just like that, she was mine. I did clear it with Fitz and promise to love him just as much. Turned out, he couldn’t live without her. She always felt like she belonged, taking Fitz’s toys, food, whatever he had. He never minded and she never thought about it twice.
And she loved to run. I rented a house and Fitz could cross that yard in two bounds; I needed a larger yard (although we made great use of the largest dog park in the country, it wasn’t the same.) So I bought the house I live in now just for the yard. The three of us would play ball and the heat would wear me out. So, Fitz and I would come in, and watch Savannah with her ice and water through the big slider. It was Savannah’s yard.
She’s ruled the roost with every dog I’ve fostered. But never in an overt way. Somehow they all let her go out the door first, take the ball that was being tossed. It was unspoken but understood. And then one day two years ago I noticed my other dog, Suzie, wasn’t letting Savannah out of the door first. Odd. Then just before Christmas I felt the lumps. I called Mary, our super Veterinarian and she came to see us. I’d read up on it by then and asked what she thought. Chemo for lymphoma was a reasonable option. Not doing anything was also a reasonable option. We chose action and she loved spending her day getting chemotherapy. Only Savannah.
With all of the big, beautiful, true to confirmation Goldens out there, somehow she was chosen for four photo shoots. It was all in the attitude. Other than the day of surgery (she blew her knee out chasing a ball) and the day I knew she was ready to say good-bye, she never had an unhappy day. She took the sunshine with her wherever she went. That sunshine will light her way to the Rainbow Bridge where I know that Fitz, who loved her the way I do, beyond reason, was waiting for her.