I am very sad to report a tragic note that sounded quite unexpectedly for Betsy and me in the midst of our greatest happiness. Betsy's dog Shana, a big beautiful golden collie-lab mix, and a faithful companion for more than seven years, died suddenly the day after Betsy's return from Montana.
Betsy found Shana in a Humane Society Shelter in Texas when Shana was little more than a pup. The dog stayed with her for her five years in Connecticut and then followed her to California. She was a sweet, friendly dog who would swing her tail back and forth whenever Betsy came into a room. And when she needed to be let out she wouldn't bark but would only shake her collar and wait patiently by the door.
Shana's only problem was that she didn't like to be left alone. So Betsy was forced to put her in a pen while at work so that Shana would not chew her way through the garage door. There were frequent stays with the vet and a dog sitter who checked on Shana two or three times a day.
Late in the afternoon of Wednesday, June 19, Shana got half way out of her pen and accidentally strangled herself.
Betsy, of course, is devastated, but is bravely carrying on. I'd give anything to be there for her now. I have begun to read a fairy tale, The Animal Family, to Betsy over the phone to help her sleep. It is ironic indeed that this disaster should fall just as Betsy finally gains a new companion.
My one consolation is that I had a chance to meet Shana before her passing. Indeed, she was with Betsy and me the night we met and stood guard over her as we lay in the baseball field that first night. Our most treasured picture is of the three of us at the beach. Betsy gave Shana seven years she would not otherwise have had, and Shana kept Betsy safe and good company until I arrived to help.
Goodbye Shana. And thanks.