Yesterday marked the two year anniversary since our sweet Judge passed away. We stayed in a hotel in our hometown on Saturday night and yesterday morning I was lucky enough to get to sleep in a bit while Shaune and Deaglan went out for a Tim Horton's run. When they came back I asked Shaune if he remembered what day it was and told him when he looked at me blankly. However, strangely enough, before getting the coffee, he had taken Deaglan to the boat docks where we used to go several times a day during the hot summers to let Judge cool off in the St. Clair River.
When he died I couldn't imagine ever feeling okay again. I was five months pregnant with Deaglan and we were on the verge of moving to the house we live in now. I felt paralyzed with grief. He had been the centre of my life for over 11 years and knowing what I know now, I thought about him in sort of the same way one does their child. I felt that I was betraying him by leaving the place we had last been together by moving. We had his remains cremated and the ashes are in a small sealed cedar box on our bedroom dresser surrounded by wonderful pictures of us together over his lifetime.
We were definitely "dog people". We tried to take him everywhere we went and if that wasn't possible we either had one of our friends or family stay at our house or took him to a doggie daycare.
Judge wasn't technically a good dog per se. He loved to eat and this got him into all sorts of predicaments. We learned early on that he could break into the fridge and pilfer whatever was inside. And by whatever friends, I mean anything and everything. So Shaune was forced to "lock" the fridge with bungee cords. This solved the problem as long as we were absolutely meticulous about locking up after every use.
We adored him. We used to get defensive when people would hint that maybe he could have used some training (After a while I didn't bother to explain that we did take him to obedience classes but he just wasn't really interested). We argued that he was "unbroken" and just being himself. He slept in our bed with us, sat on the furniture with us (often Shaune would move to the floor if he felt that Judge needed to sprawl out on the entire couch), and went on all of our vacations with us. If a hotel didn't allow dogs than we didn't stay there.
In the last year of his life he became very sick with insulin dependent diabetes. Shaune and I didn't flinch when we found out that we would need to inject two very high doses into the loose skin on his back twice a day. We also had to alternate coming home for lunch from work because he would need to eat his lunch take a bathroom break. It didn't bother us a bit. Oddly, the diabetes isn't what took him from us. Cancer formed suddenly on one of his organs and spread like wildfire. He woke up coughing one morning and something inside of me urged me to take him in immediately. By the end of that day he was gone.
We tried to give him a terrific life. He certainly couldn't have been loved anymore. Sometimes I do wish that Deaglan had gotten the chance to meet him. But then I wonder how Judge would have handled the shift in focus from him to the baby. In some ways I'm glad he never had to find out.
Rest in peace my sweet furry boy and thank you for all the joy you brought to my life!