Sunday, August 4, 2013

My best friend.

Her name was Delaney.

She was my partner in crime. My sidekick on walks in the city and in the park. She was my greeter. She was my boss. She was my child. She was my shopping buddy. She was there for me through the best. She was there for me through the worst. She was there for me with everything in between. She never met a tennis ball she didn't love. She made people smile. She made people happy everywhere she went. She was named for the 1800 block of Delancey Street in Philadelphia, which is where she grew up. 

Our first day and trip to Rittenhouse Square. 

Still a baby. Still living in Rittenhouse.

I lost my best friend. Two weeks ago, we were spending our last Sunday together. She was on her couch and I was on mine. We were watching each other and even though she couldn't use words, she was communicating with me.

She had been sick. After learning she was in renal failure in March, my only goal was to give her the best time - for however long she had with me. I know I succeeded in that and she lived out her days with me just as her last seven years. She was treated to new toys and like royalty. She ate better than most humans - including me. I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Her fifth birthday.

She was even a regular at Race Street Cafe and joined me quite often on our al fresco dining adventures. I always preferred to be with her, than without. I know she felt the same.

I'll never forget when a bus driver stopped his bus, with passengers, to say hello to her. Or how she befriended a horse carriage driver who stopped on his rides to pet her.

 Delaney with Pete, the dog-friendly horse.

There were countless people on the street who stopped us to meet her. And she always looked at people as if to say "let's be friends." She and I were alike in that. She was my dog soul-mate - always smiling and happy to meet new friends and old. She was always happy to please and would gladly perform a trick or two. Her friend and dog trainer, Nicole, taught her a few good ones.

I'm entirely grateful for the love and support we both received this year. Most of all, from my amazing friend who took great care of her each day. Jaime, who owns Happy Tails of Philly, spent a lot of time with her each day and told me how she was doing. And she usually had funny stories about their time together. Delaney loved Jaime and Jaime loved Delaney. Jaime's compassion to us was unmatched and I'm thankful to call Jaime a dear friend.

The outpouring of support from my friends from around the world was amazing and a true testament of how loved she was.

Even if she purposely sat in a giant puddle of mud immediately after being groomed.

I feel a tremendous amount of sadness right now. I have a nagging feeling that I'm forgetting something and that I need to go home and walk her. She was my family in Philadelphia. She was my best friend. The consistent theme shared with me was that she was lucky to have me. I disagree. I was the lucky one to have her in my life. Our years were cut short but we had the best time and those are the times I will cherish and keep in my heart forever.

 She wanted to be a reindeer when she grew up. She told me.

She even got to meet Santa. Twice. 
Delaney, wherever you are. I miss you. I miss your nose. I miss your happy smile. I miss your comical spirit. I hope you are somewhere surrounded by tennis balls and getting a great neck scratch.

...and that you have a pool in which you can swim. 

With her first friend, Murph.

Memorial Day, 2013.

Thank you for always being the best girl.
Your mom and best friend.