we lost our sweet old unica last night. it was time, she was almost 14 and in pain and not full of joy anymore. today the house feels quiet and is definitely missing her. the kitchen floor is full of crumbs. there aren't any paws tapping around our wood floors. the white tufts of dog hair blowing around our house that i can never stay on top of aren't bothering me at all today. i miss her kind eyes the most.
i could talk about how luke and i found her while volunteering at the flagstaff humane society 10 years ago, almost dead and sick and skinny, surround by her puppies who were being adopted. a note was attached to her cage saying she'd been found abandoned near canyon de chelly, found by a nurse who unica had follow her to her puppies. she had bb bullets inside of her. we chose to walk her since she looked the saddest of all of the animals there. they told us they'd give her a week to be adopted before getting rid of her. we left and tried to forget about her, but luke called the morning after she was supposed to have been killed. the employee on the phone said they "hadn't gotten to her last night, and if you hurry you could have her". neither of us were allowed to have pets in our houses but we raced to the shelter and scooped her right up. she was sick and barely moving. all her puppies were gone. she was terrified of people and cars.
we worked out a way to keep her in my house, and from then on brought her everywhere with us. she started to trust us and we realized somehow we'd found a dog who didn't ever bark and didn't ever want to run. and she was such a survivor. she managed to be stuffed in luke's wagon on a road trip from az to nyc. from there we boarded a plane to puerto rico and soon found out the airline had lost her. after 24 hours lost in nyc she was returned to us and sunned herself for a year with us in the heat of san juan.
later she came with us to arizona and was a part of our wedding, then a move to michigan and now back to her first home of flagstaff. i remember the day before mateo was born, i cuddled with her and said "nothing will change when the baby is here unica!" and i had no idea how wrong that was. she has been such a survivor - from our moves to extreme heats to getting hit by a car crossing a road (to get to a man who looked like luke) to life with one and then two and then three kids. she's been so good and patient to us. we love her so much.
here are a few more photos of unica in her prime.