You Were Perfect

Dr Sarah Boston
7 min readMay 29, 2021

Even as you were dying, you were perfect. The way you politely paced in the middle of the night to see if one of us might be sleeping lightly enough to hear you. The prednisone made you drink more and pee more. If the gentle pacing didn’t work, you would let out the quietest cry, “meep” until one of us stirred. We never wanted you to feel uncomfortable or stressed, so one of us would push ourselves awake and stumble outside with you. It reminded me of when you were a puppy and we had to take turns taking you out in the night. You were so easy to house train. You were so easy to train to do anything. You were perfect.

The first day we brought you home from the shelter, you were this outrageously cute heeler-cross puppy. I know technically you were a rescue, but I never felt like a saint taking you home because you were so healthy and bright and adorable. You were everything that I wanted in a puppy and a dog and a companion. And on day one, we were playing with you in the yard and you turned to me and flashed me your toothy grin. I had always wanted a dog that smiled and seeing you grin at me made me feel as though I had just won the dog lottery. I had. Your smile would be your trademark greeting throughout your life. I would have to let people know when you greeted them that you were smiling because, as hilarious as your smile was, it was terrifying to people who didn’t know you, or didn’t know that dogs could smile like that. Every single time you smiled over the past eight years, every time you greeted me with all your teeth, it filled me with joy. I felt like a small child, clapping and laughing. I never tired of your smile and I will miss it so much. That funny little gesture filled me with so much love and joy every single day.

We lived on a 4000-acre farm in Florida when we got you, so you experienced the leashless freedom of a farm dog. But you never left us. Why would you? We walked you on and off the farm every day and you got used to seeing horses, cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, armadillos and various other wildlife. It was normal for you. I was always awestruck that when we ran into another animal, I could always call you off. When I said, “Rumble, come!” it was as if a gun had gone off and…

Dr Sarah Boston

Dr Sarah Boston is a veterinary surgical oncologist,author(Lucky Dog,House of Anansi Press),cancer survivor & comedian @drsarahboston