Duffy is gone. Freed from the body that had failed her.
She was the only dog I had who lived to 15. She also came from the worst start in life. Rescued from a dog fighting operation where she was being used as bait, at just a few weeks old, that girl was fearless.
She was the dog who taught me about hardening fences. She lived most of her life with four other dogs, plus a few foster dogs, all of them bigger than her. She was the only dog who never was let out alone, and who only went out after dark on a leash.
She never asked for much beyond food, water and an occasional reminder that she was loved. And she was. She was my imp. She helped keep me humble. And pay attention.
Which is why I saw it. For the first time in 15 years. When her back end gave out (not for the first time, this had been getting more and more frequent over the past month) and she was having trouble getting her feet under her. Fear. And I knew.
Run free, sweet girl. No pain, no fear. Just love.