It’s been a rough weekend. I came home yesterday evening to discover our Siberian Husky Ingrid on the floor near our kitchen unable to get up. I managed to get her up only to watch her fall again. I got her into our bedroom where she sleeps and she collapsed again. Doreen gave Ingrid water and hand fed her. Then we let her sleep.
This morning we were hopeful that a night’s sleep in the comfort of our room would help. Unfortunately Ingrid couldn’t get up. We knew it was time.
Ingrid was the baby of the two dogs we acquired shortly after Doreen and I got together. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman were our four-legged kids before we had the two-legged kind.
Ingrid was always “Doreen’s dog.” I didn’t know anything about Siberian Huskies before we acquired her and was reluctant to adopt one. But she literally dug her way into my in-laws’ yard, and then dug her way into our hearts.
She was a sick puppy at first, but we saw right away the formidable personality we were dealing with. It took both of us laying on top of her to put her ear medicine in. Cutting her nails would inspire arias that Maria Callas would envy. Giving her a pill was similar to prying open the jaws of an alligator.
And she was stubborn. Most dogs move out of your way. I was always saying to Ingrid as I stepped over her, “Don’t get up or anything.” Except, of course, when my hands were full. Then she would jump in a panic and get tangled in my feet.
Ingrid was our hunter. The “beware of dogs” sign was really for the nearby animals. Rabbits and birds were not safe within the confines of our fence.
I never got to see the “Siberian” in Ingrid. When it came to any inclement weather, Ingrid became a wilting flower. She would look up at me as if to say, “you, want me, to go out in that?” On the other hand, on sunny and warm days Ingrid would stretch out to catch every ray she could.
Ingrid did not hate winter completely. She loved it when the snow drifts would get high enough for her to climb them and jump our fence. She never went far – she knew where she had it good.
Ingrid had a playful side, especially when she played with Doreen or our other dog Bogart. She always thought she was cleverer than she actually was, and once Bogart made her pay for it by cornering her in the yard, moments before hockey checking her into the fence. She got right back up and soon was “buzzing” Bogart in the yard again.
Her passing this morning at the veterinary clinic was very peaceful, and we’re grateful to the staff of the Wisconsin Veterinary Referral Center for everything they did to make her passing easier. She died in Doreen’s arms.
Ingrid would have been 15 in September. We’ll miss her terribly. I don’t know about the theology, but somewhere Ingrid and Bogart are together again chasing rabbits and digging holes in God’s backyard. After her nap.