Guinness, 2004 – 2016

“On the evening of Tuesday, August 23, 2016, under blue skies, we lost ourGuinness, comfortably at home, aided by the capable and compassionate hands of our bonafide saint of a vet Dr. Anderson.

Guinness and I came together in 2005. I was finishing my degree and, worried that Sid, my other sheltie, wasn’t getting enough attention, I got him a younger brother. They took on a wild playing style which I would soundtrack with the Kirk v. Spock fight music from Amok Time.

There was also always a timid side to Guinness. I called him my Guinny-scare for his propensity to run to my side at the slightest loud noise. He hated fireworks, skateboards, the Blue Angels and above all: solo wheels, for which I would tell him, “It’s okay, baby. They *are* stupid.”

My boys followed me to Philadelphia then to Seattle. He and Sid made the grueling four-day crawl across the country in a small Subaru with me, two other people and a cat. Initially, it was tough to adjust—for me, not them—but eventually we settled in and nothing would tear us apart.

Then I met Zack Marley. From that first night, Guinness favored Zack. I would joke about feeling betrayed, that I was “chopped liver”. But Zack called them, “my sons” and I felt the joy of having my own family at last.

Guinness cheated death once. Diagnosed with melanoma in spring of 2015, we opted for extreme surgery, which removed half of his upper jaw. He bounced back with super-canine-like strength and, soon, was back to his same-old weird self; endlessly energetic and playful, annoying his now-old-man brother with his wild play.

We take solace knowing that he was like this until almost his last day. We thank everyone who was part of what would become his last weekend. We went to parties, met new dog friends, ate treats and pizza (and, because I’m not proud, butter), and cuddled watching Star Trek. We wandered the streets of Capitol Hill as far as his strength would take him. And when he could walk no more, we carried him.

I’ve managed to write all this without a single tear. Because he only ever made me supremely happy with his soft ears (especially the one with the wisp), uncannily clean smell, toothy-smile, Kabuki eyebrows and singular personality.

We’ll miss you and love you forever guinny sue, ginsu, guinea pig, guinny goose, gee-noose, guinny fresh, risky business, oh-so-emo, derpasaurus—our Guinness.

Wait for mummy.

I’ll be back soon.”