I remember the day I walked into that shelter and picked Goliath over his 8 yellow siblings. The day he rode back to my house with me, his brother, and my boyfriend’s sister in the back seat of her car. I remember that day so well…
It was the day I met my best friend.
That day was about 8 1/2 years ago. Goliath was a cute little 2 month old puppy who had been dumped at the Animal Rescue League in Laurel, Mississippi in the middle of the night with his brothers and sisters.
I was a dumb 18 year old kid and told myself I was going to the shelter “looking for a job”. Deep down I knew I was really looking for a puppy. I was jobless, living in a 2 bedroom shack with 3 other people and was in no way ready to bring a puppy into my life. But, being the dumb kid I was, I got a puppy anyway.
The first few years of his life I struggled to be a good owner financially. If it wasn’t for loans from my dad, I never would have been able to afford some of the expenses that came with owning a dog.
It’s been over 8 years since the day that dumb kid named Desteny met Goliath. During those years he’s been there through nearly all the ups and downs in my adult life.
He was there with me through multiple miscarriages, two marriages, and one divorce. He’s moved into 8 different houses with me and we’ve lived in 3 different states. He was so happy to see me return from the hospital with Bee last year and he is great with her now. Even when she’s crawling on him or trying to feed him her toys, Goliath puts up with it and doesn’t complain (although he does retreat to our bedroom when he needs a break from her!).
I’ve heard people say you only get one “great” dog. That you might own multiple dogs during your life and love them all, but one will stand out as the best.
I have a feeling Goliath is the best dog I’ll ever own.
He’s getting old, now, too. The signs of aging have been obvious for a while. This last winter those signs really started screaming “Look at me! Look at me!” when Goliath began walking funny and quit acting like himself.
After seeing multiple vets and spending way too much money, we were told Goliath had 4 herniated disks in his back and HAD to have a surgery that was guaranteed to leave him paralyzed. There was a chance the paralysis would last just a couple days, but it could last up to 2 months.
Goliath is a big dog, about 105lbs, and there was no way I’d be able to cope with a dog that size being paralyzed for more than a couple days. Not only that, it was a very expensive surgery to fix just one of the four disks.
I told the vet we weren’t going through with the surgery and he then led me to believe one day, very soon, Goliath would suddenly be unable to walk and we would have to put him to sleep.
I was devastated! I know I’ll never be ready to say goodbye to him, but my best buddy wasn’t supposed to leave me yet. I always hoped I’d get at least 10 years out of him.
I found myself on the computer day and night trying to find something else that might work. I came across a forum where people were discussing acupuncturists and chiropractors for dogs. It sounded like a crazy idea, but it was worth a shot, right?
I found a holistic vet not far from our house who specialized in both treatments. As hard as it still is for me to believe, she worked magic! He’s seen her multiple times over the last 5 months. Usually she just does acupuncture with the exception of two visits where she followed the acupuncture with some spinal adjusting.
Goliath walks so much better now and he’s back to his normal self personality wise! Maybe I will get those 10 years out of him after all.
This seemingly “close call” earlier this year really opened my eyes. I can’t ignore the fact that Goliath’s last days are going to be here sooner rather than later.
I want something to remember him by when he’s gone. That need brought me to create this with him earlier in the week:
I was given the picture frame from my in-laws for Christmas last year. You can find one just like it here. I can’t think of a better use for it than to memorialize Goliath. I absolutely love it and it was relatively easy to do.
I’m not going to lie. This isn’t an idea original to me. I saw stuff like this floating around Pinterest. I’m not sure who came up with this project first, but I think it’s brilliant!
Black acrylic craft paint
Small paint brush
Two rags – one wet, one dry
A picture frame
I printed “Goliath” at the bottom of a few pieces of card stock before starting. I went through multiple pages trying to get the perfect paw print. I’d recommend printing at least 5 pages, putting a paw print on all 5, and *hopefully* you’ll come out with one you really like!
I painted Goliath’s paw with the black paint. Then I pressed it onto the card stock. This was easier said than done! Even though Goliath is a very mild mannered, well behaved dog and didn’t struggle, he wasn’t quick to help me out, either.
I added more paint to his paw and did it again and again on different pieces of card stock until I liked what I had.
It wasn’t the picture perfect, cartoon-like paw print I’d dreamed of, but it works:
He wasn’t the biggest fan of this, but, as usual, he tolerated the torture.
Once I was done with the paint, I washed and dried his paw off with a couple rags.
I let the paper dry overnight and put it into the frame the next morning.
I absolutely love this thing already! I have a feeling it will be something I grow to cherish once he leaves me for the big dog house in the sky.
If you like this and want to make one yourself, pin it and save it for later!