Scratchy passed last night. Peacefully and in our arms. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced and it was exactly how she was supposed to go. Surrounded by Laura, Rudy and myself. Even Baby Jane was snuggled up with her. She took her last breath and was gone.
Born December 10, 2002, Scratchy was a gift to us from an old employee of ours named Gene. We had just gotten Liberty in October and we were talking with Gene at our Christmas Party, when he mentioned that his English Lab just had a litter of pups. He told us we could have first pick of the littler for free, since Libby needed a playmate and sister. Excited and anxious we were. Gene lived up near Los Angeles, so when the day came to pick her out, we all loaded on the car, including Libby and we made the 2 hr trek.
I remember reading up on puppy selecting and trying to educate myself. They call it puppy-testing and it’s not much more that educated guessing. There are little tricks and ways to act around a pup, to see if they are timid, too aggressive or just right for your needs. In our case, the pup had to get along with Libby, first and foremost. Lib met with all of the pups and interacted and got along great. From there we started to weed out the boys and concentrate of a baby sister. We did a bunch of other little tests, but I’ll never forget the one that assured me, this was our little girl.
One at a time and completely away (and out of sight) from all other pups, I would take one, set her down on the grass, walk 6’ away, get down on my knees and call her over. Only one puppy came to me. This little black fuzz ball with this fresh, red scratch, right across her nose. When I asked Gene what had happened, he said that she was the runt and got her nose scratched while fighting for mom’s nipple. Scratchy was our new baby.
We have a million memories with her. She’s traveled with us to over 40 states, 5 Canadian Provences, dozens of National Parks, countless rivers and lakes and endless nights on our laps at home. “In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make”. She was to epitome of love.