June 12, 2013
Alyssa broke her right rear leg today, on her daily walk at The Swamp, on flat, grassy ground. She had lost her right front leg after a break in October of 2011. Alyssa was 12 years old in March of this year.
We called her our “needy girl”. Alyssa was wary of being knocked around by excited housemates and often rested in seclusion- her own favored bed in my closet, or in our bedroom when we were all in the greyt room. But she’d peek around the corner regularly, and all I had to do was whisper her name; she’d come running to where I was sitting, brace her empty shoulder against my thigh and put her head in my lap for long periods of petting time before she’d disappear again. Other times, she’d cling to our legs by leaning, halting us in our tracks.
If saying Alyssa was needy implies weakness, it would be a misconception. Jerry and I admired her for her strength- in both body and character. The day following her amputation when we were able to visit, the tech brought her through a doorway at the end of a hall and she ran the length of that hallway to greet us.
It was Alyssa who forced Jerry into a ride to somewhere (anywhere) each morning and it was Alyssa who led the pack on every walk at The Swamp in the afternoons, through mud puddles in the winter and along uneven trails all year long, with all four legs, and then just three. She was insistent. She was persistent. She was courageous.
She was Alyssa and there has never been anyone like her.