She was no bigger than a peanut and she was forever cold. Edna Lou came to Norm from a shelter, "a couple" of years old. She was surrendered to shelter life by someone who decided to open a daycare for children in their home and they could no longer keep the dog. Edna spent some long hours at home alone, often coiled up near the wood burner or in Norm's favorite chair. My first recollection of her was seeing her bouncing up and down, jumping straight up from the floor, into the air, as if she was spring-loaded from the feet. Those screen doors that are solid halfway up and a window on top? When she sprung into the air, you would see her big ears and eyes in the window for a split second. Boing! Boing! Boing! She was jumping at good 3 feet into the air. How she landed on those creepy little feet repeatedly without hurting herself I will never understand.
Edna was definitely Norm's dog. She was good with me, but always seemed worried. Her worry played itself out in the form of odd habits, like licking the floor constantly. She fidgeted a lot if you had to touch her, not cooperating with us for things like nail trims. She went for walks when she felt like it, and if she didn't feel like it, she would just sit down and refuse to move. We carried her home more than once. She liked to ride in the car, but only if she could be on Norm's lap.
Edna slept with us, usually curled up next to Norm, though as she got older and more accustomed to me, she was affectionate with me too. Yet, she never lost that worried look. When she looked at me, I always felt like she was repeating the question "Do you love me? Do you love me?"
She started slowing down a bit in late 2010, and she started to show her age, which at that point we estimated to be somewhere between 9 and 10. Appetite came and went, bowel function good some days, not good other days, occasional vomiting--by spring 2011 something was clearly not right. Several vet visits later, the bad news that a mass was growing in her gut. The advice was to keep her as comfortable as we could, indulge her as much as we were able, and enjoy whatever time we had left. We celebrated her 10th birthday in March that year (which really wasn't her birthday but it's when she came home with Norm) and then the next month it became apparent that the rainbow bridge was calling. It was in those final days that I saw something different in her eyes. Instead of the questioning "Do you love me? Do you love me?", instead what I saw was "You really do love me, don't you?" And it's true. This odd little dog had captured my heart in a big way. We set Edna free from this life on May 5, 2011. Wrapped in a pink blanket that she got for Christmas in 2010, we placed her little body in a walnut box that Norm crafted with his own hands, and buried her in our back yard.
To not end the this story on a completely sad note, I have to relay the funny part of that day. My awesome co-workers knew that Norm and I were grieving, so they were kind enough to have flowers sent to our house. Unbeknownst to us, the floral delivery man arrived while we were out in the back yard, shoveling the hole where we would lay Edna to rest. He rang the doorbell, no answer. Seeing the garage door open, he walked into the garage, placed the flower arrangement on the wooden box that was sitting on the workbench, and left. Tearfully making our way back to the garage from the backyard, we entered the garage, saw the spray of flowers sitting on Edna's burial container, and burst out laughing. Leave it to Edna to send flowers to her own funeral. There will never be another one like her.