133 days with Peggy

Steer clear if you can't handle sad dog stories
  1. This is Peggy on October 17, 2015, the day I brought her home. The rescue group let me keep her for the night to see how things went. But within a few hours I was hooked.
  2. Her name was Sandy originally. But she didn't respond to it all that well, and I'm really into Hamilton, and Mad Men, so she was reborn as Peggy.
  3. Here's Peggy in my bed on our first night together. She had lived with a family for 8 months, but they had an elderly grandparent living with them who kept letting her out.
  4. She was very cold and withdrawn initially, but after some forced cuddles with me she started to open up a bit.
  5. She also had a TON of energy. Every day we went on multiple walks and to the dog park.
  6. On weekends, we went on long walks. She was still pretty bad at coming when you called her name, but we were working on it so that she could eventually go off the leash.
  7. We got into a pretty regular routine. On Tuesdays, when I worked longer hours, she went to doggie daycare, which she LOVED.
    They took this of her at daycare, where she was known as Peggy Sue
  8. She was always totally chill in the car. I took her everywhere, including home to meet the Fam for thanksgiving!
  9. She and my sister really hit it off; I suspect Peggy sensed our kindred spirits.
  10. So she of course came home for Christmas, as well.
  11. In the new year, I started making plans to move back to Atlanta. Peggy was sort of my only friend in the town where I lived.
  12. One night in February, Peggy started throwing up and couldn't stop. We went to the vet ER and they gave her fluids and some nausea meds. I couldn't stand to leave her at home the next day, so she came to work with me.
    I teach middle school—naturally the kids flipped for her
  13. And Peggy recovered nicely, though it has been really scary for a second there.
  14. At the end of February, Peggy and I drove to Atlanta for a job interview, and my sister decided to fly in for the weekend to surprise our parents.
    Peggy was pumped!
  15. On February 27, I picked up my sister at the airport on my way into town, and as we merged back onto the highway, this happened.
  16. We were slammed from behind by a commercial van. By some terrible coincidence, the back window was open, and Peggy, terrified, jumped out as soon as the impact occurred and ran off.
    I normally wouldn't even have the window down. She wasn't the kind of dog who even stuck her head out.
  17. We watched her dart through six lanes of freeway traffic but somehow make it to the shoulder where she ran into the woods. We pulled off the road and were so frantic trying to find her that I didn't even realize for a good ten minutes that this had happened to me:
    Fractured first metacarpal
  18. The cops came, but neither they nor either of the other two cars involved seemed to grasp how desperate I was to find Peggy. They wouldn't let me leave the shoulder to look for her for more than a few minutes. Eventually I went to the ER with my mother while my father and sister searched until well after dark.
  19. That night when we still hadn't found her, the crowd sourcing began.
  20. We got up early the next day and looked everywhere for hours. So many people both in person and online came out to help. But we couldn't find any trace of her. It was an awful feeling to know she was out there somewhere, hungry and terrified and alone.
  21. I still had job interviews Monday and Tuesday that somehow I made it through. We kept looking, of course, calling and checking shelters and returning to the accident site with food and treats, hoping she'd come back.
  22. Then the call came while I was at the Tuesday interview. She'd been hit on the highway and didn't make it. She must've been hiding for three days, some place where we just couldn't get to her.
  23. I was devastated. I still am.
  24. I had surgery on my broken hand. It healed, and I got a new car. But there was no getting Peggy back.
  25. I still worry about leaving the door open, or dropping coffee beans on my kitchen floor, which she'd always try to eat.
  26. In the end, I only had her for four and a half months. But she was my first dog, my closest friend during a lonely time for me. I can't forget her or emphasize how much she mattered to me during our short time together.
  27. But even if I'd known it would end this way, totally beyond all comprehension and control, I still would have brought her home.
  28. Peggy, you were here and you were loved.