A few years ago, my brother’s dog Nibbles went deaf. And she had weak hips for years. But still, she couldn’t give a shit. Even when she struggled to jump into the car or even up on the couch, or couldn’t hear a thing, she never let some bullshit failing of her hearing or joints to stop her from doing her duty: to be a protector, leader, carer and mate of the ones who were most important to her.
No matter what, she never let it stop her showing love (and from giving endless face licks), or from protecting her pack: my brother, his girlfriend and the other dogs, Kelly and Bob.
Even through all challenges, she had a duty –to protect her pack– and she did it up all the way until she died last week.
This was Nibbles.
Through the good times and the difficulties of both hers and the ones people around her went through, she always remained the leader of her pack, an unconditional friend and protector of my brother, his girlfriend and the other dogs. This is what and who Nibbles was. No matter the difficulty, no matter the trials, she had a duty. She was the head of her pack (the other dogs) and my brother was the leader of hers. She stuck by him, warned him if something was wrong or strange going on outside, and was there every time he needed.
This was Nibbles. A leader, a follower, a protector, a best mate.
And Nibbles was also a teacher. She lives on in the way she helped make my brother who he is, and his girlfriend who she is, and Kelly and Bob who they are, and helped give them strength to get through challenges.
Like this one right now.
Those (people or animals) that are there with us through challenging times don’t help us directly; they help us see what we are capable of and how strong we really are, especially in challenging times. With more time we become more connected to them (which sucks even more when they go), but they help us to be strong enough to face further challenging times in the future. Challenging times like the time when they themselves die.
So this is Nibbles:
And this is her too, jumping on the back of my brother’s leg (she got jealous sometimes. Like ‘Why are you giving someone else attention? I don’t get it’. And fair enough.)
The memory of Nibbles lives on as a dog that loved the bush, loved my brother, loved my brother’s girlfriend, that Kelly and Bob looked up to and tried to mimic, and that did what she had to do to make sure that her pack was always safe and happy.
And the memory of her also lives on as a dog that fucking hated motorbikes. And why wouldn’t she? Good girl, Nibble, fuck those noisy pieces of shit.