She wasn't always a good dog, but she was mine and I loved her. She was a fence jumper. She was nervous around strangers and dogs. She was a protector. She never understood Fetch. For some reason, she believed that she wasn't allowed the furniture, so she'd sneak up on the couch or the bed when we weren't looking. If we caught her, she'd slink away, maintaining eye contact like she was mind controlling us into not seeing her.
And she was meant to be ours. Her mother, a stray around our neighborhood at the time, shoved her under our back gate on my birthday. So, we figured that was fate and we kept her.
It was really hard to lose her. Leia, even though she's only a year and a half, knew something was wrong when I took Cymber out of the house. She banged on the door after I'd left before grabbing her little robot dog and sat by the door, hugging it. It amazes me how perceptive kids are.
We knew it was coming. She'd slowed down. She was greying from all of her tips-- snout, tail, and paws. Like the white was going to meet in the middle of everything. We had always talked about getting another dog after she was gone. Then we ended up with Gent.
When Cymber was about six, Spike died. Spike was pretty awesome, but more than that, he was Cymber's packmate. After his death (at no younger than thirteen), Cymber wasn't really the same. That's when she got skittish. I often think back on it and wonder how much we messed up by not getting another dog for her to be with. So, when we lost Cymber, we were already a little prepared. Though no amount of preparation makes it easier.
We decided that Gent needed to get through some training classes before bringing another dog in. He's a bit of a handful. But I made a mistake a long time ago. I started following the local Animal Welfare page on Facebook. I did it because they often post pictures and information about missing pets. But they also post about animals for adoption. I used to be able to ignore it. I knew we weren't getting another dog, so I just scrolled by them. But I guess something had switched in my brain. Or maybe the picture was just too much Cymber and Spike put together for me to ignore.