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A Family Member With Four Legs



She has lived in 6 states and has an Icelandic name and is part of our family! Vigdis is the puppy that joined us almost 16 years ago and has moved from the DC area to the great Southwest, then to the Low Country at Charleston AFB, then to the beautiful Northwest, made a short stop in Ohio and has settled into Michigan with us in our retirement place! She has also visited many locations with our adult children as we PCS'd to avoid lengthy stays in the kennel while we waited for housing.

Her travels have been epic (do I dare say she hates to fly!??)and frequent. Her roles in the family have been just as varied. She has been a guard dog in Albuquerque when our house was broken into; a friend to introduce our new grandchildren to and who allowed them to say hello in a child's way with barely a peep. A friend on the long walks we have taken in many places. She chased the geese away at McChord AFB as we laughed aloud and then held our breath as she took on the bigger dog who she deemed a threat. But always an even spirited friend and the perfect hostess when other pets visited.

But this weekend Vigdis showed us that she was old despite a clean bill of health from the vet (although the fact she is deaf is pretty clear). She started having seizures or some other trauma that caused her to act very sick and caused us to start thinking of what might happen. After dealing with her most of the night we woke up wondering if we would find her awake in her normal sleep spot under our bed.

She has always slept there as if she knew that was her guard duty location (I need to mention that is where she launched from and chased the intruder in New Mexico who had broken in and she chased him away before the household males could engage the bad guys!). Knowing she was there while I was away on a long TDY mission made it easier for me to rest comfortably.

She is truly a military brat in the best sense of the phrase and has served us and the country well! We have picked out a beautiful spot in our woods for her that we had previously nicknamed Eden. Maybe she will surprise us and stay healthy for a bit longer but we are preparing for the worst and it is not easy.

We hope your family can enjoy a pet as they have added so much to our lives and have been great partners with us during that crazy and hectic lifestyle of a military family. There are many opportunities to adopt and enjoy a pet! Just remember they do become part of the family and need your love and care.

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