Hi, everyone. Averry here with a completely self-indulgent out-of-character post that ultimately relates to the blog only tangentially. I know I keep saying I don’t like stepping out of character like this, especially since I already did not too long ago, but in this case, the blog is also my outlet. Thank you in advance for bearing with me, and apologies in advance for this not being at all what you normally come here to read.
Regular readers know that one of the blog’s running jokes is that Garrosh plays a game called Earth Online, which rests on the premise that our world is actually an MMO, and the in-game world of Azeroth is reality. I’m sure it won’t come as much of a shock that I’ve sometimes used the conceit of Earth Online to refer to things in my real life — for instance, the fact that Garrosh plays the teacher class “in-game” is a nod toward my real career.
On a couple of occasions, Garrosh has mentioned an in-game vanity pet that he’s fond of, a dog named Sawyer. This was an unabashed reference to my own dog, a West Highland white terrier whom I adopted a few years ago from a local westie rescue group. The fact is, Sawyer had already worked his way into the blog in other, less obvious ways — I’d long ago come to think of him as the personality basis for Mortimer: naturally feisty, oftentimes cranky, fiercely loyal, frequently a handful. And always boundlessly endearing, to the point of finding a soft spot (kind of) even in Garrosh.
Very late last night (or very early this morning, depending on how you’re counting), after several days of struggle with deteriorating medical issues, Sawyer had to be put to sleep.
He kept fighting to the end. Sawyer had been rescued from a puppy mill, so he was no stranger to adversity; even after being rescued, two would-be adoptive families returned him to the rescue organization after finding his brand of canine PTST was too difficult to deal with. It was only because of those returns that he ultimately wound up with me. Oddly enough, in all the days since he moved in, I don’t think I can remember a single one that he tried my patience to a degree that even registered. (Maybe that’s a perk of working with high school students, who knows.)
When Sawyer was first rescued, his age was estimated at about two years, based on his small size and puppy-like behavior, so I figured I would have him with me for a decade or more. Two years of age became nine or ten after eventual dental work revealed he had the teeth of a much older dog; still, I thought, that left me with another four or five years, more if we were lucky. By the time our luck ran out this week, our time together had run its course in just under three years total.
Three years were over too soon. Then again, twenty years would have been over too soon. Somehow, though, I really don’t feel cheated. Three years were a gift.
Yes, I know, I’m one of those crazy sentimental dog people. (I can not watch the last five minutes of “Jurassic Bark.”)
Friends and guildmates have long been familiar with Sawyer’s antics — I’m sure many of them got sick of hearing me talk about him. And more than one raid was punctuated by the sounds of a squeak toy over vent. And there may or may not have been an add or two that I didn’t pick up very quickly to tank because a certain someone was pawing at my arm. I wish everyone could have met him.
As I’m sure you’ll all understand, Sawyer’s fight for life has been a major factor in the blog going quiet for the last several days. I’m probably going to continue to be quiet for a little while more. While I have a lot of stories in the pipeline that I’ve been pretty excited about, I really don’t feel very funny right now, much less ready to take on some of the darker, serious stuff (of which, um, there’s a lot). Rest assured, Garrosh’s misadventures will be back again in short order. Thank you for your ongoing patience.
If you happen to have a dog — or any pet, for that matter — give a few extra hugs tonight. If you don’t, maybe take your companion pug for a walk around Pandaria. Or, better yet, look up a local rescue organization, and send along a small donation to help undeserving slobs like me continue to have their lives graced by the best friends they’ll ever know.
Sweet dreams, Sawyer. Thank you for rescuing me.