We adopted Enli on August 21, 2010 – two weeks after our wedding, and one day after Darren’s 25th birthday. We started that day furniture shopping, and somewhere along the way ended up looking for a dog instead. We’d been talking about wanting a dog for a while, and were living in an apartment where they were allowed. We had even decided on a name for our future dog, after an acquaintance posted on Facebook about an unusual name she found in a baby book. After a peek at the Humane Society‘s website, we saw posts for a couple Labrador puppies and went to go see them.
We wandered through the kennels at the Golden Valley location. The aforementioned puppies had been spayed/neutered that day, so they were sound asleep. Across the aisle, though, I saw a very excited dog jumping around greeting a little girl who was at the cage door. The girl and her dad moved on and we went over to see this dog, a 7-month-old mix who was called Halie, and we immediately knew we had to take her out to play. We took her outside and threw a Kong around for her, and Darren said very emphatically, “I want this dog!”
“Are you Enli?” I asked her.
Of course she was.
The money that was meant for a new couch or at least part of a honeymoon was spent on our new pup and all the supplies.
The first few months were rough, as anyone who ever had a puppy probably knows. There were certainly “what have we done?!” moments. She did potty train well, thank goodness, and in hindsight wasn’t actually too destructive. She wrestled with Buckley the cat, and learned quickly that Lucy was not to be messed with. When Buck died a couple years later (may he rest in power), we eventually adopted Winston and she had another cat playmate. When we started taking her to dog parks, they were the best thing ever. Other dogs were her favorite thing! People were her favorite thing! Everything was her favorite.
Like all dogs, Enli was quirky and goofy and sometimes annoying. She wasn’t much of a barker, until Darren taught her “speak!” and then she figured if she wanted anything, it’s easiest to bark for it. She very quickly learned that sleeping in bed is the best, especially under the covers when it’s cold. Sometimes she would sleep in and skip breakfast, so when she finally woke up she was so hungry she didn’t feel good and we’d have to make her eat peanut butter to show her that eating would make her feel better. When we would take her out into the yard of our apartment building, sometimes she would get into the yard next door because they had a dog she liked to play with, and she always flipped out when she got to see her best friend Tank down the street. When we moved into our house, having a yard of her own was the best because she got to sleep in the sun for as long as she wanted. It was even better when she got to lay on the hammock with us.
She mellowed out as she got older, and was always down to snooze on the couch while I watched Netflix. Trips to the park became less about the other dogs, and more about exploring, sniffing, and peeing on everything. Although when we adopted Madeline in the summer of 2017, playtime was abundant. Enli taught Maddie how to wrestle, but as far as we can tell that was the only thing she taught her.
Sometime in late summer, Enli started to wheeze a little when she would get riled up. In the middle of the night one night at the end of September, she started coughing up fluid and wouldn’t lay down. The next morning, she was diagnosed with heart failure. She spent the day at the vet, and came home with some prescriptions. We took her to a cardiologist, who found a mass on her heart. Unfortunately, heart failure made her a poor candidate for any sort of treatment for the mass. Fortunately, her medicine worked very well and for a while you would never have been able to tell she was ailing.
In December, all the things going on inside her started making it hard for her to find a comfortable position to lay down. I took her to the vet after Christmas and learned her illness was progressing, she likely had cancer, and soon enough we would have a decision to make. In the meantime, we’d focus on her comfort.
This week it became clear it was time. We gave her whatever food she wanted. I took some time off work. We cried a lot; I wept on the phone with the vet’s office but you know they get it. We took her in last night and said goodbye, and it sucked, and our hearts are broken. But hearing from all the people who loved her has been so nice, she practically had a fan club. Enli was the best girl.