I almost feel like it’s not right to post photos of Hanako this way, so I found one from a few months ago. She’s old, but it wasn’t just a month ago that she would run around in the backyard for just a bit with me. She acted like a pup, messing around and posturing in a ready to play stance. Of course at 17 years old, she’s slowing down quite a lot. Today, her body’s giving out and her mannerisms and sounds she’s making are different. Shiba’s are known to sometimes run away at the end of their lives. Some say, to die dignified and in private. Hanako seemed intent on walking around this morning and we couldn’t get her to sit still.
After We put on her collar and leash, it made her relax. She loved to go outside and the leash would make her happy. My mom pet her until she went to sleep. I hope Hanako is ok with this. Her days, if that, are quite limited. I stopped in, on the way to this trip I’m on, and said goodbye. This is the scene I left.
Now I’m sitting in a hotel, trying to think of the many, many moments of Hanako. She’s been around for a while – practically half my life and through the life of Giant Robot magazine. She was the first Shiba in a succession of them in our family, each family member getting a Shiba probably hoping theirs could match up to Hanako. People talk about their best dogs, and without a doubt, Hanako’s the smartest, cleverest, and perhaps most human. Through past friends, family members, trips, events, and work, I can easily remember moments where she somehow interacted with them. A lot of things have come and gone, and Hanako’s been around for it all. If she wasn’t sitting at the dinner table being part of the action, then she was somewhere nearby taking it in. She’s had a great life and ours have been alright too.