People say you get one good dog and one good horse in your lifetime. Now I’m not sure if I’ve had that one good horse yet, but I have no doubt in the world that I have my one good dog. Throughout the last fourteen years of my life I’ve had a lot of ups and downs, been through a few horses, lots of friends, losses and gains. The one constant I’ve had in my life is Cookie.

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If you know me, you know that since I knew what a horse was, I’ve been obsessed with them. Well for a period of time from second to fourth grade I was horseless, so needless to say Cookie became my fill in horse. She would load up in the trailer for hours on end and go on “rides,” let me wash her outside at the hose multiple times a week, be lunged featuring my genius method of putting a tennis ball on the end of a fishing pole, and at night would jump in “shows” I put on for the neighbors.

Cookie walked with my Mom to drop us off at school and then back again to pick us up at the end of the day. She always waited quietly and would start wagging her tail when she spotted my brother and I. She would run beside us when we rode our bikes. We were allowed to walk up to the school to play on the playground as young kids if we took Cookie with us.

As I grew older I never drifted apart from Cookie because she just grew up with me. Senior year in high school was a rollercoaster and Cookie was there throughout it all. She kept Tana company when she first came home and taught her to walk in a straight line. We went on numerous trail riders at Pilchuck Tree Farm. I’ve never had to worry about Cookie around the horses she just knew what to do. At barrel races she stands at the fence of the warm up arena with my Mom and watches me get ready to make my run. When I enter the arena you can guarantee to hear at least one bark from Cookie. Cookie is the first one ready to leave at 3 a.m. to head out and doesn’t mind if we don’t get home till 9 p.m.

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People always say, you have the happiest dog in the world. It’s true Cookie is the happiest dog, which has made her such a good traveling partner over the years. Cookie’s life hasn’t been the easiest in the world and her never ending happiness has helped through the bumps along the way. Two years ago while on a walk with my Mom and Dad, Cookie was attacked by another dog. The next day she underwent surgery and was incredibly blessed to be 100 percent following the attack. Then last fall she suffered nerve damage losing her ability to walk on her own, after many months of rest, we had a Christmas Miracle and she was able to walk again. One evening at the barn she stood up and walked down the lawn towards my Mom. Through both of these tragic events she never once lost her happiness and good spirit.

Freshman year of college I had to suddenly come home after being bucked off for the first time in ten years. Even though I was disappointed Cookie wasn’t in the car when my Mom pulled up, I knew she would be waiting at home. The week of recovery was long and emotional but having Cookie made it that much better. She laid on top of me while I laid on the couch for three days straight. I took her on short walks when my Mom would finally let me get up and I of course snuck her all the ice cream I was getting to eat.

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There’s nobody else I’d want to have by my side while I’m chasing this dream. I can’t thank my Mom enough for always letting me bring her, even when it’s probably not the wisest idea. Because who else would I be passed out with at 3:30 in the morning on the way to Wenatchee in the backseat of the pickup. But at the end of the day my Mom knows Cookie is my sanity. Plus, I know Cookie loves to go to the barrel races because chances are there’s a kid with a lunchbox and he or she is more than likely to share whatever is inside.

I’ll never be able to thank Cookie for everything she’s done for me the last two thirds of my life. For listening when nobody else would, being Tana’s best dog friend, comforting me when I needed it, those long drives at sunset that ended with whipped cream and bones from coffee stand girls, and for just being you. Other dogs will come in my lifetime, but nobody will ever be Cookie.

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