Savannah came into my life when I was 11 years old. She was a year, and 6 months old when a friend of my mom’s gave her to us. I remember how terribly scared she was of my other yellow lab, Champ. Who we had since I was 5 years old as a puppy. Whenever Champ realized another dog was scared of him, he would take advantage of that and bully them. Not Savannah, I knew that was a good sign that maybe she was going to be a definite member of our family. Champ would try to approach her, but she’d flinch away from him. Like I said, Champ didn’t push her he just left her alone. It wasn’t long after she’d been with us that we noticed just how skiddish she was. Till this day and most of her past Vets agree, we believe that maybe she was abused. Not by our friend, but maybe her husband. But it didn’t take her too long to get comfortable.
They didn’t train her very well, because at 1 year and a half, she still had the Puppy PlayBite thing going on. I thought it was silly that I had to teach a one year old, black lab “No! No playbiting!” But eventually she learned. She warmed up to Champ, and drove him crazy with always wanting to play. Champ was already a decent age at this point. When I was about 12, I used to play a game with the both of them. I would make her very excited, and she run over to Champ trying to get him to play. Champ was so lazy and fat that he would play while laying down. So I would yell “Champ I’ll protect you!” And run over to him with a big blanket, and cover both of us. This would only make Savannah even more excited. She would run in circles around and around and around the blanket, trying to tear it off us. I remember giggling the whole time, until she would finally get tired out and pass out on the living room floor. Around this time my Cousin Victoria was about two. She could never say Savannah’s full name, instead it always came out as “Bannah”. Hence, how Savannah got her nickname “Bannah”. She knew both her full name and nickname!
As time passed, I was 18, and Champ became really ill, and I could see in his eyes that he was no longer happy. He wouldn’t eat, or even drink water. So it was time to let him move on. I remember crying everyday for months. Our Old Timer had finally passed away. It was hard because he was the oldest dog in the entire family. My aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, none of them had a dog as old as Champ was. Savannah Stayed with me on my bed all night. We both mourned him, and I personally don’t ever think she stopped. After that, she was never really the same. She would have frequent accidents on the floor, which was unsusual for her at the time. Her seperation Anxiety increased. If I wasn’t home for long hours she would become stressed and panicked. We learned that her biggest problem was that she was home alone, so we would take her to a friend’s farm and let her run free. It definitely seemed to make her much happier.
She was the goofiest Dog I have ever met in my entire life. I never met a clumbsy lab, but that was her. She would trip and slid, and she always seemed to be giggling every time she did. Weird, I know. When she would wag her tail, her whole body would move with it. I used to love to get her excited, because she would spin in circles and jump up and down. Even when she became old, she always tried to play. I use to take her out with me every time it snowed, and let her have fun while I shoveled. Our last weekend together we chased each other all around the yard in the snow. I’ll never forget it. And now I am 24, and she has passed away. When Champ was sick, we were in denial, and we felt guilty that we were selfish and made him suffer. Savannah was beginning to have trouble breathing. And I knew I couldn’t do to her, what we did to Champ. I’ll never forget feeling her heart stop. It was sad and beauitful at the same time. I am sure she is more than happy to be back with Champ again, I only wish I were there with them both. At first I was petrified, with her seperation anxiety, and all. That she would become scared that should couldn’t find me, and wonder where I was. But my mom reminded me, that Champ was probably there to tell her, right when she passed.
I wish I had a picture of both of them together, but I can’t seem to find it. Instead I chose this one, Savannah would always sleep in the cutest positions. This one is my favorite. She was hugging her feet against her face. But in all reality this is in memory of both my beloved Dogs, best friend’s in the whole world.
Champ “Michelle’s Platinum Champion” Feb 8 1993 – Augest 18 2006
Savannah “Bannah” July 15 1999 – March 21 2013
I love you both so much… I can’t wait til we meet again. <3 3=”” span=””>