|In March of 2014, we adopted Abbey (I like to call her “Abbey the Super Labbie”) through Safe Harbor Lab Rescue. Abbey was 5-6 at the time, was found as a stray in Utah, and sat in a kill shelter for 30 days before SHLR saved her and brought her to her amazing Colorado foster family who loved her during her transition time with them and beyond. We are fully convinced that Abbey’s strong opinions about being in a crate prevented her from being adopted from the shelter, and still can’t believe we were given the opportunity to adopt such a loving and amazing dog!
Abbey quickly settled into her “furever” home with us, and while she didn’t know how to swim and wasn’t into fetching anything (despite her appearance we started to wonder if she was really a Lab) she sure loved all of the outdoor activities we loved…from hiking to camping to trail running to backcountry skiing, Abbey was IN! From the moment she would see us loading the car, there was no way she was letting us out the house for a fun adventure without her 🙂 Abbey also loved food. Most Labs love food…but this dog LOVED food (don’t get me started on her ability to pull me across the park for a banana peel, the kid at the coffee shop who somehow “lost” his sandwich, our nephew who didn’t want to come to Denver ever again because of what she did with his crayon, or the elk shoulder she found on a hike and wouldn’t drop for miles…until she was so tired from carrying it that her mouth was shaking that is)! But most importantly, she loved her people (especially cuddling us on every couch and bed in the house) and oh did we love her!
A year and a half after we got Abbey, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. She went through surgery and chemotherapy treatments and was such a trooper through all of it you wouldn’t know she had cancer. She quickly got back to her active lifestyle, and even joined a program called YAPS (Youth and Pet Survivors) where she became a pen pal and wrote letters back and forth with a child oncology patient. Abbey and the child would share stories about their treatments and their other fun adventures…Abbey loved it, and admittedly I’m a bit biased but I think her goofy Lab personality made her perfect for the job 🙂 We were hopeful Abbey’s cancer treatments would give us a couple more years with her, and it reminded us to enjoy, appreciate and love every minute we had with her.
Back to the “Abbey the Super Labbie” part…after her cancer treatments, Abbey gave us everything she had, and we were able to share five more incredible years together! And in those five years, she was healthy and was able to do all of her favorite activities right up until the end in July 2020 when the cancer came back and she told us it was her time to say goodbye. Letting her go was probably the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do, and she still makes me both laugh and cry on a regular basis…I expect she always will. We love you and miss you like crazy, Abbey! Thank you, Safe Harbor Lab Rescue for giving us the privilege of loving this sweet girl!