Gali, 1991–2005


GaliI’d known Gali (given name: “Galadriel”) almost as long as I’d known the Wilsons. (Sari and I started dating in late 1990; Gali arrived the following year.) She was a great dog and we’re all really going to miss her. Gali was a family dog in the truest sense of the word. Although she was bonded most closely to Nancy, Sari’s mom, she had a unique relationship with each other family member, from Sari’s three brothers to Sari to her dad to significant others like myself.

Like a lot of people, Gali was fiercely loyal to the family and not well disposed toward strangers or others of her own kind. As a pack animal, Gali was never happier than when everyone was together. It was part of her ritual to periodically make sure the whole family was accounted for in the house by running up to each person and tapping them one by one with her wet nose. This year, Sari’s brother Dean and his wife Paisley produced a little baby boy, and Gali immediately included Kai in her accounting process.

Gali had special talents too. One was her ability to open Christmas presents layer by layer; first the wrapping paper, then the box, and then the item inside. Very carefully, just using her paws and front teeth. She could also eat corn off the cob — again, very daintily — if you held the cob for her and spun it carefully around. She could do typical dog stuff too: she loved to play in the snow; gnaw a bone; chase a ball, stick, or frisbee; take a walk by the river; and lie in front of a roaring fire. As anyone who’s ever had a dog knows, there’s nothing more peaceful than spending ten minutes petting a contented dog. Gali was particularly good at that. Even though she was a mutt, Gali cut a handsome figure, with her silky fur and elegant snout. Most of all, she was a loving, intelligent pooch, and was a key bond in cementing the closeness of Sari’s family.

After many years of perfect health, Gali started showing her age a bit in recent years. (14 is pretty old for a mid-size dog like her.) She developed arthritis and had a bout of dizziness and stumbles. Then a couple of weeks ago, she developed pneumonia. When she didn’t get better and started to lose her appetite, the Wilsons brought her back to the vet. Last week they diagnosed her with lung cancer.