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Sunday, September 15, 2019

"Cabin 2"

Almost 20 years ago, I petted Stella, Bro2's roommate's nasty little Jack Russell Terrier.  "This dog is pregnant", I said.  "No, no", Bro replied.  Never mind he had an unfixed dog in his apartment as his humanitarian effort to help the overcrowded dog pound and Stella wasn't spayed.  Bro laughed at the thought they could even get it together since Stella was tiny and the pound dog was enormous.

Really, when are people going to start believing me when I say stuff?  About a month later, Bro confirmed Stella's pregnancy and begged me to take a coming puppy.  I had an old Dalmatian and didn't want one, but gave Bro a chance.  I typed 2 single-spaced pages of requirements and said if a puppy was born that fit all of these needs I'd take it.

I was very specific.  I'd had years of b/w spotty dogs so I wanted a brown dog with a long tail, floppy ears, black nose, female, small like Stella, but with the pound dog's nice personality.  I knew the puppies would be Pisces and demanded one with an Aries ascendant so it would be able to stand up to my grouchy, old Dalmatian.  I wanted a good bark for security reasons.  On and on and on.  I wasn't trying to be reasonable.  I didn't really want a puppy, but I got one anyway.  She was too young to leave Stella too, just 4 weeks old, but Bro was in the Navy and got shipped to Bahrain so I had to take her.

Since she was so young, I paper trained her.  That's a helpful skill for a dog to have anyway since it gives an option if I'm away from the house too long.  I've never had any trouble training puppies, but this was the stupidest puppy ever.  Little turds were dropped just off the paper.  Little puddles on my wood floor.  I'll admit, I lost my patience and screamed about this after a few months.  No puppy should take that long to train.  Then, I caught my evil Dalmatian dropping puppy-sized poops on my floor, just missing the paper.  At least then my screaming was at the right culprit.  It's my everlasting shame that I yelled at my puppy for something she didn't do.  I apologized many times about that.  The Dal quit messing the house once she was busted.

My puppy was a devoted little dog.  Once, I went swimming in Lake Erie with a couple of friends.  We left all of our dogs on the deserted beach.  The other dogs ran around the beach like dogs do, but my tiny puppy swam out to me through the pre-storm choppy waves.  I was pretty far out and didn't see her at first.  I swam as fast as I could to rescue her.  She was exhausted and lay quietly in my arms as I used my old life saving skills to get her back to the beach.  I promised I'd never leave her on the beach again.

She managed my schedule and told me when to eat, when to work, when to watch TV.  She kept the groundhogs and rabbits under control until she got too old to chase them.  She daintily walked around my art piles on the floor.  She happily went on my de-littering walks in the neighborhood and did some pretty serious hiking with me through the years.  She was always sweet.

The first thing I do every day is fill her food and water bowls.  Today, they weren't there to fill.  I didn't know how to start my day.  I forgot to eat supper last night and almost forgot to brush my teeth.  I keep expecting to see her under my feet.  I'm lost and sad because my roommate of almost 20 years is gone.  I held her as she died and she wagged her long tail.  I sang her our song, "I love my dog, I love my dog, and my dog loves me!"

Some people don't understand how tight we get with our furry friends, or see why we'd want to care for another who will always be dependent like a child.  One person told me to quit having dogs since my heart breaks when they die.  People like that can't feel the love and companionship my puppy gave me through the years.  It's worth today's loss, though I'll miss her more than I can say.  I hope she's there to meet me when it's my turn to go to the other side.

She did have floppy ears except when there were varmints in
the yard or I was taking pictures of her.
The art above is an old doodle from when she was young and perky.  It doesn't have anything to do with a cabin other than taking her camping, but then IF is still falling behind on Friday words.


  1. Aw, I'm so sorry Linda. Penny, right? As I started reading this post, I was afraid of where it was going. What a sweetheart. You gave her a long, love-filled life.
    As I held the most recent dog we put down, I talked with the vet who'd come out to the house to do the deed. We talked of how we both hoped of heaven, and that our pets would be there too. He said, "when I go, my family members can wait. I want to see my dogs first".

  2. I like that idea. I want to see my dogs first too. Thanks for the sympathy. I know she was ancient and it was time, but I'll miss her.

  3. Aww Linda, this made me cry. I am so sorry to read this, your beloved pup what a devoted girl she was and 20 years...my that is incredible. You must have lots of happy memories to hang on to. I guess this day always has to come but it is a day we all dread. Sending you huge hugs. What a great life she had with you xx

    1. Thanks Jane. I was lucky to have her. Hugs back, and a hug for Billy too :)

  4. Linda, that is a beautiful obituary. Especially the memory of your small dog crossing the lake to be with you and you rescuing it. That really shows how much you have loved each other. And I like the remark of your vet: having his ancestors wait. After a pet dies, I feel amputated for weeks, months. During that time, in my mind, I take some time to just give them a cuddle. It helps.

  5. I'll admit I'm still talking to her in my mind and looking down expecting to see her in all the usual places. I expect it will take some time to find my new normal.

  6. I am very sorry for your loss, Linda. It's always sad to lose someone close to heart. But, at least you had a great time together. And yes, love always implies the loss at some time later. But it's always worth it.

  7. Thanks Otto. I wouldn't give her back for anything, even to avoid today's loss.

  8. I was stunned to see this post. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.


  9. Thanks. I know you liked her too. It was a sad day :(

  10. I'm sorry for your loss. What a special relationship you had! You've got me thinking of my own little pup who is 11-1/2 and has been dependent on several anti-seizure meds daily. She's the sweetest little thing - slow and chunky, and still loves people and other dogs. I tell myself that I will not be a dog parent anymore after she goes, but reading your story makes me wonder.