Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tribute to an "E" Dog

I never wanted a dog. Really! I had been deathly afraid of them since I was a toddler when I was licked by a huge Boxer who was taller than I was! Dogs terrified me. I would cross the street anytime I saw one in my path. This went on for years. I would have been incredulous if anyone ever even hinted that this might change. My fears did diminish somewhat over time to the point where I was no longer terrified. But just barely.

Then came the fateful day. Ratchlet was about 5 years old, she and the Big Guy dragged me (literally) to "come see the puppy". Well, he was adorable, and friendly, and fluffy, and small! There I was -- surrounded by wagging tail, sweet face, and pleading looks from Mikey, Ratchlet and the puppy! "Please, Mommy, can't we please take him home! Please! Please!! He loves me already! See? I'll feed him and take care of him and take him to the park! Please?, Please??" ....Well, what would you have done?? We took him home.

Since that time, I've totally gotten over any fear I had. In fact, the pendulum has swung completely in the other direction. I fell in love with dogs. Ultimately, over the years we had five canine members of our family. I'm not quite sure how it started, but years ago, we began to name our dogs in alphabetical order...silly I know, but it seemed reasonble at the time. Whether it was due to good nutrition, good health care, or pure dumb luck is unclear, but we've had 15, 16, and 18 year old dogs at various times. That's a very long time for a dog and a family.

Our "E" dog was the best of them and that is saying a lot. She was loving, quiet, sweet, funny, and quite precious to us all. Unbelievably, the way we found her was eerily similar to our first dog. (I have got to stay out of pet stores!) .

She, of course, was unaware that she was a dog. Well, why not? She sat and slept on our furniture, managed to mooch people food (she had quite a thing for bread!), went with us on vacation, and hid behind us when there was a thunder storm, and cuddled with us when we were sad. When we took her to the dog park, she totally ignored all the other dogs and wanted only to play catch with the Big Guy!

Unfortunately, because of the demands of our daily lives, she was frequently alone at home. That was okay with her, she caught up on her sleep and cooled off on the tile floor in the bathroom. Her worst habit was emptying the bathroom trashcan all over the floor. She loved Kleenex! I guess she liked the smell and she definitely like the taste! We finally realized that if we elevated the trash can on top of a stool, she couldn't reach it, but it took a long time for that brilliant plan to occur to us!

The last few years she had begun to show her age. She was affected (as so many dogs are) by very weak hips and she began to struggle more and more in getting up off the cool tile floor she loved. Once she was up and moving, all was fine. She ran around the yard like a pup, but she could no longer manage to jump up on the furniture. Then her hearing began to go. Slowly at first, it actually took us a while to really notice. There were certain sounds that she had no difficulty with: the bread wrapper being opened (she heard that and came running), the sound of her food being poured (also came running), and the Big Guy's car in the driveway. Eventually though even those treasured sounds disappeared from her awareness.

Nevertheless, her eyes were bright, she ate well, loved having company (people, not dogs), wagged her tail madly whenever anyone petted her, and generally seemed in good health, just a little all of us.

Still as you can imagine this decline was the harbinger of things to come and we knew we wouldn't have her much longer. Sadly, in just the last month, she began having more and more problems and she wouldn't eat. The Big Guy took her to the vet several times and there was some improvement, but not nearly enough. After all, she was 14 1/2 years old...pretty old for a dog her size. Then last week, she just collapsed and died with the Big Guy by her side. We knew it was coming, but that didn't make it any easier.

We lost a short, fuzzy, loving, and well-loved member of our family. We miss her and will for a long time. Our E-dog was a joy, a blessing, and a comfort. There was none better, she was absolutely the best! Adieu, Emma. You were loved.

1 comment:

  1. I've got tears in my eyes. I'm so glad you had so many wonderful years with Emma, and so sorry you had to lose her.

    We have a dog who loves Kleenex too. Our trash cans stay on top of the toilets!


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