There hasn't been a dog in residence for over 10 years now. In dog years, that is a life time.
Many times I get that little pinge in my heart when I'm out walking and stop to pet another walker's furry friend. Most of my neighbors have dogs that are the recipients of the doggy treats we keep in the garage for just that occasion. Oh yes! Lots of scratches behind their ears and baby talk.
It is easy to get a "fix" of doggy love at my middle daughter's house. They got a puppy last summer - some kind of a fox terrier, Jack Russel, and Pomeranian mix. "Mugsy" has ears that stick up and make him appear much taller. He is a blur when he runs, and he can jump up and peak over things that gives one the impression that he is on a trampoline. For some reason he has decided I am
his long lost mother. I have to meet him by the door because he gets so excited that he goes potty. Then he bounces and yips and won't stop agitating until he has a hearty confirmation that he is adored and the center of my world. It is ridiculous!
This week, however, reminded me of what I don't miss about belonging to a dog. Losing it.
Our eldest daughter's 16 1/2-year old lab mix, Zeus, died.
He had grown deaf . He had been relegated to downstairs for two reasons. He couldn't negotiate the stairs and he couldn't make it to the door. Our daughter was cleaning up after more accidents as the weeks passed. They still loved him and he would still come to "grandma's" house for visits with the rest of them.
Two weeks ago he had a sore on his back and the veterinarian prescribed steroids. The whole family had laughed with delight at the little bounce in his step, and how he tried to play in the back yard as he had when he was younger. Short lived moments, however.
I think it might have sparked his old "wanderlust" as well. Three days ago when he limped out to do his "duty" he did not come back in. My son-in-law saw him sitting on the back porch while he was blowing leaves. Later, when they went to call him in, he was gone.
They searched late and then the next morning early. The kids went to school. Finally, a call from a home-owner some distance down the busy highway. Zeus had somehow hobbled that far where this man had driven home and spotted the old dog walking. He parked his car and began walking back towards the street when another car struck and instantly killed Zeus. It was dark, so the man pulled Zeus off the highway and under some shrubbery. When morning's light revealed the collar and information, the man called with the bad news.
Sweet old dog.
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