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.


Coffeypot said…
I cannot imagine not having a dog in my life. In the past two months we have had to put down two of our friends, a chocolate lab and a little fuzzy terrier. The lab had cancer that broke through the skin and the terrier was blind and deaf and had a small stroke and just laid their. Broke our hears. And my last dog, a whit Great Pyrenees/Lab mix is 16 years old and limping with arthritis. She is MY friend. And I will have to make that decision soon, too. But with that being done, we will have another rescue dog as fast as I can find one who is right for our family... which means just about any one. Telly your daughter and her family I am sorry for their loss.
ChrisB said…
Pamela I know exactly what you mean about the sorrow of losing a beloved pet. It's almost 21 yrs ago we lost our border collie cross and although there have been times when I've been tempted to visit the rescue centre I decided I could not cope with another heart break. Over the years I have done a few doggy sitting stints for family and friends and I enjoy petting any of the local dogs I meet when I'm out and about. Zeus had a wonderful happy life with family that loved him .
KaThYinCoLoRaDo said…
You have 'known' me long enough to know we have sent three of our Boxers to The Rainbow Bridge. Each time, for a few days I think that I just can't handle losing another one and don't want another dog in my house. But then, as the tears dry, the memories and the wonderful times we shared come flooding back. I think the joy they give us far exceeds that initial feeling of loss. Not to mention, all that they teach us...above all unconditional love and unwavering loyalty. Hugs to all of you.
Sandy said…
My heart is heavy for Karmyn's family - and for you. I think that maybe there are seasons of dogs. I always had dogs when my kids were small and then my kids went away and I had dogs instead. I am currently kind of in limbo, I own dogs but they live with my husband. I must admit the dog hair-free house is nice but not nice enough.
Jeanne Pursell said…
My heart goes out to you all know how much mine mean to me. I still miss Zippo even though it has been a couple of years now. A piece of my heart dies with each one of them. But, I wouldn't have it any other way. It is very, very hard to watch them fade though.
lisa dewane said…
I'm with you Pamela, mine are aging and I know the day will come, it's the part of owning dogs I most dread. My grandmother is caring for a blind dog and I think it helps keep her going but also keeps her busy.
Amanda Fisher said…
RIP, Stinky old Zeus. I will miss yo, but not nearly as much as Squeakers will.
Sayre said…
Gosh, I cried all over again. Personally, I feel that the joy pets bring to your life are worth the pain at the end. If they have the chance, they will tell you it's time for goodbye. Mine all have and I know how hard it is to believe them, but when they are ready, they are ready. This may have been his version of going off into the woods (the preferred method of most of my cats).
karmyn R said…
Sweet sweet dogs. There is definitely a "hole" here. I spilled something on the floor and I actually had to clean it up myself. I find myself looking for Zeus to make sure he gets outside before we do will take a while, I"m sure.
Intense Guy said…
Poor Zeus. :( At least his final moments were mercifully quick.

The highway takes another critter - they don't understand the danger - he seems to have lived the good life though... a happy dog brings so much to his/her family.

I am like you though, I settle for enjoying the dogs of others - and give them treats when allowed. The human "need" for no-holds no-strings affection gets fulfilled that way.

Popular posts from this blog

Sing in Spring

An Old Cold Spot

Earth Friendly