Dogs have always been a part of my family since birth. I got my first, VERY OWN dog when I was four. My dad let me pick a puppy from a litter of Schnauzers my grandma’s dog had. A little black puppy who liked to come out of the melee to see me was, of course, the only one for me. I chose her name – Henrietta – after Henrietta the Hippo on the New Zoo Revue. It was my favorite show at the time and I wanted to be Henrietta’s best friend.
I had several significant dogs in my childhood, the smartest of which, hands down, was Bogey. Bogey was a miniature shepherd – at least, that’s what we were told – and he weighed around 40 pounds. He learned to differentiate colors on the cheap dog biscuits my dad would buy for him, a trick that would amaze and astound many people over the years. (“But, I thought dogs couldn’t see colors?”) He also learned to jump shoulder height, which was pretty awesome to see in person. He loved to do it. He was a good dog who could be around our geese, ducks, cats and rabbits, and who would chase away stray dogs, but didn’t cause unnecessary fights.
For the last 17 years, I have had Petey the Perpetual Puppy. Petey is a mutt of about 12-pounds (although I think he probably weighs 8-10 these days). I have been saying “mutt” for years, but I recently learned of the designer breed Pom-Chi. These breeds come out in various ways, so there is a wide range of “looks” for a Pom-Chi. But when I searched for photos, I saw several versions that looked just like Petey. Since Petey was rescued from a Humane Society in 1996 at age 2-3, I don’t really know what he is. However, after all of these years, I now have a pretty good guess.
Petey is now about 20 years old. There are usually moments some days where he seems like his perpetual puppy self. But he definitely spends more of his days sleeping than not. He is a sweet old guy, with bad teeth, a wobbly walk and a big tumor on his face. He hasn’t been able to jump on the bed to cuddle for a few years now, but I still pick him up and carry him around this house like a baby, whether he likes it or not.
I have had dogs die of illness and accidents, and have had dogs disappear (run away, is what we would say, but now I realize they were probably killed by something in the woods). But I have never had a dog die of old age. It is a difficult process. I’ve had anxiety over it for two years now, checking his breathing to make sure he is still alive, curled up in his doggie bed. I have worried about the tumor on his face, which doesn’t seem to bother him a bit. I worry about whether I should feed him soft food. I clean up poop and try not to curse under my breath. And I’m always happy to see his little fuzz butt do a happy dance when he has a burst of energy.
Blogging from A to Z Challenge
This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. As part of the challenge, I commit to visiting five new blogs a day, chosen from a list. I love doing this! It is so interesting to me how many bloggers are out there writing so many different types of blogs. Here are the blogs I visited today:
- Back in Black
- Davika Rajeev
- Cam Kennedy Writes
- Under the Pecan Leaves
- The View from the Top of the Ladder
I am not required to share these blogs. I just like to find and support good writers.