Good-bye, good friend
Good-bye, good friend
This is a hard post to write. I get life and I get death. But, lately, there’s just been too much death.
This summer, my guy’s brother appeared perfectly healthy. He had a mild, dizzy spell. It passed. A week later, another one, so he had himself checked out. Seven weeks later, he died.
Cancer is a hateful thing. The doctors said he had 18-24 months. Take the chemo and radiation, it will buy you time.
It seemed to take his time instead.
I’ve mentioned that some day I’ll tell you about my divorce. That day is not today. But one thing I did do as a result of my ex leaving was get us a dog. My kids were just that then– kids. Today, they’re both in their 20s and married to lovely people.
But Brittany and Ellis were 10 & 14 when the split happened. And we needed a happy pill. And is there anything happier than a puppy?
We already had 2 dogs and 2 cats. What was I thinking?
We had Claire, a 130-pound Akita, and Chloe, a 35-pound Border collie. And 2 cats. And a guinea pig. And, sometimes, a snake. And fish and birds. And, once, a goose.
I found an ad for a long-haired, miniature dachshund. Born on January 1st and ready for adoption on Valentine’s Day. We had a new baby in the family.
I named her Penny Valentine. After all, she was copper colored and it was Valentine’s Day. I thought of the old Valentines from the 1800s.
My girlfriend said, “Oh! A stripper’s name.”
No, she’s a sweet, little puppy of love.
About 18 months later, my senses completely took leave of my brain and I decided that my kids needed to experience birth. Ellis had a buddy at school with a dachshund similar to Penny. So Bucky’s mother and I arranged a sleepover. Bucky came home from school with us and stayed the night.
And that’s all they did. They played and chased each other and had a grand time. Then went to bed. To sleep. For two weeks. Penny and Bucky were just pals. Until they decided there was a spark.
I’d never seen dogs mate. I had a general idea, of course, but hadn’t actually seen it happen. Did you know that when they’re done, they can’t exactly ‘undo?’ Both dogs looked alike with similar color and long hair. Do you remember that cartoon CatDog? That’s just what they looked like. One long, hairy dog with two heads. It took 10 minutes for Bucky to get his red rocket back home.
Then Ellis asked, “Mom? Do you think, if Penny has a boy we could keep him? We have Claire, and Chloe, and June, and Penny, and you, and Brittany, but I’m the only boy around here now.”
Okay, lay a guilt trip on me, will you? All of those ‘ands’ made his list twice as long. Twice the guilt.
Of course, I said yes. “But, you gotta understand. Bucky’s mom gets first dibs on the pups since she’s the grandmother. We get to keep all of the rest of the pups, but she gets to choose one for herself. If there’s a boy and she doesn’t want him, sure.”
Penny had three pups: 2 boys and a girl. Most traumatic day of my life.
So, now we have Sam. And he looks just like his father.
When Brittany and Ellis had the nerve to grow up and live productive lives of their own, Penny and Sam stayed with me. When I met my guy 8 years ago, they checked him out. He can stay, they said. That’s Sam on his neck and Penny by his side.
You see the dachshunds on the slider bar on Home page? That’s Penny on the left and Sam on the right. And below is Penny recently. She didn’t age so well. She had allergies and a few extra pounds. We fed them too many table scraps. But, when you think about it. They can’t read, watch TV, have sex, or carry on a conversation. So, eating is about the only thing left.
Today, Penny would be 13 years old, Sam is 11. Penny had a stroke last night and died in her bed with my guy and me petting on her. It was peaceful and painless. She just lay down and quit breathing.