Thursday, October 16, 2008
Sixteen years ago or so our next door neighbors had a bit of a problem. A little tan and brown puppy was hold up under their propane tank in their yard and wouldn't come out. My mom, who normally could charm Cerberus himself had no luck in getting the critter to come out, and I figured I'd give it a try. To everyone's, including mine, amazement the puppy came to me. She was very tiny, scared, and hungry. We took her inside and gave her something to eat. I was in college at the time, but I said that she would be my dog. My mom then asked where my broke ass was going to come up with all the green to keep a critter, and quickly convinced me that it would be best for everyone if we took her to The Dome, the no-kill shelter in West Palm Beach. I went to school, and by the time I got home she had a name, Princess, and a permanent place in our home and hearts. She was the weirdest looking dog, and even the vet couldn't guess at her lineage. The best way to describe Dinker(we rarely called her Princess) was she looked like a Dachshund/Doberman mix...and no, you don't want to imagine either way that might have happened. She was longish, with stubby little legs and Dr. Seuss feet, and long tan and black fur. She was playful, protective, and very loving, although she had to get to know you first. She also had an addiction; an addiction that all our dogs get...Milk Bones. The ritual was always the same whenever I would come to visit. Knock on the door, bark...bark...bark, oh, it's you. A few perfunctory kisses then it was time for a cookie. Eventually she stopped eating them and just started a collection. Sometimes I could just palm one I had already given her and give it to her again, but I had to make sure she didn't see me pick it up. She was pretty smart for such a goofy looking animal.
You probably know where this is going. My mom just called to tell me that they finally had to put Dink to sleep. Sixteen is very old for a dog, and she had lead a good, safe, happy, cookie-intensive life, but she had lost control of her bowels and her back end was all but useless. When we went home last month I had a feeling it would be the last time I'd see her. But even then her tail was held high, and wagged freely. I loved that dog, and I'll miss her, but I'm glad she won't suffer any more. And if there is a doggy Heaven, then I'm sure she's making life miserable for spectral lizards, and squirrels, and cats even now.
And now I think I need to cry a little bit.
Actually it ended up being quite a bit.