Sunday, December 20, 2009
Dogs I have known.
It's a long list, beginning with a dog named Chip that my parents had when I was a toddler. I don't remember him, but my mother says that he went to Florida with us, when my father decided to look for work there. We all packed into a tiny trailer the size of my present day bathroom.
Then there was Mike, and Ike (my mother was an Eisenhower fan). Ike was half poodle and half hound. My father brought him and his 7 siblings home with him, after hearing that they were going to be destroyed. I remember him opening the door of his truck, and them all tumbling out. Ike was possibly the strangest looking dog I have ever seen.
Old Mike went down the road and impregnated a neighbor's dog, and that is how I got my puppy, that I called Hoby. I taught him to 'heel', and I taught him so well, that the back of my leg was always wet, from him drooling down it, because he walked so close. I also taught him to jump through hula hoops, back when they were the rage. He was named after Hoby Gilman, a bounty hunter sitcom on TV. I'm aging myself with both of those comments.
Then there was Beau, an Irish setter, the dumbest dog I ever had the pleasure to own. He was always running off, and he would get in the car with anyone. Sometimes he would wander right back by the house, and he wouldn't even recognise where he was. He would waltz right on by.
There was a stray Newfoundland in Maine, that I named Gonzo, after I paid for him to have surgery on his broken hip. He slept in the back seat all the way back to New York, and he only got up once to eat hamburgers from McDonald's, and once to find a handy tree.
And Zoe, a sweet border collie who liked to bite tires and pants legs. She never got over not having a herd of sheep to chase down.
And Joby, a golden retriever that came with the house I bought.
And Taffy, another golden, whose owners were retiring to Florida, and couldn't take her.
Then there was Chickiwu, my little pit bull. The sweetest girl of all. The dog you wait all your life for. She ran like the wind, and jumped every fence ever put up. She was mine the minute she walked through the door. We were inseparable.
One night, long after she was gone, I dreamt I opened the closet door, and she was there.
And I said, "Chicki. I've been looking all over for you."
But this is Eddie, my Eddie, and he is the sweetest boy I know. He is the swimming (and diving) dog. He is 'spagetti Eddie'. He is Edhead. He is 'buddy boy', and a dozen other terms of endearment.
I joke that Bill and I will have to get counseling when he is gone. But it isn't' all that far from the truth.
I know that at 12 and 1/2, Eddie won't be with us forever. And I can't (won't) think about what that will be like. I am too afraid I already know.
But somewhere, there will be another homeless little pit bull, with my name on him, and Eddie's.
There will always be more dogs.
I don't think I would know how to live without one.