The foster puppies, Dooley, Brenna, Ema
Today's topic is memorable pets. Well, you know me, I'm a dog lover. Growing up we had a cat and my brother had gerbils, and though I love animals all around, dogs are close to my heart. The five most memorable:
I have to begin with Dooley. Dooley offered many firsts for me: my first rescue, my first mutt, my first small dog, my first snuggly dog... I lost him last March to heart disease, and my grief is still just a lump in my throat away. Dooley had more personality than most people, and was a bit Jekyl and Hyde: happy, fun and loving, and grumpy/snarly. Junior called him Mr. Grumpy (affectionately, of course). My pictures of him mostly show a sedate Dooley, but that's because when he was happy and playful he was simply in so much motion that you couldn't get a picture fast enough. Though I regret that, I carry happy images of him in my memory, even on his last day. Among all of my dogs, his loss has been the most difficult.
Brenna, Beloved Border Collie. I picked her up on the sheep farm where she was born in midstate New York (her picture is from that day). True to her breed she was smart and energetic. She was also a lover. She loved to burrow her face close to you, whether that meant your lap, your neck, or your feet. She was a happy dog and a wonderful companion. She would chase after anything that you threw, and wouldn't hesitate to bring you a stick from the yard to let you know it was time to play. One day she was so enthusiastic about chasing after sticks that she picked one up in her mouth only to have it move. Turned out it was a grown black snake. After that I began to work on my snake phobia. Brenna hated thunderstorms, and would often climb into the bathtub for refuge if I wasn't home. If I was home she would attempt a bodily merge. She died while I was on vacation, supposedly from a brain tumor, but I'm beginning to think that she got into something toxic, like chocolate.
I've included two sets of pups in this list. One is the five puppies I fostered this past Christmas. They were half of a litter orphaned at two weeks of age. I have a wide maternal streak that never got exercised with children of my own, so caring for and nurturing these pups meant a lot to me. They are now in new homes, and I saying goodbye to them was tearful, but happy. The gift of joy they gave me far outweighs what I gave them.
The other pup is Ema, Junior's chocolate lab, now 11 months old. Newly discharged from the army, Junior came home for a couple of months while he began shifting gears to civilian life. Ema came home shortly thereafter, and a couple of weeks later showed symptoms of parvo. While Junior took care of loose ends in Savannah, I tended Ema. She was part of my life and our family for six weeks, and caring for her through those tentative parvo days deepened the bond between Junior and me.
I can't isolate a fifth from my other pets. I had four Shelties. The first, Bonnie, was a gift at Christmas when I was ten. She had a litter of four pups, and was hit by a car three weeks before that Christmas while the pups were still at home. We kept one, Tammy. After Tammy came Avalon, and then Rory joined her. They each were special, precious and memorable (like Avalon barking at flies on the wall). Rory started a trend for me of having two dogs at one time, and I have had as many as three. If we had enough space here at home I would have a kennel full of rescues and fosters.
Thanks for the visit down pet-memory lane, revgals!