When my first husband left in 1982 (at my invitation), my kids and I adopted a dog. The neighborhood dog had pups. She was a Spaniel of some kind. All her pups were black or yellow lab mixes. Ours was smaller than the rest and looked more like a black golden retriever. She had a sad look in her brown eyes. The kids named her “Shadow.” We had her for 16 1/2 years. The Babe and I took her for her final vet visit a couple months after we got married. He cried just as hard as I did. The kids, all adults, opted out.
After that, the Babe decided daughter Becky and I needed a puppy; We got a brownish black mutt and named her “Mocho.” She looked mocha colored, but the Babe called her mocho instead. The name stuck. She was a good girl. Becky took her out of her kennel and let her sleep in her bed to keep her from whining.
When I went on LTD, the Babe knew I suffered from depression and felt worthless because I was only 48. He told me to go look at the Humane Society to see if they had any puppies. I found a lab/shepherd mix, tricolor coloring, and the sweetest disposition. She was the runt of that litter. We went back and adopted her the next day. Mocho acted as her Mama and Mollie was such a sweet girl. Mocho became the alpha dog and Mollie the quiet one.
We got to have them in our lives for 12 1/2 (Mollie) and 14 1/2 (Mocho) years. We let them cross the Rainbow Bridge together. Hardest thing we’ve ever done. Mollie was lost without Mocho. They were ready. We thought we were. People never are. Even when you know you’re doing the right things for your loved fur babies.
We went nearly two years with no dogs. The Babe retired, we traveled some. When we returned from Puerto Rico in June, 2014, we visited a vet who had some pups only 4 weeks old. Their mom was sick; weaned the day before. They had a bug of some type. The vet compounded a concoction that killed the bug. Good companions. Cannot recommend adopting sisters. Two females, even spayed, were never friends. They battled each other. Yet, when Roxie died (by car) two years ago, Lexie mourned so hard. She exhibited signs of depression, slept a lot, and never left our sides. She wailed at the door to the garage. Broke my heart.
In October that year, the Babe had a heart cath and the wound didn’t heal. The skin was paper thin, and he had a wound vac for a month to get the incision to heal. What a mess for him. Amid this challenge, we adopted Goldie. The Babe needed her and her sweet way with him. Best buds. After two years, Lexie is no longer jealous of her. They have accepted each other now and peacefully coexist. Time heals a lot.
These stories bring me to this morning. We didn’t get smacked with the snow predicted. It’s overcast, cold, and bleak looking outside. The Babe left early for the Post and funeral detail. The dogs were antsy. I played with Goldie, and we had a great time. Then she laid down, happy. What does this have to do with life today?
Maybe we need to take a lesson from our fur babies. It takes very little to thrill a dog. Everything makes them happy. Play is everything to them. They adore you and let you know it. They waggle their butts and squeal with delight. Yes, squeal sometimes. It’s hilarious. Live with the joy a dog shows. Every day is the best day ever. Let’s all mimic that! Have a beautiful evening. We’ll see each other tomorrow.