A tribute to a faithful companion
Recently, I knew it was time to make a very difficult decision. Up to that point it seemed that my old pup was not in pain. However, I had been carrying him out to do his business for about a week; and it was now getting to the point where he would collapse during some of those outdoor trips.
Even though I was quite sure I was doing the kind, loving thing, it was still very difficult.
Since that time I have spent a good amount of time remembering the old boy, and at the same time comforting his companion, a younger female pup... and giving the feline resident in my house some extra attention. The little girl pup, who goes by the name KiKi, loves raw carrot slices. I suspect she was either concerned, or possibly grieving the loss of her companion. She wasn’t very interested in her food... so recently I placed a number of carrot slices in her dish and noted shortly after they were gone.
I then walked over to the dog bed where the old boy had slept. I saw carrot slices... all placed in a perfect circle on his bed. I bent down to start removing the slices and KiKi came running and nosed my hand away from his bed. It seemed like she was trying to call him back to his space. I have left the bed and the carrot slices alone for the time being.
Klaus actually came into my life as an old boy. I had adopted KiKi from the animal shelter five years ago as a young pup. Not long after I was told that there was another small dog who was a bit on in years... and who needed a home.
In spite of being cautioned that he was not always friendly with other dogs, he immediately accepted KiKi. He also got along very well with my young kitten.
Over the next few years Klaus learned how to play. He and KiKi would put on a wrestling exhibition every evening as I sat down to catch the evening news on TV. Then they would drag out the stuffed toys.
A favourite for Klaus was a small pink teddy bear. The bear would be tossed into the air, then caught before it could land. In the meantime, KiKi would pull out a stuffed green frog and mouth it until she found the squeaker. The squeak sound continued until both pups were worn out. They then would lie down – one on each side of me on the sofa.
Both pups would greet visitors. No one entering my home was allowed past the front door unless they showered both pets with pats on the head, and tummy rubs.
A good friend would join me several times each week for long walks. While on their walks the pups would “read” the several messages left by other pooches... and seemed especially able to pick up the scents of their special pals.
Klaus was likely met in doggie heaven by the adorable Heidi... his very big sweetheart down the street and around the corner.
There are some small negatives in sharing life with pets. Their food, grooming, and vet visits take a bit from the budget. If a trip is planned arrangements for care must be made. I have a good friend who takes care of pets if I need to be gone for the day. There is also the need to make the hard call... like the one I made not so long ago.
On the other hand, I am pretty sure the walks I have taken with my pups has kept me fairly healthy.
I read somewhere that living with my cat has likely been part of the reason my blood pressure is very good. Having a pup in the house provides an early warning system regarding anyone coming near the house. I have a weak doorbell... but noisy pups have picked up the slack.
I have been blessed to have enjoyed the companionship of a very loving, very intelligent, and very intuitive furry friend. It is amazing to be the recipient of so much unconditional love. I have a small plaque that says: Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are. I have tried to do that. I will miss him.