I’ve had plenty of dogs in my life. For as long as I can remember, a four legged friend has been by my side.
As I write, my Boston Terrier Hoover is snuggled up on his super soft blanket. No matter how tired he may be, those big brown eyes will open as soon as I move from a sitting to standing position. He will watch to see if I am leaving the room so he can do his daily job of keeping track of where I am.
If I’m gone too long he will come look for me and find another place to lie down as he waits for my next move.
It’s best-friend loyal dedication, this dog and master thing, and I’m blessed to have these little ones in my life.
Which is why it was so hard to let our precious Kerby go last week.
Months ago the vet told us she was ready when we were. Kerby was blind and had become deaf. Senility had set in as well. She had intense pain in her eyes and couldn’t find her way in the house or yard. It broke our hearts to see her in such pain and anguish.
We carried her from place to place, her only comfort being her princess pillow. It’s an overstuffed wild animal print that was just perfect for our little diva. It was her favorite place in the world, and no matter where we were – home or hotel – she would find comfort in the nest she would make there.
I didn’t realize until she was gone how much I counted on her being there. I was aware of her from sunup to sundown. It’s things like the fact that she needed to go out at the break of dawn and Hoover sleeps in till ten. I was always aware of where she was since we collided a few times once her sight began to fade years ago. I thought that day one without Kerby would be the saddest but more than a week later I realize it’s going to be a long time that I don’t think to step over her or get out of bed early to let her out.
In her prime, Kerby was a trick-performing-model dog. The tricks she knew were so entertaining that her vet remembered her as the only dog she knew who could tell if a treat was “poison.” In her “modeling” days, Kerby would pose for as long as I wanted her to, balancing a ball on her nose or posing with her paw on top of something like the pump on a bathroom soap dispenser. I’d take pictures of her doing these things while she “sold” things on eBay. Nearly everything I listed had Kerby in the picture doing something brilliant. Many people emailed me to ask if they could buy the dog.
When Kerby was bad we’d tease her and say she’d fit in the crock-pot. She’d roll those huge eyes as if she knew what we were saying, but she’d still bark at the door like she’d lost her mind whenever someone knocked. She’d still growl a little when we tried to pick her up. She was an old girl set in her ways and we loved her.
In the past two years her eyesight prevented leash walks so I bought a stroller from a friend. It is a kid stroller and served well when we went on walks through the neighborhood. I’d clip her collar to the straps and she’d sit there like she knew where we were going. I didn’t care one bit that I was the crazy lady in the neighborhood with a dog in a stroller. All that mattered was that she felt the wind in her face and the sun on her back.
We lost Dyson in July of last year due to a spider bite and we lost Kerby just over a week ago. Hoover is the last man standing and though our hearts are just broken in pieces, we can’t bear to even think of another pup now.
As I finish this writing, I look over at Hoover. Though his eyes are closed his ears are wide-awake, alert and waiting for any sign I’m on the move. And I will be soon. It’s a good day to get the leash and take my buddy for a walk.
We will feel the wind in our faces and the sun on our backs and we will remember our little friend Kerbygirl.
I miss her so.
Kathy Bohannon is a weekly contributor to the Newnan Times-Herald. Purchase her ebook Dyson the Terrible Puppy at BarnesandNoble.com. Kathy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.