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Kathy Bohannon Columnist

Published Sunday, September 09, 2012

Pups in the house

She’s an old girl and has been in our family for about 15 years. In her four-legged world she’s about 90 years old.

Kerby gets around pretty well and still tries really hard to be the watchdog, which is great since our other dog Hoover is more of a “what’d your bring me?” dog. Though she has difficulty finding it, Kerby is still obsessed with the front door and somehow manages to get there before me every time. She may face the wrong way as she barks as hard as she can muster but she’s on task, ready to inspect each and every foot that crosses the threshold, albeit, from across the room, facing in the wrong direction.

There’s a thing about dogs that those of us who love them get right away; they are loyal. They wait for us - whether we are gone for a few minutes or for hours on end. Kerby is loyal, though she has always been a heavy sleeper and we have no doubt she spends her day snuggled on her bed snoring at a volume that would shame a Sumo wrestler. For this reason we don’t think she actually pines away for us while we’re gone.

We are witness to Kerby’s epic snoring because we hear it every day. As a freelance writer I was once doing an interview over the phone and after a short period of time the client asked if I was feeling okay. Since I’m so used to the noise it took me a few moments to realize the loud snoring I was ignoring was apparently reverberating across phone lines and causing this person to wonder if I had some sort of gastric distress.

I assured him it was my dog but to this day I don’t know if he believed me.

We are so accustomed to hearing it we never remember to warn new visitors, which makes people feel uncomfortable as they try to figure out who owns the gurgling sound being emitted into the room.

Friends have asked how Kerby and Hoover are coping with the loss of Dyson The Terrible Puppy. Our little mischievous pup succumbed to a mystery illness in late July. A necropsy determined a brown recluse or black widow spider had bitten him. He was only three years old and truth be known, Ninja Man and I had been preparing to lose Kerby first, but certainly not Dyson.

Obviously we figured wrong and the delicate, blind, elderly dog happily continues to snore her days away, waking only for the occasional treat, meal or trip outside.

Since the loss of Dyson we can’t tell a difference in Kerby at all. He was extremely annoying to her and with Kerby being the senior citizen of the family there was rarely positive interaction between the two. Hoover, on the other hand, has just started eating better and acting like himself again.

I asked the vet what to expect with Kerby now. We are watching for lack of interest in her favorite activity which is eating, along with disorientation and other signs that she is declining. Again, we figure she will be “the next” and we continue to prepare our hearts for her ultimate decline.

It will be a long time before we will add another puppy; at least that’s the plan. We realized with three Boston terrier pups that our house and lives were very full. Once we are down to one dog again we might consider another, but we’d be hard pressed to find one that was as silly and fun as Dyson.

But there was a close call recently. I was on Facebook the other day when I saw a post from the woman who gave Dyson to us. With the unexpected addition of two small children she is caring for in her home, she posted, “I need to find a home for my two dogs!”

I immediately thought she may have kept one or two of Dyson’s littermates. I started posting back. “Are they Dyson’s siblings?” But before I clicked to send my question I realized the old girl in the corner was sleeping as soundly as she could, snoring loud and long.

I deleted my question and closed the page. I think I’ll just let Kerby enjoy the rest of her days in peace.

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