Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor
Each of my dogs had a distinct personality.
Two of my dogs are elderly. One of them is so old that I carry him around in a pouch on my shoulder. Every half hour or so he wakes up and forgets who I am, and he barks at me. I know better than to reach for him—his teeth are sharper than his mind.
Sammy, my other elder is a feisty little Jack Russel/Chihuahua mix. Smartest dog I ever had. He will unwrap a loaf of bread, steal a slice, then try to make the bag look as though it was never opened. He bosses my younger dog around even though she’s vicious when it comes to strangers and other dogs. Sammy is the boss of her, in every circumstance.
Sugar, my young Chihuahua mix, has a kill bite that could take out a rhinoceros. She adores me and she adored my mother. She allows Sam to dominate her but if she sees another dog she rushes to attack. She’s walked with a leash on her collar and one on her harness and I muzzle her if we get to a populated area. I worked with her for years to curb her instinct to guard and finally admitted defeat. Now, we use caution and tools.
I raised a coyote hybrid. She lived to be eleven years old. For eleven years my family ate standing up because Odie would find a way to steal food, even if it was on top of the refrigerator. She could talk and had mastered several words. When prompted she’d say, “Cookie”, “Apple”, “Hamburger”, “I rule”, and “Geraldo Rivera”. We performed for the neighborhood on occasion.
Throughout the years my dogs have been my companions, confidants, my livelihood. I’ve laughed at them, cried on them, and lived for them. My heart breaks each time one of them passes away and I have spent a small fortune to keep them healthy and prolong their lives.
I picture them all gathered at that special place, waiting for me. I hope the Rainbow Bridge isn’t made up to comfort those of us that cherish our pets. I suspect it is but I’m still fantasizing we will all meet again.
Right now, I’m grieving for one of mine that met a tragic end. I cannot go into detail because it is too terrible to even write about.
Cherish your family, your pets, and those that are important to you. Let not a day go by without telling people what they mean to you and showing your pets that you will never abandon them.
Life is too short to withhold love.
Pictured: Trixie. Rest in Peace, my darling. My heart is broken.