Thursday, January 04, 2007


As we change over our annual calendars, it is natural that we humans consider the changes that have come to pass in the old year, and ones we want to make, or foresee coming our way in the new year.

I, of course, am no exception. There have been LOTS of changes in my life in the past year, and I foresee a lot more of them ahead in 2007.

I have decided to take one more day a week off. The studio will be closed on Sundays and Mondays, starting next week. I’ve been neglecting myself and my household for the last year or more, and need to have two days off a week. Period.

I’ve decided to make this blog more about me, and not just about my job and my business. So you’ll see more posts of a personal note here.

Like this one.

I had to put my dog down yesterday. She was over 17 years old, and had spent 16½ of them by my side. She was a wonderful, smart, energetic and enthusiastic little girl, and I loved her dearly. But, at 17 human years, she was at an equivalent of 140 – if you count the first year as 21 human years, like I do. A hundred and forty. I said MANY times as I watched her toddle around, man I don’t want to live to be that old. She had cataracts, so she had limited vision. Her hearing was failing. Her poor old body was just worn out and it was time to let her go in the most gentle, loving way I could. The vet charged me $85 to euthanize my poor little dog, who probably weighed all of about 3 pounds. I guess veterinary compassion only goes so far. Oh well. What’s done is done.

Of course, when we humans lose someone we love, the first thing we do is go through our pictures of them. As Eric pointed out last night, our photographs are our windows into the past. Moments frozen in time. I came up with over two dozen images of my sweet little dog, when she was young and beautiful and vibrant. That’s the little doggie I want to remember.

After she got to be about 15 years old, she didn’t want me to brush her beautiful coat anymore. It hurt her and she let me know by screaming and fighting with me. So I stopped because it felt like I was torturing her. She stopped enjoying her baths, too. She used to love to be bathed and groomed when she was younger. When she got to be an old dog, she also stopped caring where she urinated, and often did it on the carpet in the house. So I set her up with a doghouse outside and got her a heating unit specially made for doghouses to keep her warm at night. We fenced the yard so she wouldn’t wander off anymore like she used to when she was younger. She used to love to go check out the neighborhood, and no amount of calling her would bring her back home before she was good and ready to come back.

I found her in the summer of 1990 when she was about 6 months old. I was working at a grocery store in Waldport, and this pretty little pointy-eared black dog had been circling the store for a couple of days, looking for whoever lost her. When I finally coaxed her close enough to catch her, I took her home and did the normal stuff you do when you find a lost dog. No one claimed her, so I named her Gypsy and took her in to the vet to be spayed. He said she was probably a purebred Pomeranian, and was 6 to 9 months old. She was such a beautiful little girl. She became my constant companion, always going with me wherever I went. She loved to ride in the car, and really loved to go for walks with me. She would just prance; she was so happy and so proud of herself.

She stayed with me through my divorce in 1994, and my move to Depoe Bay. That was my in-between place, I’d left my husband’s home (trailer house) in Waldport, and was looking for a home to purchase. So I spent 15 months in a small house in Depoe Bay. It was the first time I’d ever lived alone, and I had my Gypsy dog by my side, along with my Toby cat, who also stuck by my side for 18 years. That little house had a cast-iron circular staircase to the upper level, and Gypsy never would go up them. I had to carry her upstairs every night so she could sleep on the bed with me and then downstairs again in the mornings to go outside.

Then in 1995, the three of us moved to Toledo and have been here ever since. Now my two furry black-and-white friends are buried side-by-side in the back yard.

It’s so hard to say goodbye to our furry little friends. In her old age, my little Gypsy reminded me very much of my late grandmother. The last time I saw my grandma was at the celebration of her 100th birthday. The posture, the movements and gestures, the failing eyes and ears… when I looked at my sweet old dog, I saw my sweet old grandmother. And I said, ‘man I don’t want to ever get that old.’

Godspeed, my beautiful little friend. I loved you so much.


Blogger Jack Bog said...

Condolences, Nancy. And thanks for a beautiful post.

1/04/2007 3:46 PM  
Blogger Frank Dufay said...

Condolences indeed. I don't know you, but I'm a relatively new pet owner, and I'm amazed at how important a part of our lives they become.

Thanks for sharing.

1/04/2007 9:56 PM  
Blogger rickyragg said...

I just randomly hit your link from Jack's blog.

I wish I could put my feelings in as heartfelt and beautiful a way as you did.

My Mickey left me after 20 years last March.

What can you do?

You have my sympathy and empathy - I know how it hurts.

1/05/2007 7:17 PM  

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