Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I've been seeing a lot of friends on Facebook posting about what they're thankful for during this month of Thanksgiving. It got me thinking about that kind of thing, and about this little black dog that doesn't let me out of her sight.  I've gotten really accustomed to having her with me every place I go.  In the car.  In the kitchen.  In the bathroom (too much information, sorry).  It just feels like something's missing if she isn't right there with me.

Pompeii is the perfect blend of sweetness and naughtiness.  At 9 1/2 years old, she has the energy of a puppy when anyone walks through the door, or when there's something to retrieve.  If you're a guest in our home, she will almost certainly bring your shoe to you, or she'll very gingerly carry it around in her mouth as you settle in.

When she was a puppy, my husband started training her to hunt and retrieve pheasants.  She had a great nose for finding the "birdie" and was really in her element...she was shaping up to be a wonderful hunting dog.  But then due mostly to heredity and eventually injury, she needed to have both knees replaced with new titanium ones.  Her first surgery took place when she was just a year old, and the second one less than a year later.  At that time we found out she also has hip dysplasia and were warned that she would eventually get arthritis in her knees and hips.  Unfortunately, that was the end of her days as a hunting dog, as my husband didn't want to wear her out before her time.  So the training birdies went in a cupboard, replaced with squishy squeaky toys and long naps on the couch.  The training dummies were long forgotten about, until recently - about six years later - when we were in the process of moving.  As soon as we pulled the "birdies" out of the cupboard, she recognized them and was beyond herself with excitement.  Here she is the day we re-discovered the pheasant dummy at the old house.  

We may as well throw out all of her squishy squeaky toys.  They've now been replaced by birdies.

My gentle girl is super sensitive to our voice tone, to the point where her nose is smooshed into the door jam to be let outside, at the first hint of our voices tensing up.  I'm certain she has prevented the onset of some nasty arguments because "we're upsetting the DOG!".  She also gets antsy if we get a little too animated while telling a funny story, so it's not just when someone's arguing.  In our new place she hides behind the rocking chair in the corner of the living room with her ears hanging straight down, eyes pleading to just shut up already!  And bring me my birdie!

After her surgeries, we were certain that now we would always have a special needs dog, that she would be in a lot of pain, unable to walk in her later years, and we were resigned to the fact that we may only have her in our lives for a short time.  But Pompeii had a different idea about how things were going to go.  All these years later, her knees and hips don't affect her enthusiasm to be included in on anything FUN (although she needs a baby aspirin after a lot of activity since she has no stop button)!   She is always in a good mood and ready to do.  Or go.  Or not.  She's up for anything.  Always.  By the way, the three Reese's peanut cups and their foil wrappers she snarfed from the candy bowl on Halloween night have had no affect on her to date.


To my sweet little black're about to get some big ole smooches on your nose, right between those dark brown eyes that follow my every move.  I'm so thankful for you.  


1 comment:

  1. Love your story or should I say Pompeii's story. I can't imagine life without an animal at my side.