My entire life has been spent with dogs. I can’t remember a time in my life when we didn’t have at least one. Actually, I don’t ever remember ever having just one. I thought every one had them, and I can never picture my life without them.
We had some doozies, too. One dog, Dewey, was the definition of thinking with the small head. Every time the girl dog next door would go into heat he would break out and go chase her down. After getting hit by a car and shot, she moved in with us for a little while. My parents named her Floozy. I never got the joke. She moved back home, and the last time she went into heat, Dewey got hit by a truck. He died doing what he loved.
We had another dog named Sweet Cheeks. She accidentally bit me really hard when we were both puppies. (I was probably like 6.) She felt so guilty about hurting me that she followed me around protecting me for the rest of her life. When we moved to Oklahoma, and therefore into a town, from the Louisiana bayou, she had a hard time adjusting, and she was constantly pissed that she couldn’t ride the bus with me to school.
I never realized how many there have been that deserve to be told about. There was Princess Isabella of the Brownies (never let a 7 year old name a dog, especially if that 7 year old is me), who was a blonde dachshund that died from eating pecans whole. She really was blonde. Our Australian Shepard named Conan hated teenage boys, and Mom secretly loved it when he would tree one of the neighborhood boys.
Sophie was a Jack Russell terrier mix. We got her when I was a preteen. She was one of the smartest dogs we have ever had. She would sit up on her hind end and raise her ears up and down like the flag language sailors used to use. When she would have a litter of puppies, she would train them to sit on their hind ends. They would look like a row of meerkats. She gave us Chloe, Roscoe, and Sara from separate litters. Roscoe moved in with a certain blue-eyed blonde, who later became a circus freak.
Chloe, wow, she was a character. She was my dad’s best friend and protector. She also had some awesome battles with my mother. She was the only creature on Earth that could piss my mother off that bad and still get away with it. She even pissed on Mom’s foot one time. She spent a summer ruining my pants because I had the audacity to come home from college. She was lion-hearted, even after she went blind. One time she even managed to get into it with a squirrel. This blind, frail dog did her best to tear that thing up. I didn’t always like her, but I always respected her. I was so sad when it came time to put her to sleep. My heart broke for my Dad, and I called Tina because I felt like she would understand when I cried about us being puppies together.
Now, Sara is 14 years old. She has been around for almost half my life. One time I asked dad if Chloe, Sara, and I were on a boat and it was sinking if he would save me or them. His response, “Girl, that’s why I taught you how to swim.” They were more siblings than pets.
I’m trying to understand that Sara might not be around much longer. I can’t fathom that. I’ve never been really warm towards her. I might have even called her Smegol a few times when she got her hair cut too short. She’s our dog though. We were puppies together. She’s brave and loyal and she loves my dad. My heart breaks for him. I think my heart breaks for me a little bit, too.
We have our herd of dachshunds. There is no shortage of furry love. They are the first dogs I’ve had that weren’t more like siblings than friends. I have a different attachment to them. It isn’t a lesser thing, just different. These guys are mine, not someone else living in my house. I don’t know how to explain it.
I don’t know. All I know is that I always try to be more like a dog; loyal, loving, honest, and fierce. There are much worse things to be.