Friday, November 07, 2003

Baby 1986-2003

I have always had a dog. I had a dog 6 weeks before I was born when someone dumped Misty (1975-1993) on our front lawn. She was just barely weaned. Misty was a great dog – the classic mamma dog - loving and protective. You went where she wanted you to go. Of all the pups that have come through this house, Misty is still my favorite.

This shouldn’t be about Misty. This is about Baby. Baby was almost 18; she would have been 18 in January. We found her by the airport in 1987 trying to cross a 4-lane road. We picked her up and drove around thinking maybe she belonged to someone who lived nearby but no one had seen her before. Ads in the paper produced no results and now she was our dog.

Baby was a good dog though not all there. I think it was because she was abused before we found her. Eric said I named her after Jennifer Gray’s character in Dirty Dancing. I say we named her because she whined and cried all the time like a baby. She never really liked to play like other dogs. Her favorite game was tug. And she would tug until you felt like your arm would pop out of your socket and gave up. She would trot away, almost laughing, with the rope in her mouth.

Baby, as a young’un, would chase airplanes across the yard. She was so proud when they were gone. She had protected us from danger. Baby also chased squirrels, even until she was 16. I can't recall her catching a squirrel but she did get a hold of a turtle once. We released it at the lake.

Her favorite snack was dried out cat food. Hopping up and down with glee, “yippee! Yippee! Cat food! Yum!”

If we started howling, Baby would join in. She would howl at fire engines as they drove by.

Eric said that Baby moped around the house for months after our mom passed away. He believes that she never quite got over that.

You may think it’s silly for me to eulogize a dog. But, she has been with me longer than most people are married. For the first time in almost 28 1/2 years, this house is without a dog. Dogs love us unconditionally. They do anything to please us with no sense of shame or embarrassment. They love us even when we are mean to them or ignore them. They love on us when we are happy or when we are sad. How can you resist those dark eyes looking up at you longingly? Or not laugh when pinned down and licked all over your face?

I will miss my Baby-doll.