Hello from the other side

Dear Beau,

I didn’t really like you much when you first came to live with us. You were annoying and disruptive to my peaceful existence. The house was all mine after Fred died. At times, it might have been a little lonely but I really didn’t mind. It isn’t easy growing old. I was 13 and a half when you arrived and my bones ached, my insides didn’t work right and I had to take pills with my food. One day, you’ll understand how it feels.

As obnoxious as you were, I have to admit that you brought me back to my days as a young pup. I guess it was fun romping at the beach with you and taking your chew toys. I give you credit, as much as I tried to intimidate you, you never gave up trying to make me your friend. Thank you for that.15 months

You’re looking good, kid. A solid 77 lbs, you’re probably full grown. I bet you’re finally neutered, too. Now that you’re all grown up, you need to know what’s expected of you:

  1. Bark at strangers. It’s your number one job. Heck, bark at everyone. It’s hard to know whose strange and who isn’t.
  2. Walk in front of Mom. You’re there to protect her no matter what she says.
  3. Always, always be the first one in the car so you don’t get left behind!
  4. Cuddle often. It’s the only reason Mom lets you on the big bed.
  5. When you have to go number 2, go off the trail so Mom doesn’t have to pick it up (even though she does anyway).
  6. Eat fast. Someone might take it from you.
  7. If Mom gets the watering hose, RUN!!
  8. Practice your “sad puppy” look. You’ll get more treats.
  9. Chew the furniture. You’ll get more toys.
  10. Give lots of hugs and kisses. Mom will give them back.

It took two of us, both Fred and I, to take care of Mom. It’s up to you now, kid. If you need some help, just look at our pictures on the mantle and we’ll help you figure out what to do.

Looking back, I guess it’s a good thing Mom got you when she did.

Love,
Ethel

 

 

 

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Sweet Lonely Ethel

It’s been two months that Fred’s been gone. People asked me how Ethel would be as an “only dog”. I thought for sure she would relish the opportunity to have ALL the attention. After all, she LOVES being petted and won’t let you stop once you start.

Occasionally, I’ve brought her to work with me and my co-workers seem to enjoy having her around.  She doesn’t make trouble and stays in my office. I’m not sure she enjoys it though. When we go to leave, she can’t get out the door fast enough.

The past few years, I’ve asked neighbors and friends in similar situations how their surviving pet was after losing the other. I often heard that they didn’t want to have another dog brought into their home… the surviving dog didn’t want another dog. Ok, in both instances an animal psychic was involved.

So, I wondered, “Does Ethel want to be an only dog for a while? Or, is she lonely?”

We visited my parents for Easter and Ethel loved having us around all day. She especially loved the hike that was part mud and part snow. She even joined Coal and Jemma – her canine cousins – swimming in the cold stream running by.

Now that we’re home and she’s alone every day, I wonder if she misses having another dog around. Is she depressed? Is she lonely?

A week ago, she stopped eating and had little energy. I took her to the vet and for $185 I learned she had an upset stomach and got some pills that I had to bribe her to take. She’s better now but drinking a lot of water and having accidents in her bed.

Hey, Ethel…  How about a puppy?