Okay, where was I? Life after Lucy, right. Ex-husband’s dog was killed during our first year of marriage and I bought a Boxer puppy for him a few months later. The Boxer was almost solid fawn with only a small amount of white on his chest and paws. We named him Brutus, but usually called him Brute. He grew to be a whopping ninety pounds and ate as much as Jethro Bodine. He also never calmed down. He bounced all the time, like Pooh’s Tigger. I would have named him Tigger if I’d known that when I bought him. He was a mama’s boy, and the jerk-idiot-ex-husband didn’t like him for that reason. I, however, loved him and we spent lots of time taking long walks and he would drag me up hills and ride in my little sports car just like a human! He loved popcorn more than anything and would produce a string of drool that would reach the floor whenever I made any. Yes, he was very, very drooley and his farts were so hideously stinky they would wake us up in the middle of the night. He liked to escape and go visit a daycare that was nearby and he would allow the children to ride him like he was a horse. The first time I saw this I couldn’t believe it. When I decided to get a divorce, I had to give Brute away because there were no apartments in town that would allow such a large animal. I cried when he rode off in the back of the fellow’s truck, but I know he loved his second home. I have no idea how long he lived, and I tried to forget about him, but I never did. I missed him for a long time.
About seven years ago, my friends Heather and Jason were working in the yard at their new house and this little stray puppy started visiting them every night. Heather began to feed her after a couple of days. Heather told me that I should come over and see this adorable puppy, so I did, and I took her home and I’ve had her ever since! Heather had named her Abby and the name fit her perfectly. She weighed five pounds when I adopted her and she now weighs about ten pounds. She is some sort of poodle mix and has the thickest coat of black curly hair. She is beautiful. Occasionally Emily will still say, “I can’t believe anyone would abandon such a sweet and cute dog as Abby!” That’s exactly right. Abby is the sweetest, gentlest dog I’ve ever seen. She’s also too cute for words. She absolutely adores Emily and Reece and loves to snuggle up to them when they spend the night with me. As long as she is sitting in my lap, she is content. All the time that I was in grad school I was constantly reading and writing and she would sit in my lap and I would prop my book on her and read. While writing papers, she would sit in my lap and snore and make me jealous that I wasn’t sleeping, too! She’s not too crazy about this laptop I received for graduation.
Abby isn’t too crazy about her new sister, either. For several years I’ve wanted to get another dog, primarily as company for Abby, but the right dog never came along, until a few months ago, when I was given Roxy by a distant/in-law/relative/sort of. (Too complicated to try to explain and not important to the story.) Roxy is a four-year-old Maltese and she is as sweet and calm and loving as Abby. I had her cut like a poodle at the groomer’s this week and now she and Abby look like photo negatives of each other. Mainly, I had her cut that way to get rid of the hair on her face because it was always dirty, no matter how often I bathed her. She and Abby are not best friends and probably never will be. They have learned to accept each other, but they are both terribly jealous and I have to pet them both at the same time or they have a little fit and cry. Roxy is the dominant one and always gets to the food bowl first. Abby acquiesces to her on every issue. I probably should not have taken Roxy, but I did, and now I love her so much I would never get rid of her. Abby is just going to have to get over it! I sound like a nut sometimes when I’m talking to Abby and telling her that she is my first baby and therefore special. Not sure if she feels reassured by that, but I do!
My brother, Don, felt a tug on his heart strings about six years ago when he walked into an empty house, only to find a huge grey cat had been abandoned by the people who had previously lived in the house. The cat came up to Don and started rubbing himself on Don’s legs and that was it for Don. He’s had Muki ever since. I love Muki. He comes to the door when I go visit Don and he lets me pick him up and scratch him behind his ears. He’s a fat old cat with only a few teeth, but he still manages to keep his weight on. He has also turned my brother into a definite cat person!
Emily has a cat named Cutie who lives outside, but loves to sleep on Emily’s bed when it’s really cold outside. She is a large grey and white kitty who is very friendly and always greets me when I go visit her family. Emily has a way with her that few have with cats and Cutie adores her. She does have a wild side, however, and once killed a squirrel and dismembered it and spread its limbs all over the backyard. Maybe Cutie should go work for the Mafia. She’d be a natural.
Alrightee, last but not least is Emily’s and Reece’s dog, which they acquired last fall - Dooley the Dachshund. He’s a long-haired dapple and he has one brown eye and one blue eye. He is amazingly beautiful and as hyper as hell. Emily and Reece are fascinated with him and we all eventually became charmed by him. Of course, my two girly dogs hate him with a passion. They don’t play well with others and that’s all Dooley wants to do: play until he passes out from exhaustion. He’s a sweetie when he’s calm, however, and I love getting to see him when I visit my brother and his family.
Along the way, my brothers and I, and later my niece and nephew, have had various other animals, such as goldfish, hermit crabs, turtles, and lizards. I think we even had a rabbit very briefly once. It’s always been our dogs and cats that have given us the most joy, though, and I know we will always be animal lovers. It’s my theory that God is saving all of them for us and will return them to us in the afterlife.