Wonderful Wednesday Personal Blog
Angus the Cat came to us as a 3 lb baby. We had discussed adding a cat to our menagerie, and one day we just got in the car and drove to the local shelter.
The little orange tabby was the loudest cat in the room. No way I was bringing home a mouthy, obnoxious cat home with me. But when I told the lady I wanted a cat that got along with dogs, guess which one she immediately pointed to?
I rather grudgingly accepted him when she placed him in my arms. He purred and stared at me, patting my face gently with his paws. I was hooked.
In fact, Angus is quite a source of amusement. We recently got an automatic waterer (boy, can these critters go through water!). The dogs drink from it if the other bowl is empty, but Angus sees it as a challenge.
Even just drinking from it requires making a small mess.
He loves the way it gurgles. If it is low on water, it's not as burbly and he bats it around. Of course, that brings a human to investigate, we fill the tank, and it gurgles again. We're well-trained.
I changed the fountain from a low trickle to a higher spout. I think I'm Angus' hero :-)
Today I want to post about how Ben lived. It's been a week since we let him go, and I've discovered I have quite a collection of photos of Ben (as I'm sure many of you have of your pets). I'd like to narrate a short journey through his life, if you'd be so kind as to spend a few minutes with me.
He came to us as a 9 week old puppy-- and he was the same color as the hardwood floor! I wasn't sure about those ears. They seemed too big to every stand up. But within a couple of weeks, they began their ascent. Those ears didn't miss a sound!
He and Dixie (who is about to turn 13) were instant buddies. They were pretty much inseparable, though he was happiest curled up with his people.
He went a lot of places with me. His manners were pretty, and he loved meeting people. He even maintained his cool after the canon at a Scottish festival went off (we were much further away when it did) and payed little attention to the bagpipes. His antics even won him an award at the festival's pet parade. Who could resist his dramatic 'play dead' right in front of the judges? He never met a stranger, and everyone adored him.
And then Freki joined the family. We weren't sure how Ben would treat her. He was a rough-and-tumble 4-yr-old at the time. He couldn't have been kinder.
He taught her about kiddie pools, nap time, riding in the car, playing games, and how to snatch treats from the puzzle toy. Occasionally, Dixie joined in.
Did he ever get into trouble? You betcha! He knew many voice commands and tricks, and loved showing them off. He'd race to the top of the stairs and I (knowing he was about to turn right and eat whatever was left in the cat's food bowl) would shout 'Left!'. He'd usually ignore my first command and turn right anyway. To everyone's amusement, I'd immediately counter with 'Your other left!', at which point he'd spin around and head to the left. He was notorious for raiding the cat's food bowl, even when we placed it on the ledge at the back of the tub. Yes, he'd climb up there for a snack.
His favorite trick was to roll over and play dead. He could do this with quite a bit of flair--seemed to love it when people laughed. So we coupled the trick with the dialogue "would you rather be a Bama fan or a dead dog?" (Yes, I'm an Auburn grad). He'd fall to the floor and fling his feet into the air rather dramatically. He was the class clown in his training classes and loved to learn.
Trouble? Mostly for digging. He didn't discriminate between the soft spot of yard in the corner and the flower bed or garden. I had quite a nice garden and flower bed surrounding the back porch-- until he taught Freki how much fun it was to pull up the plants and shake them around.
They also were responsible for the random acts of toilet paper roll placement in the house.
Though he enjoyed being inside, petted, pampered and soaking up attention, he loved the outdoors and was curious about everything.
Thanks for letting me ramble on a bit about Ben. We will miss him for a long time.
I'm writing this post while I still can. I thought about putting it off until tomorrow, or next week-- or even next month. But the truth is, I will never get to a place where this is easy.
After struggling with the lameness and later neuropathy of his right front leg, we let Ben go.
Just before Christmas, a lump that had been no larger than a large lima bean grew to the size of a small peach. Our vet removed as much of it as he could, but it fell apart and was pretty much everywhere. The histopathology report told us it was an aggressively malignant tumor.
Ben rallied after surgery. He was able to dart up and down the steps, albeit three-legged as he still had no function of his right front leg. But I saw him use that leg to wipe his face, and could even coax him to shake with it if the bribe was sufficient. It lasted less than a week.
He went downhill from there, and much too fast for us to process. But when he was no longer able to move more than three steps (and those 3 steps took forever) without collapsing, and picking him up was no longer much of an option as it made him whine, we knew it was time to let him go.
Ben, you were the absolute kindest, sweetest dog I have ever had the priviledge of knowing. You loved me with all your heart and I hope I returned even a portion of that to you. Run free, my friend. You deserve peace and the only grace that was truly mine to give you.
You have a new yard tonight. Keep it free of squirrels.
My heart could not break so much if there was not such an empty space inside it. Thank you for seven wonderful years of companionship, Ben. You are missed.
All Adventures With Rezso After Christmas Angus The Cat Basketball Bath Bath Time Ben Best Toys Birthday Chiropractic Treatment Christmas Corgi Dixie Dog Training Flowers Freki Fun On The Farm Gardening German Shepherd Gunnar Happy Birthday Harvest Helper Jolly Ball Life With Dogs Life With Freki New Puppy Ninja Dog Obedience Class Odin's Wolves Pool Time Service Dog Snow Soccer #Sonicdrivein Spring Springtime Square Foot Garden Square-foot Garden Swimming Pool Then And Now Tracking Treats Water Games Winter Fun Wonderful Wednesday