Friday, November 28, 2008
This is a picture of our late dog, Foxy. We were blessed to have her in our lives for thirteen years. We got her from a dog shelter in Chicago, Illinois, and she was the best dog anyone could ever hope for. We know that she was part collie. We were never sure what the other part was, nor did we care. We loved her exactly as she was.
She could sneeze on cue, and she loved to chase the light from a flashlight. But her favorite activity was to chase the water from sprinklers. When she would see those blasting streams of liquid, she was gone. Nothing could hold her back. It was as if she was a race horse and the gate had opened. She would chase the rotating sprinkler around and around. She would put her face right up to the nozzle and try to attack the water with quick successive bites. It was impossible to stop this ritual. I would run after her, but inevitably I would end up dizzy and soaking wet.
Foxy was a wonderful pet for our girls as they grew up. When my daughters were very young, Foxy would pull them through the snow while they sat on their bright plastic sled. We would shout: "Mush! Mush!" while pretending that we were on an Antarctic expedition. She was always gentle and kind, and even ended up in many of the plays that our girls performed in our basement. Foxy was generally cast as the horse, the cow, or some other four-legged animal. However, towards the end of her life when it was hard for her to walk around, Foxy played the coveted role of a princess. She lay on a silk covered pillow wearing a tiara while the play was presented. She didn't want to be left out.
The day that we had to have Foxy put to sleep was one of the hardest days of my life. My husband and I wept after the vet left the room. I stayed after my husband left the room, hugged her, and sang her a song that I have not been able to sing since.
I lasted three days. It felt more like three months being without her. We were all in mourning. There was a hole in our family. We could no longer hear the clicking of her nails as she came to greet us, pet her fur that was as soft as silk, or look into those sweet brown eyes. Clearly something had to be done.
My husband left on his annual golf trip. This seemed like a good time for me to see what kind of dogs were for sale in the paper. Oh, I know, I know. You're supposed to wait a while before you buy a new pet after one has died. But I have never been known for my patience. Besides, I wanted to make my girls feel better!
There are so many different breeds these days, it was hard to know where to begin. But I knew that the only way we could get a new dog was to follow my husband's criteria:
1. It had to be small.
2. It couldn't shed.
3. It would be a plus if I wasn't allergic to it like I am to a lot of animals.
I searched the Internet and there was the perfect breed for us! Schnoodles! A Schnoodle is a cross between a Schnauzer and a Poodle. Some of them are small. Check. They don't shed. Check. They are hypo-allergenic. Check!
My husband agreed that the girls and I could go and "look" at some puppies while he was gone. You can write the rest. Well, there is a twist. See, we have two daughters, so I kind of ended up getting two Schnoodles. Their names are Snickerdoodle (we call her Snickers for short) and Sadie. They are adorable, frisky and funny. They don't sneeze on cue, they don't chase the light from a flashlight, and they don't try to bite the water from sprinklers. But they do snuggle. And they love to swim. They can catch frisbees. And we can always hear the clicking sounds as they run to greet us. Their fur isn't as soft as Foxy's was, but it's still nice. And I can see the love when I look into their sweet brown eyes.
What did my husband say about this new development? Well, I kind of left a message on his phone. I didn't want to interrupt his golf game after all. Yes, he was surprised. Quite surprised, actually. But once he meet Snickers and Sadie, he fell in love with them too.
As for me, I would do it all over again. I love the little rascals. We have had them for four years, and I hope that they are with us for many, many more. But we will always, always love Foxy. She's the princess of them all.