Saturday, March 31, 2007

so long, sweet friend

Well, it's done. Sweet Otis, you're gone. You were a good dog. You were quirky, a scaredy-cat, sometimes stubborn, but always gentle, always wagging your tail at everyone who spoke to you, and most of the time even to those who didn't. You could always be counted on to greet us at the door when we came home. The first thing you thought anyone should do was let you outside as soon as they came home, even if you had just come inside fifteen seconds earlier. You still insisted!

The summer we first got you, we kept you in the kennel because we were NOT going to get attached. You weren't going to be our dog, remember? But you hated it in there. In fact, when you were out in the kennel, at night you would cry and howl at us, and it sounded like someone was torturing you. I think you were starved for attention. When someone showed their face anywhere in the yard where you could see them, you would bounce like you were on a pogo stick . . . boingy . . . boingy . . . boingy, until they went away. You would stop and stare after them, as if to say, "What?? That wasn't good enough?"

But when fall came, and it started to get cold, I was the one who gave in to your sad puppy eyes. I started having a severe case of puppy eyes myself when I thought about you out in the cold, and before you knew what was what, you were suddenly an inside dog, sleeping on the couch, with one of the kids, or at the foot of our bed. Funny how that happens, isn't it?

We will always tell the story about the sneaky way you stole Phyl's covers one cold January night when you thought he was sleeping. After a couple of tentative tugs with no reaction, his covers suddenly disappeared with one "swoosh!" and when he looked on the floor, there you were curled up with your eyes shut tight, with the blanket wrapped around you already!

You always wagged your tail at the cats, too, even though you were scared to death of Tucker. Sometimes you bounced on him, and since he holds a grudge, he would often come after you and try to bite you on the leg or swat at you with his paw as you went by. So you usually tried to give the cats a wide berth. A few times we found you letting one of them cuddle up to you, though, and we were always amazed.

We will always laugh about the way you always answered the question, "Outside?" with your bouncy, enthusiastic "Yes!" I remember one day Liss decided to see how many times she could get you to go outside, because every time someone said that magic word, you started to bounce, and out you would go. I think you went outside forty-six times in a row that day; it lasted until she got tired of asking. I knew you weren't feeling very good lately because you only went out when you really needed to, and no matter how excited we got about it, you weren't very bouncy.

And from now on, when there is thunder and lightning outside, we will remember that during thunderstorms, you used to either try to stuff yourself under the bed (and only your head would fit--the rest of you would stick out from under the bed), or you would try to climb up into someone's lap as if you wanted to climb right inside to hide till the storm was over.

We will always wonder why you got so hyper when the scent of skunk would drift into the house from somewhere outside. You would race up and down the hall, and if it was the middle of the night, you would bark and bark until someone let you into the bedroom to sleep there. Maybe the smell triggered bad memories; I don't know.

You were always afraid you were missing out on something, whether it was attention, food, or just something interesting going on. You always wanted to be where people were. You never liked to be cooped up away from everyone else, whether it was out in the kennel when we first got you, or closed in the bedroom when there were little kids over. You hated that. You would bark and bark, just so someone would let you out.

You were one smart cookie, Otis. We sometimes thought you were dumb as a box of rocks, but in retrospect, you knew exactly how to get what you wanted. We'll miss you, buddy, with your bouncy ways and your happy tail. Au revoir.


d.t.x. said...

I love you, Otis and will you say Hi to Max for me. You guys will be good friends.

sunnyspot said...

I am so sorry about Otis. We had a dog named Columbo, a basset, that got cancer & had to be put to sleep. I had to do it alone. I am crying even thinking about it.

Norah said...

OH! Daisy, I am soooo sorry to read about Otis! We have been in that place of mourning for family pets. It's so hard watching them age. I am so sad too, and could cry thinking about it, as Sunnyspot said. Still miss all those pets we've had. But we've replaced them, and quickly, and now have 3 mutts around the house who know us better than we do LOL. Makes you wonder what God had planned when he decided that some animals would be domesticated :-). He was looking out for us, methinks.

May your precious memories of good times with Otis warm your heart.

Faith said...

Hugs to you and your family over your loss of Otis. He sounded like such a great dog! He's at peace now and God is taking care of him in doggy heaven! Love ya.