Sorry for having gone radio silent over the past couple of weeks, but we’ve had a bit of a pall over our maison since our beloved Doberman Joey exited this world.
We always knew Joey was never going to be an old dog. To say he had health issues would be an understatement. He was the sole survivor of a small litter, was blind in one eye, and was most often under some sort of treatment for things like a sensitive stomach or itchy skin. In fact, his ailments pretty much turned me into a canine chef, whipping up gourmet dinners of white rice, ground meat, and $60 a bag venison dog food nightly to keep him a healthy dog.
Although I always knew Joey’s life was going to end sooner rather than later, I still never thought he’d be two years old, almost to the day, when we lost him. And never would I have ever guessed it’d be the stuffing to toy that would lead to his unraveling.
See, we almost lost Joey once before. He contracted leptospirosis, a rare and very severe bacterial infection that landed him in the doggy ICU for five days. I’m embarrassed to say how much it cost–seriously double the figure you have in your head–but I would’ve spent it all over again for that dog. In fact, I almost did.
Joey was a lot of things–a goof, a gourmand, and a guardian, to name a few–but above all he was my friend. We learned a lot together. While he learned to sit, lie down, and shake, I learned to be more patient, forgiving, and reliable. He reminded me that life was best lived simply, measured by nothing more complicated than a long walk, a beautiful day, or a good cup of coffee. I’m pretty sure I can say that I was a better person by the end of his short life than when my husband picked him up at the baggage claim at Reagan National.
Needless to say, he was much loved and is much missed. But one of the things I most regret about this most regrettable event is that baby will miss out on Joey; he would have been the best dog any boy could have. I had already imagined seeing baby’s little footie-pajama feet straddling Joey’s back and his little arms wrapped around his big, muscular neck.
But I guess for as much as we can mourn the memories that never will be, it’s best to just remember the good times that were and hope, as my sister said, that doggie heaven is filled with plastic Elvis chickens and spoons full of peanut butter, two of Joey’s favorite things.