Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Farewell, Old Buddy

I hope friends of mine don't mind that I borrowed a picture from their Facebook page. That's a dog named Scrappy. He wasn't mine, but he was my very dear friend.

He passed away yesterday at the age of 14.

It's not fair. Never is. I mean, we're basically supposed to outlive our pets. Yet sometimes, damned if they don't become closer to us than many family members. Closer than friends. They read our thoughts. They know our moods. They comfort, entertain, and amaze - all with a simple wag of a tail or a nudge of the head.

Yet it's still not fair.

Oh we probably all knew the day was coming. My friends had been suspecting it for some time. But when I saw their son write a brief line about it on Facebook, it hit hard. I hoped - foolishly - that it wasn't true. I thought of calling, but decided it might not be the right time.

Then I came home, and there it was, confirmed.

I've lost pets, of course. Putting my beloved Bandit to sleep after 17 years of companionship was as sad a moment as any. My niece just had to do the same to their Mr. Kittles, one round mound of meowing sound. And of course, Mr. Fred - who still looms large over Sean - just disappeared over a year ago and never came home.

We mourn - and many don't understand. "It was just a dog/cat/goldfish," the naysayers say, as if it was a stale loaf of bread; something that could be just thrown away. Yet there's a more tangible reality to it. Am I supposed to feel foolish because I have tears in my eyes as I type this?

I looked forward to that face at the door every time I visited their home. My friends swore - and bragged - that Scrappy and I were best buds. I loved seeing that Pembroke Welsh Corgi get excited when I strolled in. He'd yip at me, go grab his newest bone or play toy, and we'd be right at it - mock fighting in the living room. He didn't care if I needed to take my shoes off, or if I still had my jacket on, or if the purpose of the visit wasn't necessarily to see him. He wanted my rapt attention - NOW.

There was a belly to rub. A bone to try and steal. Kisses. Petting (and shedding). Lots.

I treasured those moments - this isn't some maudlin "he-was-such-a-sweet-dog" thing.

He was my friend - as loyal and loving as any.

Another dog/cat/whatever can be brought in. And still it's just not the same. Fred, for all his ways, was no Bandit. He just never could be. He was different.

Scrappy was a one of a kind.

You can't replace him.

You sure can't forget him. I know I won't.

Farewell, my friend.


bertiebee said...

What a sweet tribute to our pal Scrappy. He had the best ears ever :)

Rob Adams said...

I agree. What a great dog.