almost always had dogs in my life. There was a 4 month period I possessed a cat. With two people in the house being allergic, it probably wont happen again.
When I was an infant, my parents adopted a stray. Maria was a black terrier mix. Hating everyone except the immediate family, Maria would bark defiantly at anyone entering her territory.
For years I would giggle whenever I met someone named Maria. That was a dog’s name! It was like naming a child Spot or Fido. Eventually,I got it through my head that Maria was also a perfectly good human name.
my kids turn
A few dogs and many years later I brought home Snoball. Sam was a year old and Avery was 8. She was a lovely creature with white downy fur and dark eyes.
I planned to name her something sophisticated and elegant but when Avery looked at her, she pointed and dubbed her Snoball. At least we would probably never encounter a woman named Snoball. Whew!
Snoball grew up with my children. Like Maria, she didn’t like strangers. Men and small children stayed away for fear of being bitten.
Snoball the brave
As a toddler, Sam would run away. Marching down the block in a diaper and tee shirt ,Sam made a lovely sight. Always one step away was Snoball. She would not let Sam out of her sight.
He was an annoying little brother, but Snoball protected him anyway. We always knew that wherever one was, the other was close by. The only thing that saved us from his breaking out was locking deadbolts, but that is another story.
15 years (or so) later
Snoball is still with us. The days of her barking viciously at passers-by are a distant memory. Completely blind, most likely deaf, and confused, her life is much more simple now.
Her day consists of wandering outside, walking in circles, coming back in, bumping into walls to find her way then going back outside again. I soften Snoball’s food so she can eat and periodically pick her up in order to pet her.
Three years ago we adopted Daisy who now runs the house. She rarely barks at strangers. Instead she would rather slather everyone with kisses. Daisy gets jealous when Snoball is perched on my lap. Eventually, Daisy acquiesces and sits next to her; offering us both kisses.
a life less meaningful?
I realize after 15 years, Snoball is nearing end of life. Everyday she seems a little slower and more daft. Dwindling down to under 20 pounds, she is a shadow of her former robust self.
There are moments I want to let her go and others I can’t imagine putting Snoball down. She can still eat, drink, pee and poop.
Is it really my decision when she is done living? I don’t think she is in excessive discomfort. Just thinking about the options brings tears to my eyes.
I glance at Snoball while writing and see her curled up on a dog bed. She looks peaceful in her slumber. Her time may come soon, but not yet. Not today.
This post was inspired by Mama Kat’s weekly blogging prompt 1.) Write a blog post inspired by your family pet.