Archive for June 14th, 2010

We met Joey in 1997 when he was one of a couple hundred dogs incarcerated at the county shelter. He had a certain “Pookieness” the shelter manager knew we liked. There’s no way to define a Pookie we just know one when we see one. We didn’t agree to take him but did offer to put him through the heartworm treatment he needed if someone else would adopt him. Can’t remember how many dogs we had at home at the time, but I’m sure another was not needed. Despite his obvious cuteness he had no takers. He sat at the shelter waiting for a couple months until I got the call they couldn’t hold on to him any longer. We brought him home as our Honorary Pookie. (Frank & Sam being the official Pookie Bros.).

My memory’s a bit fuzzy but I’m sure the intent was to nurse him to health and then find him a good home. Ah, always the best of intentions. The first night when I went to put him into a crate he escaped my grasp and ran under our bed. Trying to get him out was futile and I wasn’t going to let him bite me. I gave up and we went to bed. Sometime in the night he came out from under the bed and snuggled up against my back. That’s where he spent many, many years, either my back or Scottie’s. One of his most endearing traits was the way he’d lay his head on our shoulders if he was being held. He was simply precious.

Joey always got along with any dog in the household. He was definitely a lover, not a fighter. Ramirez even tolerated him. The best guess as to his breed was maybe part chihuahua, part minpin, part beagle? He definitely had a wanderlust and was one of the few dogs who ever escaped the back yard. He just could not be contained. No wonder he wound up a stray at animal control. He could escape out of any crate and even escaped out of the kennels at our vet clinic once. He could climb with the best of them in all his 10 pound glory. This ability to escape is the main reason he stayed. In his later years we did back x-rays and found that he’d had a broken pelvis at some point in his life prior to us. No telling what he experienced before we had him join our family. Joey loved the ladies. He would swagger up to them, do some kissing and then jump on their head to hump! He’s been catapulted across many rooms and lived to tell about it.

Joey’s physical health was excellent as he became an old man but his brain was deteriorating. It’s always difficult watching as they become old but it’s even worse when it’s the brain. He was suffering from terrible dementia, just like a person does. Old dog Alzheimer’s came on fast. So, Friday we released him from his pain and confusion. He was lovingly held and told how great a dog he was and how lucky we were to have known and loved him all these many years. His age was estimated at 18 or even older. We miss him but know he’s no longer suffering. I smile as I picture him being greeted by all our other pack angels. Let’s hope he doesn’t try any head humping at the Bridge 🙂

This was the song we chose for his final goodbye.

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