I never had any real pets growing up. My Dad wasn't fond of having dogs or cats around the house. My Mom had a parakeet or two and I remember having some fish and several of those two-inch diameter turtles that would last a few weeks. Occasionally a dog would follow me home and I'd bring it inside, Mom warning me to make sure it was gone by the time Dad came home from work. There was a small woods and pond behind our house. On the other side was the back of the Lampell's, who had a big dopey black Lab named Divot. When we'd be in the backyard and see Divot resting on his lawn some hundred yards away, we'd yell, "Divot!" and he'd come galumphing through the woods, ever ready to cavort.
Linda never had a dog either. It's changed now a bit, but dogs as "pets" in the Philippines weren't so common in the recent past, though you'd see these ratty creatures skulking around homes, "alarm dogs" if anything. When I first visited, in 1985, we'd be sitting around outside, one of these pitiful creatures would amble up and I'd pet it, much to the shock of family members; you just didn't pet these things. I asked its name and was met with a blank look. "Name?"
In the early 90s, when it became apparent we weren't going to be having kids, we started talking about the idea of getting a dog. In the summer of '93, we decided to go for it. We first figured we'd adopt an abandoned one and went out to the North Shore Animal League in Long Island only to discover their policy of not giving up dogs less than six months old to couples who both work. I'd happened to have visited a pet shop a week prior so I suggested to Linda we stop in, if only to get an idea of what was around. This was in midtown Manhattan, no parking, so I idled in the car while Linda went to the store. About a half-hour later, she reappeared all a-twitter, "Ooh--ooh, you have to go and see this puppy!" Hence, Nanook, an American Eskimo dog, the lovely creature you see in my blog pic.
Nanook was an exceptionally sweet dog, pampered to an absurd degree, always ready with a friendly lick and cuddle. Didn't mind listening to eai. About a year and a half ago, she began to age noticeably, developing arthritis in her hindquarters, getting a bit mentally dizzy. As these things go, it gradually worsened, taking a big downturn a couple months back when her muscles began to atrophy, a worse one last week.
This morning, we had her put to rest, a very tough decision but, I'm sure, the correct one. Very, very hard thing to do.
A wonderful dog, we'll miss her terribly.