Monday, January 20, 2014
Spot was with us for fifteen years. We adopted him as a puppy at the local shelter shortly before Christmas 1998, and he was the devoted pet of The Progeny. When The Progeny headed off to college ten years later, Spot adjusted to life with my husband and me, and occasional visits from his main buddy.
The next year my husband got sick, and Spot's life changed again. He was diligent in helping watch over the man whom he'd considered the "alpha male" of our family "pack." The Progeny took a year off college to help take care of his dad, so we were all together again. The same, but different.
When my husband had to move to an assisted living facility, our son went back to college, and I got a fulltime job, I knew Spot would be lonely. I adopted a kitten at the shelter, and Spot, at around 40 pounds, was as gentle as a mom with the 1.5 pound Attila. The three of us were in a big house, but due to circumstances we soon lived in only two rooms of it. Spot adjusted to that, and enjoyed being out in the yard when he could.
The house was sold, my husband died, and Spot, Attila and I moved to a small apartment up a flight of 20 steps. Spot couldn't run in his yard anymore, but he adjusted again. He and Attila played together in the apartment, which sounded fierce at times, but was fun and good exercise for them both. They took lots of naps, and were at the door to greet me when I came home for lunch or after work.
A fun change with the apartment was our walks together. Spot loved those, especially the long ones. He loved having the wind in his face, and a hill to go up or down. Many people learned his name when they stopped and talked to him or petted him. After a short while of "town" living, Spot learned to slow his pace or change direction if he saw a likely dog-lover in range. A few months ago he made a good canine friend nearby, and even though he was 15, when he saw Avery, it was as if he were a puppy again, bouncing and wagging his tail like crazy.
But Spot's age finally caught up with him. We said good-bye to our sweet friend on Saturday night, with many tears then and since. Someone said that now Spot has been reunited with my husband. I can imagine the two of them walking up a path in the woods, Spot bounding along beside his "alpha male," eager to see what's over the next hill, and barking just because it feels good.