It’s been four months since my buddy and pal Jack went over the rainbow bridge. I know he’s happy and healthy now and that we’ll be together again someday, but I still miss him. Just like the other dogs I’ve had, no dog will replace Jack, but I think it is time to start looking for another companion.
There are some things to consider that have kept me from getting another dog sooner. Mainly, where I’m living, we already have three dogs and three cats. Misty is Pattie’s late husband’s dog, a Shih Tsu who is getting up in years and is now blind and deaf. She shares our bed with us, as do Miss Kitty and Nee-Nee (short for Knee High), two of the three cats. Parker and Charley are the other two dogs, a Dachshund and a black Labrador retriever, and they belong to Christina and Barry, Pattie’s daughter and son-in-law, who live in the other side of the house. Then there is Skeeter, a deaf cat who sleeps where he wants, but not on the bed. Christina also has fish and a turtle in aquariums in their room. So there are plenty of animals already in the house.
But none of them are mine; I can’t claim any of them as my own, like I could with Jack, and Jill, and some of our other pet friends. So I’m starting to look. I’m not a dog trainer, so I’m not looking for a puppy. I’m looking for a dog at least a year old, who has already been house or crate trained. That also rules out buying a dog from a pet shop or breeder, which is fine with me. I’ve always gotten my dogs from rescue shelters. I’m not looking to breed them, and I like the thought of providing a good home to a dog who needs one.
I’m looking for a small or medium size dog. Having had both, I’m torn between them, too. Jill was the smallest dog we ever had, a blond Pomeranian. She was about 11 years old when we got her, and stayed with us for about five years. She had a smiling face – when she looked at you with her mouth open and her tongue out, it looked like she was smiling. She was about the size of a football. She had trouble going up and down stairs, so I would hold her up in one arm when I carried her up and down stairs, one paw on my chest and her head next to mine. At night before we went to sleep, she’d give me a little lick on my nose. The only real problem I had with her, besides carrying her up and down the steps, was I had to be careful in bed, or I would roll over onto her in my sleep. Usually she’d wait patiently for me to roll off of her, but occasionally she woke me up with a bark, saying, “Get off of me!”
I never had that problem with Jack, since he was a Shih Tzu/Terrier mix and weighed about 18 pounds. He was not exactly a lap dog, although he always wanted to be one when we went on trips. But I could take Jack for a walk and he could keep up with me. Jack was also the only dog I’ve ever had who would snuggle up next to me and let me put my arm over him while he slept. He was also the only one who would walk with me without having to be on a leash.
So while I miss Jill’s kiss goodnight, I think I miss having Jack up next to me at night and on walks more. Like I said, I can’t replace Jack, but I’ll be looking for another good dog and companion like him. I know there is one out there waiting for me.
Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @LarryStanford7.