We have these two 16 year old dogs. Surprise. Lambchop and Rocci. Lambchop is named for Shari Lewis' sock puppet. Rocci is named because she has the markings of a raccoon. Why, you might ask, do we have two dogs? Because the third one died--at age 19. Seems as how we always tried to have two dogs whilst we were working so they had company while we were gone. When the penultimate puppy passed (say that three times quickly!), we went looking for a playmate for the remaining poodle. Of course, we went looking at the shelter, because all our dogs are "rescue" animals. There were two poodle cross puppies left from one litter. I picked up the white one. Cathy picked up the black one. That's all it took to bring two new balls of fur home for Mitzi to play with. Now understand, we do have the philosophy that the only way these two could be litter mates was if they had different sires. We understand that can happen. They have nothing in common, including disposition. For years, I have maintained their lineage in this way...the mother was poodle and the father came from a good neighborhood. When we decided they may well not have been conceived by the same male, I changed my story to the mother was a poodle of loose morals. Whatever. These two are now infirm. Neither hears...at all, and Lambchop's eyesight is failing. They no longer can make it up the steps to the bedroom, so they sleep downstairs. Because Lambchop is incapable of managing stairs at all, and is old, hence requiring middle-of-the-night trips outside, one of us now sleeps downstairs every evening to tend to their needs. They are, indeed, spoiled. Always have been. Always will be! You see, for 16 years they have given us the love and comfort only a dog knows how to give. They are overjoyed to see us when we get home. They understand when we need a dog to pet. They accept us for who and what we are. They are the company that makes coming home a little easier. And they never, never, never have asked to borrow the car or for an increase in their allowance! In short, they are a continuous reminder of the power of trust and love. It has been said, "I want to be the type of man my dog thinks I am."
I know they won't be here forever. And I know, we will probably be "rescuing" again. But while they are here, and while we can, we will care for them, learn from them, and love them...and you!