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Momo Fali's: The Twilight of Her Life

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Twilight of Her Life

Our dog is getting old. She's not at the point where she's peeing-all-over-the-rug-old, but she's recently developed a touch of arthritis and you can see it coming in the not so distant future. It's hard to see a dog with the boundless energy she once had, start to slow down. She used to come flying down the stairs to bark at the UPS man, but now she simply stands up on our bed and barks from there.

When she was only a couple of months old, we found out I was pregnant with our first child. Being new at the whole parenting thing, we decided it was best to have an obedience trainer work one-on-one with us and our dog, in our home. This wasn't cheap. Nor, was it effective. After just a few classes, we were basically told there was nothing more that could be done. We tried our best, but she's never learned to heel, or come on command, or lay down, or even sit right. She does what I refer to as a swimsuit calendar pose. Not so much sitting, as much as trying to look seductive for a treat.

For about eight years, she acted like she was still a puppy. When visitors arrived, she would jump all over them and run around the room. That's one of the things I won't miss. No one ever being able to wear black to our house. What's the point, when you leave looking like you've been attacked by some Himalayan Yeti? "You want to come over? Okay, but wear white, and whatever you do, DO NOT wear hose."

So, the fur won't be missed, along with the nose juice she so lovingly splatters all over our bay windows every day. I also won't miss putting the trash can on top of the refrigerator when we leave the house, or the thumping sound that always precedes her vomiting at 4:00 AM. And, I would do just about anything to erase the memory of returning home, on my birthday no less, the night after our neighbor had given her a ham shank over the fence, without our permission. I could just about smell the piles of bone-ridden excrement from my driveway. Lovely.

But, I will miss her sweet, gentle nature, and how she's never even growled at one of our kids when they were using her as a portion of an obstacle course. I will miss petting her soft ears as a form of therapy, and I will miss her acting like a vacuum cleaner and picking up all the spilled food. But, most of all, I will miss feeling safe and sound, and knowing that I'm HOME, just because she's here.


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