Hi there. It’s me, Wes back at the keyboard. I was surfing the net the other day and saw that National Pet Memorial Day is coming up September 11, 2016. Hmm, got me to thinking and I remembered something. I am not the only dog that’s ever lived with this family! As I scrunch my brow and look deep inside my head, I can see the vaguest shadows of another dog laying on my couch. I’d forgotten about that, I suppose because I was just a puppy and kind of distracted by my own projects (like chewing the rungs on the kitchen chairs).
You know, I have noticed some of my toys carry the scent of another dog and there’s even a desk in our living room that has a daisy-flowered collar sitting with it (I am far too manly to have EVER worn a girlie collar). I hadn’t given too much thought to it, but I’ll bet all that stuff must’ve belonged to that other dog!
That’s right. I remember now. There WAS a dog at our house before me. I knew her, only for a few short months, when I was just a young pup. Her name was Daisy Mae. She was black and white (like me!) but was much bigger. She was one of those dogs I sometimes hear about in the news (a PIT BULL) but honestly I don’t know what all the fuss on TV is about. That Daisy Mae was always kind to me, and sometimes we played with our toys together. She was very strong, but was gentle with me and with my people, too. I remember Maria, my human sister, was young then and she always cuddled with Daisy on the couch and I even saw some pictures where both of them were dressed up in Princess costumes. (Thank goodness nobody ever captured similar images of manly-me wearing such silly stuff).
I remember thinking that Daisy Mae seemed to get tired pretty easy and I thought she was just old. Turns out she wasn’t much older than I am now (a sobering thought). She had some disease called cancer and was sick for over a year before I came onto the scene. My human mom (Dr. Carole) said Daisy was very brave and faced her illness with dignity and humor. It was a sad day when my mom came home from the clinic without Daisy, and though I didn’t really understand it, I could sense everybody’s sadness and knew it was my job to step up to the plate and help out.
So that’s what I do. I greet my sister Maria at the door when she gets home from school. I bring her my squeaky toy to throw (even though she says she doesn’t want it). I keep her warm in the winter (she says I hog the bed). I make sure everybody gets enough exercise (I ask to go outside every few hours, so I can chase squirrels up the trees). I keep my Auntie Jojo company every day (I share my couch while we watch TV).
I know I can never be Daisy Mae. I wouldn’t even know how to try. Yet, the good thing is, I don’t need to be. I just have to be me, and I know it’s always good enough!
So, on National Pet Memorial Day I say let’s smile and remember those furry faces who shared our lives and our hearts. While they may have passed through too quickly, each one has left an indelible imprint in our memory. My mom says she remembers each decade of her life by the animals she’s shared those times with. The dogs: Sandy, Bonnie, Abby, Tonya, Daisy, Me (Wes). The cats: Rachel, Brrrrrt, Midnight, Scooter, LeRoy, Curley, Ms. Marple, Misty, Moustacchio (a.k.a. the devil-kitten). The horses (they live longer!): Priscilla, Finesse, sweet John (he’s thirty years old!), Beavis, Ms. Cinnamon. She says these are the times of her life.