We had a customer in, this morning, who was going to be going to look for a new dog as an addition to their family. They were looking at laboradors and were telling us about their previous dogs and the experience with them. It brought to mind some of our previous family members. Specifically it brought to mind a beagle named Snowball.
When we moved to Ohio we owned two cats and two dogs. The cats were characters in their own rights but our dogs were really characters. We owned a lab/shepherd mix and a shih-tzu. Now anyone who has ever rented a house will tell you that renting a house with animals is not the easiest thing in the world but in Ohio we were lucky enough to get a house that was out in the country and sat on 13 acres. We moved animals and children in and remained peaceful for over 3 years. I then got a job about 1 hour from where we lived, taking care of a developmentally delayed adult in her own apartment. Through this association I got to know other tenants in this apartment building, particularly an older lady who lived with her brother and her dog. This dog's name was Snowball. Snowball was a typical beagle except she was about a foot wide and the only thing I ever saw Snowball do was waddle slowly to the yard and do her "duties" and then lay down on the sidewalk till the children in the neighborhood came home. Then she would waddle out to the bus wait for the children, wag her tale and waddle back to the house where she would then go back to sleep.
Well over a period of time the old lady's brother became ill and then she did too and both of them had to have long term care at the local convalescent center. This center did not accept dogs so the old lady came to me and asked if I could possibly take care of an ancient dog for a while till she died. I considered this request and told her I would have to talk to Dan. You see Dan did NOT WANT any MORE ANIMALS!!! NO! NO! NO! My argument went something like this... Honey, this dog is ancient! She is so overweight and knowing that she hasn't been in a car in a very long time.. I really expect she will die on the way home and we will just have to bury her. Truthfully I DID expect this and I really did not want any more animals either so well this seemed like a favor I could do. At worst the dog would make it to our house but it would be hospice care and with two boys and a rambunctious house of animals Snowball would only survive a week or so.
well the day came to get Snowball and I drove the Fiero over to pick her up. Snowball waddled to the car and climbed in and we headed down the road. She stayed on the floor and slept all the way home. When we got home I checked her to see if she was still alive (she was) and then I got out of the car and walked around to open the door so she could waddle out of the car and I could introduce her to her new home. When I opened the door, Snowball lifted her head, tilted it a little and bounded out of the car and across the field next to the house. Dan inquired if that was the dog that was supposed to be in hospice care as we both watch snowball jump and run through the corn chasing bunnies and coons.
Snowball came back in about a half hour, and ran up the stairs into the house and right into my youngest son's heart. She slept with David every night. Often she slept at his feet till he was asleep and then she would move up and sleep around his head so that his head was in her belly. About two weeks after we had Snowball she got sick. I have to admit by this time Snowball did not act like she was a hospice dog. In fact she had shed about 5 pounds and was looking much healthier. I on the other hand was feeling guilty because I had promised this dog was just with us to die! So when Snowball got ill I was a little relieved and thought for sure she was finally going to "bite the dust". I took her to the vet and filled out all the requisite paper work. On the line asking age.. I stated she was "ancient". and that I expected it was time for her to be put down. After a thorough examination the vet called me in and with a very quizzical look said, "who told you this dog was ancient?" I told him that the woman who owned her said she was quite old. The vet laughed and said well... this dog is only 4 or 5 years old. She is very healthy and if like most beagles.. will probably live for at least another 14 to 15 years!! I almost died!! I knew if I didn't or she didn't that Dan would kill one of us anyway!!!
Snowball lived with us another year or so. Then we found out we were moving to Washington and we could not take her with us. Three dogs were just to much. Actually two were to many but that is another story... So we put an ad in the paper and the last time we saw Snowball she was leaving our house to go live in a trailer court with a pre-teen boy and his family. The boy loved riding his bike and going walking and he wanted a dog to go with him when he did. He was truly head of heels in love with Snowball by the time Snowball and he headed to their home. We wished Snowball many wonderful adventures chasing coons and rabbits. A few days later we headed on our own adventures here in WA.
Text about Whidbey Island.