College of Veterinary Medicine Home Pet Loss Hotline

My best friend Reba left this world today. While she was the closest thing to a child that I will probably ever experience, contrary to what some people may think, I never lost sight of the fact that she was still a dog, but a damn cool dog. Lassie she was not, Rin Tin Tin, Astro, not even close. Benji, Eddie or Murray, negative. In fact she was not all that bright and chose to ignore me whenever it was even remotely possible. But she did love me, with that unconditional love that only an animal can provide.

For those that know me well, no, I did not stuff her and put a clapper in her tail as I always threatened. Nor did I freeze her body parts for cloning. I chose a path of normalcy for a change and had her cremated.




My petless friends must be wondering, what in the world is this all about, she was just a dog, and you have probably stopped reading. But for those of you that have been gifted by the presence of a special friend, you understand my need for closure and a small tribute to this buddy that out lasted every man in my life and was much more fun and easy to be with.

For more than fourteen years that dog was still excited every time she saw me. She would sit for hours on end in my car, certain I would always come back, but leave her alone for fifteen minutes in our home and she would reek mayhem and destruction with her three short little legs. She spent a large part of her life in a special bag and once inside she knew silence was essential. She had more illegal frequent flyer miles than most people I know and on one trip I snuck her onto five different airplanes. She attended midnight mass at Christmas and was slung over my shoulder as I shook hands with the bishop. She stayed at Hyatts and Hiltons, and learned to pee in the bathtub when we were on the 18th floor and I was too tired to sneak her out in the middle of the night.

She asked for very little and never complained. I didn't save for a college education; my old car was always good enough; her favorite treat was a dried pig's ear at eighty nine cents each and she never wanted a wardrobe, although you can see from the photo that at rare times, I couldn't help myself. Best of all, she never made me cook! She ate the same thing for fourteen years, right off the shelf. She did force me to buy a condo in California when I couldn't find a place to rent with a dog. Within five years my condo doubled in value so she proved to be a much more savvy investor than I, substantially increasing my portfolio. That was a wise move, as the returns were needed for her long-term health care, MRI's, CAT scans and pampers, but I still came out way on top. Her tail never ceased wagging, even until the end and that probably caused me to prolong her life longer than I should have. If I had a nickel for every person who said to me, "that dog only has one leg" or "that dog looks just like a fox" I really would be a wealthy woman. Instead, I have a wealth of memories from that wonderful little dog that filled my life with such happiness.

Some unknown author said, "The one absolutely unselfish friend that a person can have in this world - the one that never deserts her, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is her pet." How true. Many thanks to the few of you who enjoyed her as much as I did and to the rest of you who put up with her to spend time with me. It was all appreciated.

Mar. 18, 2003


Revised March 13, 2007     |     Printer Friendly Version