Anyway, the point is that I love having pets, and I hate being without them. On my favorite message board, someone asked people to share stories of their favorite pets. My childhood dog Sweetpea definitely gets that honor from me, and this is what I said about her on that message board:
My dog Sweetpea belonged to my family before I was even born. Aside from a fear of thunderstorms which caused her to shake and pant uncontrollably, she may have been the perfect dog. We don't know what exactly she was, as we got her at the Humane Society, but her mixture of breeds made her small enough to sit on our laps, but big enough to play with, free of the worry of crushing her. She did not shed.
Sweetpea had an almost human quality about her. She was even big on subtleties, which I've not seen in a dog since. If she wanted food, she'd bat her food dish on the inside of the dish. If she wanted water, she'd bat her water dish on the outside of the dish (in case there was a tiny amount of water left in it, I guess...she didn't want to spill or get her paw wet).
She also taught me to walk. When I was...however old kidlets are when they are almost ready to walk, Sweetpea would crouch down next to me until I grabbed onto her neck and tried to stand up. As I stood, so did she, so that she was like a moving handrail for me as I tried to take a few steps. She walked alongside me as slowly as I needed her to, and if I fell she'd crouch back down and patiently wait for me to use her to stand back up.
She died of congestive heart failure* when I was 11. We decided it was time for her to go on Valentine's Day of that year, and going to school the next day was the hardest school day of my life. I knew that when I got home after the final bell, I'd have to say goodbye to the best dog in the world. I took her for a walk around the block, which took at least a half hour because of her failing health. I still get a little misty sometimes when I think about losing her.
*Side note: My grandpa died of the same thing in the same year. They were even on one of the same medications, though Grandpa's dose was bigger than Sweetpea's.
Anyway, just figured I'd use MLB's break from baseball to take a similar break. Hope you enjoyed it.
UPDATE: My mom just sent me this picture: