Our 13-year-old Maltese, Snowball, had to be put down three weeks ago.

Hell of a way to start a humorous blog, isn't it?  I can explain.  The dog was almost too funny for words, but I'll try.  In fact, for that reason, his passing made it much easier on my wife and I.  He's made us laugh the past three weeks each day, just as he did in life.  For example, I've had a pet store worth of dogs and cats over the years (and a spider monkey), but Snowball was the only one who could walk backwards.  Here's what he'd do.  When the dinner bell in his head went off, usually a half hour before the scheduled time, he would confront us in the family room, start with a low moan, take a few steps BACKWARD, then sit.  A few minutes later, after being ignored, a slight grunt, a few steps back, sit.  Ignored.  A low growl, a few steps back, sit.  Then a desperation bark, a few more steps back, and he's in the kitchen with a look that says, " Hey dummies, I'm in the kitchen!  Guess what time it is?  If I could talk, I would have come right out with it."  Occasionally, we'd forget the time.  I said to my wife, " Snowball keeps better track of time without a watch than we do with one."

We got Snowball at age one and a half from a shelter, but get this.  It just shows how very bright some of us can  be.  The way we understand it, this young family had a toddler, a year old Maltese, and a newborn baby.  Here's the part where some genius in that family decided to get a Maltese puppy for the baby.  The young mother has enough hours in the day, right?  Who needs sleep?  True story, unmake-up-able.

Snowball was neutered before we got him, but that didn't stop him from "going through the motions".  He never met a leg he didn't love.  We had a pet sitter who took Snowball when we vacationed.  Upon returning him the first time, she asked, " Are you sure he's fixed?"  We were sure, and also sure that when Snowball got to Heaven, the first thing he asked God was when he could have his balls back.

We gradually came to understand that Snowball regarded us as HIS pets.  We became his treat dispensers.  If he did something that made us laugh, he'd want a treat.  About the only thing we trained Snowball to do was wait at the front door when he had to do his business outdoors.  He gradually, over the years, added "treat times".  It must have been his way of amassing a fortune.  He played us like a drum.  Had we a grandchild already, things might have been different.  The last spoon of my oatmeal was a treat.  My wife getting out of the shower, shower cookie.  Clean his ears, give a cookie.  Brush him, cookie.  Jump on the vet's scale, get a cookie.  Yes, he had them trained also.

He did save his best caper for last.  A couple of months ago, we went into town for a show, and had a dog sitter come to the house to walk and feed him before we got home.  She left us a note saying he did his business, went for a walk, and ate his supper.  When we got home, Snowball barked like he hadn't been fed in days,  trying to con another meal out of us.

You get the picture by now who are the sappy ones, but like I just said, it was like spoiling our first grandchild, and when he was gone, it felt like we lost our first one.

I hope you dog loving readers got a kick, and I'd love to hear about any other canine, or feline, comedians.

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