As a dog lover, I have known many people whose lives were changed by the addition and the loss of a beloved pet and that's what I am writing about today.
In doing research for a future book, I've spent the last few years talking to anyone and everyone about their relationships with their dogs. Most of the time, we are discussing their current best friend but every once in a while, I see a change come over the person. Their eyes go a little distant, their voices get lower and quieter, and they begin to tell me about a dog in the past - one who is long gone but always remembered.
For me, it's my one and only Deanna Troi - my lab/aussie, beautiful, perfect (ha ha) dog that graced all of my ads, flyers, newsletters, and mailers for 8 years.
She came to me one Easter weekend in 1993 - I had left my million hours a week job and finally had the time to care for a dog. I knew someone that had an Australian shepard named Shasta who was one of the smartest dogs I had ever met. Shasta's parents came to me one day and asked me if I knew anyone 'that would want a puppy'....seems that they hadn't gotten around to fixing her yet and during a Super Bowl party, Shasta had dug her way out of the yard to visit her boyfriend next door and voila - the deed was done. I immediately said YES and then went about doing research on dogs.
Shasta gave birth to ten puppies - I could not wait to get over and see them. On the day they were ready to be adopted, I was the first to pick. It was like a "Kodak" moment when the door opened and all 10 black puppies came running out at me sitting on the yard.
I knew I wanted a block-headed big male and found one in the crowd - what a doll he was and of course I did all the temperment testing that I read about.....not - just picked him up, smelled puppy breath, and that was it. I had found him.
Before I could leave, the friend that was with me came in to the yard carrying a small black pup with some white on its nose and paws. "What about this one?"....Well - up to my face with her sweet nose and still blue eyes and I heard myself say "Sure, I want them both. As a Star Trek fan - they were now Lt. Worf and Deanna Troi.... Worf ended up with a couple at Reed College (a story for another day) and Deanna with me.
List of names:
Marjorie the Majorette
and of course: Deanna Troi
Once past the terrible twos, there has never been a more perfect dog (except for yours I know). Deanna was a talker who made a variety of sounds. She did not beg, she did not disobey, she did not chew, she had perfect recall, and she loved me as much as I loved her.
I got a portrait of her one Christmas made by a local Florida artist: www.wildthingsartwork.com.
Deanna became my assistant in my Real Estate career - by my side in every ad, flyer, newsletter, fax, you name it. I was the dog whisperer and still am. She has been gone for 4 years now - I love my current friend with all my heart but in some quiet times, I long to see my Whirly Girl again.
Happy Memorial Day - feel free to send me your greatest memories