Friday, February 17, 2012

Who would want an old dog…

That became apparent when I got a call from the Washington County Animal Shelter. Someone must have gotten tired of their 14 year old Scottie and decided they would just turn him out into the street while they went to Florida for the winter.

When I arrived, I found a stately Scottish Terrier who was ready to leave, ready to head home as it were. However, we had to wait an agonizing 5 more days to give his previous human time to reclaim him. On a Wednesday at 12:01, we took over. For the next year the last thing Pierre had to worry about was his spot on the couch. He became very good at camping whether we were in Gatlinburg, Chattanooga or Myrtle Beach. He loved the trips to the cabin or a run on the beach equally well. He became a true connoisseur of ‘taters and onions, (yes, I am aware about ONIONS - it is just our term for grilling out), table food, heck, whatever ‘you’ are having was just fine with him. Popcorn never touched the ground at our house nor did potato chips have a chance. His cataracts were so bad he couldn’t always see what was going on, but his nose told him where the treats were.

Pierre’s gruff voice was reminiscent of Sam Elliott or an old gunfighter… his belly was made for rubbing though. Teresa and Pierre would get into sneezing bouts with each other and Pierre always won. The spot on the couch was his from the start. From there he could see the TV, be perfectly in line for someone walking by with food and it was a good napping location. He might have been an old dog, but he was smart one and… he had a puppy’s heart.

His body though, was giving out, faster than it should in my selfish opinion. He needed more time with the other Scotties in our clan, more trips to the Tennessee River, more time for everything… but that wasn’t going to happen. Pierre’s kidneys started shutting down with enzyme levels off the chart. He wouldn’t eat and finally wouldn’t drink. His breathing was getting too much for him to handle and so, we reluctantly made the trip to help him over the Rainbow Bridge.

Who would want an old dog? I can tell you at least 6 people who knew Pierre that would take you to task for that kind of thought. You see, most folk forget that when they have seen an old dog… it has a puppy’s heart. Just look at Pierre… and then go to Tennessee Scottie Rescue and see what old dogs you can find. Ginger McAfee will go the extra mile and then some to make sure you find your next best buddy.

So Pierre, play in peace, achoo from Teresa and aaAAARRrrrroOOO from the rest of your Scottie Clan.