Sunday, November 22, 2015

I'm sorry, Scottie; I messed up

I was thinking of our collie Scottie the other day, and I was saddened again.

When we got Scottie, he was an old dog with a big smile. My favorite photo of him (I can't find it, sadly) is him leaning his head on my wife Holly's knee. As usual, he was smiling. He never looked happier.

But I turned out to be a bad owner with Scottie. He was constantly in the way (he wanted to be close to us), and I always yelled at him to move. "Scottie, you're in the way" was his second name.

That would have been no big deal with Lady, since she'll forgive almost anything; she has a strong temperament. And, besides, I've rarely yelled at her, other than to get her attention.

But Scottie couldn't handle it. I noticed that he wouldn't come to me when I opened my hands for him, and he no longer had that constant doggy smile.

One day, I let him outside to do his business (he always came back; no problem), and I noticed that he was dragging a hind leg when he returned to the house. That worried me, since our late collie Katie had done the same thing. Then she laid down and never walked again.

The next day, Scottie did the same thing; I never saw him walk again. The difference, though, was that Katie had remained interested even when she couldn't walk. When I got home from work or wherever, she looked up hopefully. Scottie just laid there on his side, and I don't think he ever ate again. I'd put a small dog bowl never him, and he'd stick out his tongue to drink water. But that was it.

The vet gave us some false hope — they'd had to hold him up when he supposedly "walked" a bit. After about two weeks of him being prone, we took him to the vet to have him put to sleep.

I miss Katie and Buddy (our mutt) terribly, but I feel worst about Scottie. I never yelled at the other dogs, other than to get their attention. They all looked happy to see me (Buddy especially around dinner time).

But Scottie didn't; he looked afraid or worried. And that saddens me.

I'm sorry, darlin'. I messed up and wish I had a do-over.

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(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
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