An ode to Micah

It is hard to believe that it was nine years ago that I visited Pet Animal Hospital to look for a puppy. Hannah, my Spaniel/Beagle had some big health issues that I knew would eventually take her. I wanted another dog. I decided I could not wait I needed to start looking right away.

When I went to the hospital, they had some puppies that they had spayed and neutered. They were not themselves that day because of the surgeries so I made an appointment to come up two days later to look at them. I was told they were a Shitzu mix.

It was near April 1 and my granddaughter thought that I was playing an April Fools joke on her when I told her I got a new puppy. It was no joke. I got a new puppy.

I went, I thought, to pick up the girl dog. They still had two of the pups up there. They let a boy and a girl into a room with me. The girl just wanted to run round. The little boy came over to me and wanted to be picked up. When I picked him up, he just cuddled up I my hand. Yes, he was that small.

I took him outside to see how he would do out there. After all, he was going to be an inside/outside dog. He would not leave my side.

You could say my dog chose me. He was not the one I thought I would bring home, but he was definitely the one.

Since I already had a dog at home, I introduced them carefully. Hannah took right to him. She became protective of him. She was also anxious to show him the ropes.

She taught him about the Invisible Fence. She taught him about going out to do his business. To this day, he does not lift his leg like a boy dog normally does. Since Hannah taught him, he squats to go.

Hannah taught him all about eating. He soon found out if he did not finish his breakfast, it was gone. Hannah was an eater.

They really got along well. I took the two of them to the fair that year. I put them both on a leash and took them for walks. Micah, as I named my pup, slept in a carrier. Hannah slept on the bed.

It was the day after Christmas when Hannah refused to eat. I noticed the night before that she had refused pretzels when I snacked on them. The next morning the bed was all bloody. It was time. Hannah was definitely not acting like herself.

Micah was lonesome, but at the time I also had a cat so they kept each other company. The next year it was only Micah who went to the fair.

Micah has been my buddy for the past nine years. He has ridden in the car, he has played outside while I worked, and he eventually got a new friend, Snaps. Don brought Snaps up to visit before we got married. They just looked at each other. Gradually, they became friends.

For the last year I have sat on the couch with one dog on one side and the other dog on the other side. The only time Micah was not up by me was when I had my fireplace on. For some reason he did not like the fireplace. Don used to tease me. When I bent over to turn the fireplace on, Micah went to the kennel and stayed there.

I thought I had it made this year. He stayed by me even if the fireplace was running. It no longer seemed to bother him.

Miracle of miracles the dogs seemed to be getting along. Oh, there was a skirmish every once in a while, but for the most part with Don no longer in the picture I was mommy to both of them and they got along.

Everyone wanted to know how Snaps was doing after Don died. Really, he got along amazingly well.

I had been carrying him up and down the stairs so that was normal. I had also been letting them out and feeding them. I think that was the key. He just sort of became “my dog”.

We had a routine. Although I did things different than Don did, he accepted my routine.

Now, there will be another adjustment to make. Micah was very sick and would not tolerate treatment. I am sure Snaps will wonder where he went.

I am sure he will miss him. I never thought I would say this, but I am very thankful to have Snaps around. Snaps is no longer the very spoiled dog. Thanks to Don I still have a dog to love.

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, Pa. Contact at hickoryheights1@verizon.net.


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