Saturday, September 06, 2008

Addio, Babe

It's a sad fact of having pets that, all going to plan, you will probably outlive them. A few days ago we said a fond goodbye to Bull Terrier 'Babe', whom has been in the family for more than 15 years, which is a decent innings for a sturdy dog like Babe. My sister and I got her as a Christmas present for our mother in 1993 and I looked after her for a week before the big day. It was my first experience as a parent and may be the reason why I still do not have any children of my own! A 7-week old Bull Terrier, just taken from it's mother, is a 24/7 sort of experience. I could not leave her or she would bark and whine relentlessly, and at all other times, she was ready to play. You know how a Bull Terrier will grab a piece of rope and worry it into submission? I got that at 5a.m. every morning, and the rope was my hair. Then she grew up into a massively solid dog, but whenever I went to visit my mum, she would leap around like a small puppy and do laps of the house. I think she always considered me her second mum because of that first week, and she never forgot it. She also was the most patient dog in the world with smaller animals (except 'possums, which were fair game). She was big sister to numerous kittens that chewed her ears and played with her tail and of course she was always willing to share her dog bed with the niece so that they could watch TV together.

I think my favourite memory of her is from this past Christmas where I caught her just sitting and staring at the blinking lights on the tree, cocking her head from side to side like it was the most fascinating thing. I'm pretty sure she thought there must be a lot of really fast 'possums in that tree and I'm surprised she didn't maul it.

Tomorrow, my niece and my sister arrive back from Europe and I'm kind of glad that I didn't have to be the one to explain that Babe has gone to be an angel in heaven with Jesus (The niece goes to a christian daycare centre and this seemed like the easiest approach). Earlier this year, my nieces cat died of old age and I had to do the explaining. I don't think she really got it though, because when Mog decided to move in with us, she just figured out in her head that Mog was the Tig replacement. In fact she calls Mog 'my new Tig'. It does not help that to the untrained eye, Mog is a Tig clone. He is a Tabby cat with white bits in all the right places, and, are all Tabby cats crazy? I think so. Tig and Mog did/do that nutty Tabby cat thing of racing around for no reason and acting all completely mental.

If a stray Bull Terrier turns up on my doorstep I'll have to start believing that the universe is up to some serious woo-woo. In the meantime, we will miss Babe and her cute-but-butch ways. 'Possums of NZ may breathe a sigh of relief and get back to de-nuding the trees in peace.

1 comment:

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