Well, when I’m upset about a loss I’ve had, I do what helps; write.
Yesterday, we had to put my precious Chihuahua/terrier mix, Doobie, to sleep. It’s weird because as upset as I was for losing Elisheva last Spring, I had the comfort in that we still had Doobie. That comfort wouldn’t last long. A week after losing Elisheva we discovered Doobie had bladder cancer. Even though I knew our days with him were numbered I didn’t even want to think about losing him too. I promised myself that I would not let Doobie suffer and once his condition came to that point I’d make the decision to let him go. But, when I made that promise his condition was not imminent, so sure it was easy to be so confident about that decision. It was when the day finally arrived and Doobie’s quality of life had dramatically diminished that I hated having to make the decision. I could see Doobie was different and not in a good way. He was refusing food, seemed lethargic and when I let him out to go potty, he’d go right outside the door not making it to his favorite grassy spot. In my heart I knew it was time. As I went to bed that night I asked my mom to help me with my decision. I asked to be given a sign the next morning assuring me I was making the right decision to let Doobie go.
The next morning when I woke up I looked over at Doobie’s bed expecting to see him there. He wasn’t. It was the 4th night he didn’t come upstairs. That wasn’t like him at all. He hated to be in separate rooms from me and would have never slept alone. I went downstairs to look for him. He was sitting in his bed and looking very confused. I could see he didn’t even know he was peeing in it. He seemed even more confused when I started our usual morning routine. The clincher was when I placed his breakfast down in front of him. Instead of dancing around with excitement to eat he sat down just looked at me. I tried to rattle the bowl to get him interested in eating but he lied down in front of his bowl instead. My heart sank. I made up excuses in my head as to why he didn’t want to eat even though I knew the real reason. That dog NEVER in all of his 14 years turned up his nose to food. It was his purpose in life and one of his many joys. Hell, food was his middle name. And here he was sadly lying in front of his bowl not wanting to eat. I put my finger in his bowl and stirred his food around. Only then did he sniff it and slowly take a few kernels at a time. Another thing Doobie NEVER did was to eat his food slowly. Most of the time he swallowed the kernels whole so he could finish before he felt someone would take it away. And now he slowly chewed each kernel. I cried. It was time.
It was hard to believe the dog that was lying in front of his food bowl looking so sad and tired was once an exuberant and witty fellow. Some of the messes he got himself into created many hours of fights between me and Carol. And some of the messes he created gave us many wonderful hours of laughter and a lifetime of outrageous stories to tell. And so, that’s what I want to do. I want to share those crazy Doobie moments as that is the way I want to remember my precious Teddy bear.
Bringing home Doobie
It was February 1999 when my partner and I decided to get a companion for our lab/ dachshund mix, Elisheva. She was the funniest mix of the two breeds. She had beautiful black hair and the whitest teeth I have ever seen. Elisheva was unique in her own way. She was highly excitable and it never took much to get her rowelled up. So, needless to say it was challenging to find her a companion that was compatible. Lord knew we didn’t want another dog as energetic. We introduced Elisheva to many different dogs. We met older ones, younger ones, smaller ones but she ignored all of them. We almost gave up and began to think she was going to be an only dog.
One afternoon while at a local shopping area we walked past a vets office where there was a sign on their window that advertised an eight month old terrier mix needing a home. The dog had been hit by a car but was doing fine. My partner, Carol, suggested we go in and ask about him. We were very interested in adopting him but we had to see if Elisheva approved. I was keeping my finger’s crossed and starred they’d like each other.
The day we brought Elisheva to meet her possible new brother, we were nervous. Would she like him? When the lady came to the lobby with the terrier mix, I was in love at first site. He was absolutely adorable. He had the biggest smile and the cutest Teddy bear eyes. His reddish hair and the wrinkles on his forehead made his cuteness fully complete. So, we loved him but what about Elisheva? As he was running around the lobby with the biggest smile he ran straight up to Elisheva and put his front paw on her back as if to say, “We’re buddies.” Elisheva didn’t even hesitate to tell the new dog how she felt about him. She smiled too (showing off her bright whites) and greeted him with exact same exuberance and excitement. Baruch Hashem! It was a match!
The day we picked up this dog who reminded us of a teddy bear, I was so excited. Elisheva was too. His given Humane Society name was “Scoobie” but that did not fit. We had two cats- one named Boaz and the other named Shai and of course there was Elisheva. We wanted our new family member to have an Israeli name to better fit with our managarie. Since we said he reminded us of a Teddy bear, Carol loved the idea of calling him the Hebrew name of that which was Doobie. I liked it but I also thought he looked like a Levi. Carol wanted a name that was similar to Scoobie to make it easier for him to transition. So, like any person would do, I left it up to my Fifth grade Hebrew school students to decide with a vote. It was unanimous. They loved Teddy bear and so Doobie became his name.
Little did we know at that time of the many “adventures” Doobie would bring to our family. His amazingly smart and witty ways brought me much laughter and often at the expense of my loving partner. Sorry, babe but you do have to admit Doobie was very clever.
Through out the years I have shared numerous funny Doobie stories but I’ve never put them all together. I want to do that now because those are the memories I want to keep and hold close. I do hope they make you laugh, cry and see that it is certainly better than “Cats”. Get it? You know, cats and dogs? Oh, I humor myself. At any rate I hope you enjoy.