A long time ago….almost 13 years, at least 12, my sister went on a mission for me. I found a puppy on Petfinder down near Keokuk, IA. He was half bassett hound/half cocker spaniel. My sis went to check him out while she was down visiting family. This poor puppy was being fostered out (with the best of intentions by the adoption agency) in a house that unbeknownst to that agency was just littered in filth and squallor. Well, needless to say, my sis took him right out of that for me and brought him here. He was the funniest looking, yet cutest pup I ever laid eyes on. He had long hair, short legs and very very long ears. My youngest named him. Actually she named him about 8 times in about 10 minutes before settling on Skippy. You see, he was the color of peanut butter. We saved him that day.
Poor little Skippy missed his litter mates, and did not like being by himself at night. Skippy would cry at night, so I would spend every night for a couple months rocking him to sleep and singing “Molly Malone”, just like I did with my kids.
We had another dog at the time, and her name was Allie. She was older, and she took Skippy under her wing and they became buddies. Not long after that we had to put our Allie girl to sleep because she couldn’t walk anymore. Skippy saved us that day.
Skippy got attacked by another dog once. The neighbor jumped the fence to rescue him. He saved Skippy that day.
Skippy was long on ears and short on legs. His ears were so long, they would get in his water and food bowl. My youngest would put his ears up in her pony tail holders. He didn’t seem to mind.
He was unlike any other dog I have ever had…He never had accidents in the house as a puppy, and he was housebroken in 2 weeks. He didn’t beg (much), rarely barked, never growled and never howled that bassett hound howl (unless he wanted something or was calling for Emily). He could speak, he could shake, but he couldn’t sit pretty. (His legs were too short.) He minded, he listened, he walked well on a leash. He hated car rides….oh how he hated car rides. He would pant and whimper and shake. Never have I had a dog that hated the car so much. He loved all little kids, and would let them do anything to him. There was not a mean bone in his short legged body. But most of all, Skippy was perfectly happy just being a dog.
Skippy was getting old, and started getting old man problems. He had fatty tumors and skin tags, skin allergies, and he was getting heavy. Each time I would take him to the vet, I would ask…”Doc, is he still doing ok?” Doc would tell me…”He’s doing fine, he’s just getting old and has old man problems.”
Well, those old man problems finally took their toll on Skippy. His heart suddenly started failing and his abdomen filled with fluid. This time I couldn’t save Skippy. I made the best choice I could make….I know in my head it was the right thing. But, I’m having trouble convincing my heart of that….because it is breaking. And suddenly I feel like I’m 12 years old. I will miss Skippy the Peanut Butter Dog, and I will miss him terribly.