Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Affi

For the past 12+ years, we have enjoyed our neighbor's dog, Affi, named for an Italian city where our neighbors vacationed just before they picked her up. She arrived as a tiny puppy who cried piteously when she was left alone, needed to be taught cat manners by our Snow (but then they became the best of pals), and sneaked into our house for a clandestine treat of cheese from time to time. Before we had a dog of our own, she filled that empty spot in our hearts and even after Cora came, Affi kept her own special place.

She was a true retriever, bringing her ball to be fetched as many times as anyone would throw it, always eager for a game. Her visits became a delightful ritual for us as well as for her. She even joined most of our parties, since we leave the front door open and it was part of her self-imposed responsibilities to check out any new people in the neighborhood to make sure they were well-meaning.

When Cora arrived, Affi played the gruff older sister, teaching Cora some important social skills such as sitting patiently for treats, barking importantly at the dog in the house above to keep him in his place, and touching human hearts with her patented sad-eye expression. They became good friends, too, trotting off together to investigate the scents of their world; I think dogs get color through their noses.

Lately, Affi has been a little stiff in her joints and a little tentative on our very few stairs. Sometimes, she would let us approach her bed rather than rise to greet us as Cora and I passed by on our way to Poop Heaven, but we felt that was her due as the doyenne of the street.
She still had bounce and wag once she was up.

Last week, we got the news that she had a tumor and we knew her time was short, although no one knew how short. Last weekend, she had a sudden seizure and had to be put to sleep, leaving us all grieving her passing. Cora keeps looking for her as we pass by, as do we. Her family is inconsolable.

This picture, taken last year, is perfect. She is ensconced on our front steps, happy to be where she has a good view up and down the street, but with her face turned toward her family home, just waiting for her two young boys to come out and play, or for Mike or Janet to whistle for her. She was a good friend; we will all miss her.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Greg said...

I remember her from your bloggers picnic.We thought she was you dog. What a sweetie.Sadness.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009  
Blogger Kailyn said...

Sorry for the loss. I too remember her enthusiastic greeting.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

It's very sad.
Love your Cora well as long as you can.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

I made it through the whole day not weeping, and then I read this *sniffle* I hate when the beasties left behind keep looking for their old friends.

Thursday, May 28, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, I had forgotten she came to the potluck - I'm glad you knew her.

Kailyn, thanks for the kind words.

Cookiecrumb, that's all we can do, but it doesn't seem enough.

Morgan, you're right, that's the saddest part. If only we could explain.

Thursday, May 28, 2009  
Anonymous Evil Empress said...

I'm so sad to hear about her passing. She was a lovely dog. And... it seemed to me like she stopped by for cheese treats more than just once in awhile...

Saturday, May 30, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Empress, no fair "outing" us!

Saturday, May 30, 2009  

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