The Star-Herald

Life with Odie

This crazy dog lady is back with a new story.  I know, that’s all I seem to write about is dogs, dogs, dogs. What can I say? Small dogs, big dogs, all dogs — I love them all.  I love all animals but dogs are my favorite.  I have been a dog lover since I was a kid.  There is nothing like being loved by a dog and them loving you back.  

Our fur babies love us unconditionally. They meet you at the door with a tail wag, or a full body wag.  I have had big dogs and small dogs. I find the big dogs are much cuddlier than the smaller dogs. I have two smaller dogs right now, an 18-year-old Lhasa Apso and an 8-year-old Yorkie Poo.  What personalities these dogs have.

When I rescued the Lhasa Apso from Central Aroostook Humane Society, he was 2 years old. He is now going on 19. The shelter had named him Toby. He was a stray, and they didn’t know what his name had been.  There was a seven-day waiting period before I could take him home; the seven days were to see if his prior owner would come into the shelter to claim him.   

On the seventh day, no one had come in to claim this little dog, so I brought him home.  We named him Odie. He took to the Wieder life in minutes, and I was so happy. I had the dog I always wanted. Well, I wanted a Shih Tzu, but what the heck — a Lhasa Apso was the closest thing to a Shih Tzu. I was told by one of the staff that the Lhasa Apso had more attitude than the Shih Tzu. 

I was happy; I had my lap dog — not. Within a day he became my husband’s sidekick, laid with him in the recliner or on the bed, and went hunting with him. My husband built him a seat over the console in his truck with a blanket so he could see out the front window and be comfortable while touring the woods roads.  If I tried to give that little dog some love, he’d snap at me, but never snapped at my husband. He had his new “hooman.”

Our Odie has been a good ole boy. He is going on 19, so we have had him for almost 17 years.  He has had a spoiled life, with tons of toys, lots to eat and lots of love, even if I got a pierced lip in the process. 

In his younger days Odie was our entertainment at suppertime. You didn’t need the TV on when you had that little dog around, he would get his toys out and throw them in the air, shake them, growl and we would laugh at his antics. There was a time or two when he would throw that toy in the air and it would land somewhere on the supper table, and he would just wait for one of us to throw it back to him.  

Today Odie mostly sleeps. He can’t hear, can’t see much and is in the last stage of his life cycle with kidney failure.  We make him as comfortable as possible. He is still eating and drinking and uses the potty outside.  My heart breaks thinking we are near the end, but knowing that we have given him the best life he could ever have makes it easier to accept.  We have had a few dogs over the years. Those that have passed all have a special place in our hearts just like Odie does.  He will always be my furbaby even if he chooses my husband over me.

If you are looking for a great animal to bring home, check out the Central Aroostook Humane Society at 24 Cross Street in Presque Isle. We have some great animals looking for a forever home.

Dogs come into our lives and leave paw prints on our hearts.

Gail Wieder is a member of the Central Aroostook Humane Society board of directors.

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