Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Commentary

May 21, 2013

Farewell to a friend

I hate dog movies. In dog movies, the good, loyal, lovable dog always dies at the end and I end up sitting there in the dark with big tears streaming down my cheeks.

It was that way with “Old Yeller.” It was that way with “Marley and Me.” It was that way with “My Dog Skip,” which I saw on an airplane flying to Los Angeles. An entire cabin was beside itself with grief.

No dog movies for me. Especially now that I have said goodbye to my canine pal of the last 14 years, my Cookie.

Cancer had wracked her body. Her famous tail stopped wagging … and this was a tail known in three states for its whiplash power when Cookie was really excited about something (company, dinner, meeting a complete stranger). Cookie drooped and every step she took sent shivers of pain through her. It was time to let her go.

But then again, no. You don’t “let go” of a dog that has been velcroed to your side since the moment you brought her home. You don’t let go of the pal who spent every day in your office with you, snoozing away as you wrote, or tried to. You don’t let go of the friend who ran back and forth from you to the door, as if she couldn’t believe her good luck, at the mere mention of the words “walk,” “truck,” “ride,” or “park.”

Heaven forgive you if you ever said “I parked the truck and decided to walk instead of ride.”

Of course, like any dog owner, I have a million funny dog memories:

1. How much Cookie enjoyed cicada season. She thought they were snacks.

2. How she learned the difference between a cicada and a praying mantis when she tried to make a snack out of the latter. If a dog could say “P-Too,” she did that day.

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