The Doggie I Asked For……

The Doggie I Asked For……
I asked for strength that I might rear him perfectly;
I was given weakness that I might feed him more treats.
I asked for good health that I might rest easy; I was given a "special needs" dog that I might know nurturing.
I asked for an obedient dog that I might feel proud; I was given stubbornness that I might feel humble.
I asked for compliance that I might feel masterful; I was given a clown that I might laugh.
I asked for a companion that I might not feel lonely; I was given a best friend that I would feel loved.
I got nothing I asked for, But everything that I needed.

Author Unknown

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Spike, for all intents & purposes, was a dog...

All the years of my childhood, we had a family pet - always a dog.  My mother was raised on her parents' large dairy farm and only knew cats as "barn" cats and they were not playful, sweet kittens.  I discovered that during my 10th or 11th summer when I stayed at my grandfather's farm for a month.  Being an animal lover, I found several cats in the barn silo and wanted to play with and pet them.  The cats had other ideas - namely, to tear my hand to shreds!  Stephen King would have used a cat for his book "Cujo" if he had ever encountered demonic barn cats! Unfortunately, that was my impression of cats for decades until I was married and a family in our neighborhood abandoned a wonderful, handsome Tuxedo Persian we named "Spike". 

Spike the Bay Scallop Lover
Though an outside cat from the anxiety caused by abandonment and having to fight for food from a dumpster and sleep under vehicles for some protection from rain, wind and snow, Spike eventually learned to trust us, accept food we offered and to live on our deck in a make-shift "cat house" we built for him until we could coax him inside; he then came to live in the house with us for 9 years, until he passed from cancer at approx. 19+ years of age.  Spike was the BEST cat ever, and my memories of him and Heidi, the little doxie he welcomed when we rescued/added her to our family, are heartwarming and precious.

Puppy Heidi & Spike

Spike came when called (which doxies have problems doing), would run to the driveway to greet us when either I or my husband would come home, never killed or chased birds or small varmints (at which two of my female doxies, Sparkles and Dora Lee excel) and he refused to eat cat food or use a litter box.  He loved the home-made food that Heidi was given and went outside to complete any personal business, preferably in a flower garden or under the deck - and, always wanted to go outside, even during rain, snow or gloom of night.  Apparently, Spike was a reincarnated postman... 

During one particular winter storm when Spike was still an only-furr-kidd, we had a blizzard and were blasted with 18 inches of snow.  Because he loudly began summoning Beelzebub such that would cause Linda Blair in the "Exorcist" to spin her head even faster, paths out the patio door and to the yard immediately had to be shoveled for Spike to do his thing.  This idiosyncracy continued until his last two years on earth - when I again filled a very large container with outside dirt and dead leaves and refused to open the door during yet another blizzard.  After a bit of minor howling from a senior citizen Spike, he found the comfort of indoor plumbing preferable to the elements and would avail himself of the facilities during inclement weather.

Observing Spike on a daily basis confirmed our first thoughts, however - Spike thought he was a dog.  He walked like a Bulldog (hence the name Spike), ate like a dog, patrolled the yard like a dog and did everything our dog, Heidi, did.  Even begging for favorites, which most cats find humiliating and beneath their regal stature - Spike would use the side of the cabinet or chair or whatever was available to mimic Heidi's ability to sit on her hind legs and beg - and Spike did accomplish his own version of this essential trick!  Of course, Heidi was able to sit in that position for days if necessary where Spike would become bored if no treats or raw Niantic Bay scallops were offered within his idea of a sufficient response period.  I mean, as Dirty Harry once said -- "A man's got to know his limitations."

Spike was the perfect companion to Heidi and followed her everywhere.  When I announced sleepy-sleeps, Spike would race Heidi up the stairs, usually winning and casting a definite smirk and silent "ha ha" to his stubby-legged doxie friend.  But his demeanor was so canine that we would almost say we had "two dogs" when asked about furry family members.  They were inseparable and we're positive they're together over the Rainbow Bridge, racing up stairs or catching zzzzz's in a sunbeam .  Just wonder if during the registration process, Spike checked the box next to feline or canine....

Heidi & Spike - always together

1 comment:

  1. Just read your email and came over to read about Spike. Thank you so much for asking if I read this because I certainly enjoyed it. What a sweet and special cat/dog Spike was and he and Heidi looks just adorable together. Hugs and nose kisses for all