Friday, December 18, 2015

Goodbye Amos

Goodbye Amos - 

Carla Peterson
A tribute to my lost buddy.

Dear Cheezer (Amos),

You were six pounds when I got you in October 2002 and advertised as a doxie/beagle mix. I was not ready for a dog let alone a puppy that was truly not a doxie/beagle mix. It turns out, you're a one-of-a-kind Cheezer dog! You quickly became the love of my life and will remain in my heart forever. 

You were my very first dog on my own. For over 13 years together, your enthusiasm and wagging tail always made me smile and laugh. We experienced a lot together. I learned about raising a puppy and you learned how to fetch and swim. I will never forget the day you finally decided to like being in the water while visiting Grandma at the nursing home in Billings.  

We enjoyed a hike, your first snow and your first beach together. When you grew too big for the apartment complex restrictions, I refused to give you up so we moved somewhere you were accepted. I turned down a rotational opportunity in Hawaii because I couldn't take you with me. When I found out about the new five days or less quarantine rule, I made sure that you could go with me to Hawaii for those five months in 2004. That was your first really long flight and it made your tummy upset. But we were together shortly after I picked up my luggage and rental car.  We had a blast in Hawaii and that is where you met Chris for the first time. 

 The year 2004 was a great travel year for you as I fulfilled a rotational assignment in Washington DC. You were always such a great traveling dog in the car.  I hoped that the airplane rides didn't stress you as much as it stressed me out. I wished you could just sit next to me on the plane.  We had a great time in DC living in your first high rise building with a park across the street.  You discovered squirrels and elevators that summer. We always ran into those pesky Eskies in the elevator. We toured civil war battlefields and survived four (or five?) tropical storms that summer.

I always tried my best to keep you safe. I'm so sorry that I wasn't able to protect you better when the St. Bernard female in heat got away from her irresponsible owner in 2005 and attacked you. You were left with a puncture wound in the shoulder that needed stitches and a drip drain. I'm sorry that I left you that week at Olympic Animal Hospital when I couldn't find a work replacement ASAP for the $4000 software conference in Palo Alto, CA.  I would regret that the rest of your life as your handling issues seemed to get increasingly worse after that. You endured another dog attack at the apartment, but thankfully it wasn't serious and I was able to fend them off with help from others.  

In 2007, I finally was able to buy you a house with your very own backyard as your sanctuary.  That was also the year Chris came into your life more permanently and you two would be buddies forever.  

I will never forget your excitement and enthusiasm to play fetch and go for car rides. You loved sniffing the fresh air coming through the windows. It makes me chuckle when I think about that time we played in the soggy elementary school field and you rolled in the mud.  Chris and I laughed so hard at your antics. You were such a goofball. Always ready for action or food.  I'm still amazed at how long you could hold your "stare" at us while we watched tv. You patiently waited for any eye contact so you could wag your tail and paw us for something (most likely food). 

We had our challenges because you were so fearful of handling and having your items taken away. I always wished you could understand how much I loved you and was trying to help you. Some advised me to get "The Dog Whisperer" because it seemed you were out of control. Those tactics were not my personality so I looked for help elsewhere and found Patricia McConnell and Jean Donaldson for starters. You loved people, but didn't want to be pet by many except me. Remember my shoulder and chest massages I gave you? Oh and the ear massages!  I loved your ears so much! You were ok with other dogs as long as they didn't sniff your butt and violate your personal space.  

You were my teacher in dog behavior.  We worked together so that I could kiss your face and flop your ears and make you smile.  You tolerated it because you knew you would receive something you wanted after I violated your personal space. You were a rockstar in KARE classes too showing off all your skills and talents. You and I worked so hard to develop our bond and you loved to train. Remember agility and rally? That was so much fun! You were so smart and kept us on our toes. Remember when we had to change up what we'd say when we were going to play fetch because you figured out every single phrase we made up?

I loved it when we would snuggle together (mostly on your terms of course!). I loved our coming home greeting where you would grab a toy (bowling pin, saucer, or bumi) and we'd go outside and we'd touch each other's noses. You would also roll around the grass so happy. You loved being outside whether it was 80 degrees or 28 degrees! You were a busy dog for nearly 13 years! Wow! We sure had fun doing those dog puzzles though!

I could go on and on, but I like to think of all that we shared together over the last 13 years. We tried to kick lymphoma's ass for a while longer. I'm so happy we made it to the ocean and you enjoyed your last time on the beach.  

In the end, your body wasn't cooperating even though your mind was still active like always.  You were still my Amos Cheezer Magee, but your body couldn't keep going. I'm so happy I was with you during your final moments. You are loved by so many and you've touched the lives of many. 

We are bonded forever and you will forever be in my heart. I love you so much Poofs. I miss you immensely.  



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