I sit here with a heavy heart thinking of our dear Paddy. He is the first thing I think of when I wake in the morning and in those dark hours of the night when sleep eludes me. It has been a week now since we lost him – a very long week. If he had been an old dog it may have been easier to take …. but he was only 3 years old and so full of life.
Paddy had a rough start in life. He came to the shelter at 6 months and shortly after came down with the dreaded Parvo virus. He was treated, pulled through, and then came home with us. He was going to be called Rudy but got the name Paddy after my dear friend Pat asked me to name him after her. It was a good choice as he was like her in so many ways! He was number 5 in a group of senior dogs who did not take kindly to this young pup. They got used to him in time and tolerated his bubbly personality. During those first few weeks we wondered if we had done the right thing in bringing him home! Those weeks turned into months and then years. His mischievous behaviour did not improve much with time. We say he was the worst dog we ever had and also the best. This is a complete contradiction – and that is exactly what Paddy was.
He was the absolute worst dog for getting into trouble. All over our house there are reminders of his antics. The corners of the coffee table bear his teeth marks; the back of the chesterfield has a little hole; many of the books around our house have missing corners; the door facing and wall by the back door are badly scratched; a picture frame on the end table is chewed; 2 of my favourite sweatshirts have patches over holes he chewed in the pockets looking for treats and the handle of my hair brush is rough and lumpy! Those are the things we can see that prove he was here.
Then there are the things we can’t see, but remember – the two pairs of prescription glasses he ate along with their cases; the countless rolls of toilet paper he unrolled; the contents of garbage cans strewn about; the load of rising bread dough he devoured along with a couple of loaves of raisin bread. All these things he did when he was left home alone. When we would arrive home we always knew if he had been up to something by the sheepish look on his face. Everything he chewed was on our bed. We would be mad with him for the moment but he was the kind of dog that you could not stay mad at for long.
On the other hand, what an affectionate fellow he was! He was always there to welcome us home even if we were only gone 5 minutes. He always wanted to be touching one of us as he slept. He loved deeply, he loved everyone and we loved him. We looked past the flaws in his behaviour because he was such a character. He had the most beautiful eyes and eyelashes that went on forever.
It is strange to find toilet paper on the holder and not in the cupboard; strange to be able to leave the TV remote on the table and not on the window; strange to come home and not have to tell him to stop jumping on the door and on us. Even though our house is still full of dogs it is so quiet here without him – so lonely. His best buddies Malek, Coco and Daisy have not been here to stay since he’s been gone. They will miss their playmate terribly, as we do.
Our little granddaughter, Sarah says, “Paddy is gone to doggie heaven……….but he’ll be back soon.” How I wish this was so.
Sheila Baird, Canada