Our nightly walk with Gracie is one mile long. I know this because I got in my car one day and drove it just to see how far it was.
There are things we look for along the way and sometimes a surprise or two that we will encounter on our one mile walk.
Our neighbor just two houses down walks her teeny tiny dog, Lacie... the only one Gracie calls friend. Sometimes we run into her and walk a while.
Neighbors on porches, always ready for a half-a-minute conversation as Gracie hurries me along... cutting the conversation short.
Dogs. Dogs. Dogs. Most of which Gracie has created animosity between - (her and them) - from the get-go.
Beautiful, wonderful, well behaved sweet dogs resort to yapping and growling and trying to get at her when they see Gracie coming. She brings out the worst in the other dogs... little miss I own this neighborhood and her snooty attitude is considered bad news in this town by the other canine neighbors.
Amongst those who started out on a bad paw with Gracie was Mutley. Mutley is a Shih Tzu who came with his owner Mary, to welcome us when we moved into our house in 2006. Mutley was sweet and friendly and we thought for sure that he would replace the Shih Tzu neighbor boyfriend that Gracie had left behind in Wiley Ford.
Mutley sniffed around Gracie a minute.
Then she recipricated.
Suddenly Gracie growled and tried to tare into him.
Since then, Mutley lays wait in his big back yard waiting patiently for Gracie to walk by his house. Without fail, we can count on Mutley's 'greeting' every night that we walk.
Except, this year something is missing. There is no dog tearing out the back door and running at lightening speed to lunge at the fence at Gracie as she goes past. No yapping. Nothing. All is still and quiet. In our heart of hearts we knew. But what we did not know is that one month after Mutley went to the Rainbow Bridge, his mistress Mary left this world as well.
Mary wanted to get another puppy after Mutley died, but her family advised her to wait. Then, just days later she was diagnosed with inoperable late stage cancer and she was gone within a month.
I was shocked to hear the news. Not so shocked about Mutley; he was older and with his absence we sensed maybe he had taken his journey to the bridge. But Mary always seemed so healthy and vibrant. I'm guessing Mutley kept her that way.
I always liked you, I just pretended not to. Oh, and sorry but you never had a chance.. Samson is my new boyfriend now and he is a cyber boyfriend (according to mom, the only way I'd ever get along with a boyfriend. huh!) Anyway... Sorry you had to go to the Rainbow Bridge little buddy. I will miss ignoring you when I walk past your fence and you act like you will tear me apart. RIP little buddy.
Love, your friend Gracie.