In October 2001, my ex-husband and I brought home Trixie. She came to us from the West Suburban Humane Society. A lab terrier mix, the Society put her age at five months when she was found roaming stray. She’d been in their care for three months, due I am sure to the fact that she had an atrophied front paw that left her limping. What she may have lacked in four good feet she made up with character.
This dog has been with me for nearly fifteen years. In fact her birthday is today. I can’t imagine my life without her. She has kept me company, made me laugh, comforted me when I was sad, herded me to bed when she thought I was staying up too late. When we would take her to the dog park, she would find the biggest, baddest dog there and play fight them until she was either defeated or victorious.
When we brought Enya, another kind of rescue dog*, she welcomed the big goof to the family. When Charlotte was born, she kept a cautious, but curious distanced, never knowing what to make of the squalling, squirming thing we had brought home.
During my separation and divorce, Trixie stuck by me. She slept with me on the futon in my office. There was never a doubt that she would stay with me. And when Stephan and I started getting serious, I made sure that he understood the dogs came with the package.
The years show with Trixie now. She has a hard time getting around much of the time. White has taken over much of her muzzle and chest, and her fur is patchy and red-rimed in places. But she eats and cuddles and loves her family just as much as she always has. She keeps my feet warm at night. She nudges me when she wants attention and won’t take no for an answer. She follows us around the house, from room to room, despite the obvious discomfort it causes her at times, just to be near us. She is my dog. There are no others like her. And she is mine.
*Her previous owner was a neighbor of ours who couldn’t keep her any longer.