My family’s beloved pet, O. Henry, passed away during the night after Thanksgiving. Before you become sad over this, please note: he was about 17 years old, blind, deaf, and arthritic, and had lived a very full life. Though I was sad to lose my puppy, I’m also glad that he was no longer in pain.
One of the best stories of Henry is here, but here are a collection of little stories to celebrate the life of our dog:
When I’d come home from college (at this point, Henry was a teenager in doggie years), he made it a point to go to my room and pee on the carpet. I’m not sure if this was Henry’s way of saying, “this is my room now” or if he was merely expressing displeasure at my being absent for so long. He otherwise never went into that room, so one never can be sure.
Henry was a racist. Not against people, that would be horrible! But against black dogs. See, as a puppy, a large black dog in our neighborhood rushed to attack Henry. Not sure why, as I’m not the dog whisperer.
We had to pick Henry up and carry him on walks if this dog was anywhere near. If you’ve never carried a terrified, squirming ball of fur in your arms, who trusts you completely to save him from the terrible beast, you don’t know what it feels like to be a hero.
Unless, of course, you are one of our fine men and women serving in the military.
But rescuing a puppy from a terrible fate…or, well, at least from a nasty bite…of course, that other dog owner had the dog on a leash, so it was pretty well in control…
Shut up. We saved Henry daily from that dog.
So after those experiences, Henry would bark maniacally at any black dog that went past our house on a walk. Regardless of size or breed.
So, yeah, racist.
Henry liked to run away. Not because he didn’t like us. But because it was fun!
We pretty much always knew where he was going—there was another bischon next door, named Larry. Henry would inevitably show up at our neighbor’s house, looking for Larry to play with. The same thing happened with the neighbors when Larry would escape.
Lucky for us, Henry was not smart. Neither was Larry.
Cute, but not smart.
One could always ensnare the dogs with an offering of a treat or a spoonful of peanut butter. Or by opening my mom’s car door and asking Henry if he’d like to go for a car ride. Still, it never stopped Henry from doing a few laps around the yard or the neighborhood in exuberant freedom.
Speaking of peanut butter, that was Henry’s favorite treat. Second were potato chips. I don’t know if he could hear the bag open or if he could smell it first, but there’d be a scratching sound of his little claws, followed by the thudding of tiny running paws, and then all of a sudden there’s a dog blocking the tv jumping up and down in front of you as if to say GIVE ME A POTATO CHIP OR I’LL DIE RIGHT NOW!!!!!!
Against our better judgement, we always gave in...he was just too cute. Even in his latter years, when he had to eat special low-sodium dog food, we always slipped a chip or two to him as a treat.
Henry will be missed greatly, but my family enjoyed these and many other memorable moments with our dog. Rest in peace, O. Henry.