Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tate, March 24,2004- March 07, 2009: A Loving Friend

Tate, a miniature Schnauzer that my ex wife Claudia and I had, was put to sleep this morning. We got him and his sister Nellie in the spring of 2004. We found the breeder through the internet, in Prince Edward Island, Canada. They were born on March 24, and we got them here in NY sometime in May. Just before they arrived, the breeder called to tell us that Tate had a heart problem, and if we didn't want him, that would be ok. She also said if we did, she wouldn't charge us. Of course we took them both. We figured no matter what, at least he would spend his life with his sister. She said she didn't know if he would last 3 months or 3 years, but he certainly wouldn't live to his life expectancy. It didn't matter to us, we wanted them to be together. Well he almost lived for 5 years. He started to exhibit more acute symtoms of his illness in the past 8 months or so. He got to a point where more medical procedures just would prolong the inevitable, and he was not able to be his normal self anymore. He does not suffer anymore.
Tate was the runt of the litter, and Nellie was the first born. Normally males are somewhat larger than females, but in his case he was the little one. He was very lithe, and had so much energy, you would never know he had an illness. He loved playing with his lazier sister, and would sit next to her and lick her ears til they were soaked. They really had a wonderful time together. We took them camping in the woods, and they loved being outdoors. They were always in the back yard during the warmer months and we had many wonderful days enjoying thier companionship.They slept in our bed and we treated them with love and affection always. A lot of people knew the both of them, and I know Tate especially made his impression on many.
When Claudia and I separated, I had them both with me for a few months, along with Savannah, a Maltese we got recently. We spent a lot of time together here in my apartment, and they helped me get through some really hard times. It was a pleasure knowing I always had them to care for, and that they relied on me for thier needs and love. Eventually, Claudia took them both with her, and I kept Savannah. But I was able to have them over a few times and that was really nice. I went to see Tate last night and spend some final moments with him. It was so very nice.
Nellie is now alone with Claudia, and I'm sure she will be fine, I'm sure she will adjust to being the Queen of the house now. Of course I will have her over here, and Savannah will spend time with her at Claudia's too. It would be a good excuse for Claudia to get another dog, I never met anyone who loves dogs as much as her, and she is so good with them. Do it!!
Pets, and dogs for me, are wonderful companions in our lives. They can calm you down, lower your blood pressure, and give unconditional love always. They have become additions to our families, and rightfully treated as such. But we almost always have to deal with the pain of them leaving our lives. To me, it is worth it, because they bring so much to my life and give such happiness. Sometimes Gisi and I just sit and watch Savannah as she does her little routines, like finding a comfortable spot on her bed, or the way when she eats, she takes the food from her bowl and brings it to another place to eat it. Or when she runs circles in the yard and appears as a white blur. She is so funny sometimes. I have had the pleasure of having many dogs over the years and they were all so wonderful and loving. ( I'm allergic to cats, it would be nice to experiance them one day too).
So hug your pet today, if you don't have one, go pet someone elses. It will do you good.
Goodbye Little Man Tate. You were a great friend and a real joy. I'm gonna miss you dearly.