I don’t write much lately, life’s been busy. Today though, I want to remember one of my pets. Oy.
Several years ago I was on the hunt for a little dog. I think I was looking for a maltese but I can’t for the life of me remember why. Back home, in the north Georgia mountains where my father grew up, was a family whose ‘maltese’ was pregnant and puppies were to be born soon. I drove over there with my Dad for a different reason and stopped by to see the puppies. I picked out the runt of the litter. He was so small compared to the others that I said that I’d take him if he survived, but if he didn’t I’d take a different one. He survived. I picked him up several weeks later and we drove back to North Carolina. This tiny little thing stole my heart.
I have had several dogs over the years, I’ve loved each one. Dogs have always been a part of my life. Having pets in the home requires a bit of work but they are always happy to greet you and don’t usually complain about their food. They snuggle, and rub, and beg but they are always full of love. Oy was no different.
Over the years, I had another child, got a few more dogs, and Oy managed to always stake his claim. He slept with me each night. We would argue over whether he got to burry under the covers or not. A lot of times when I had just changed my sheets I’d lie there with my arms pinning the sheets down so he wouldn’t get under. Eventually I would fall asleep and he’d win. He’d always win. He’d burry down to the very bottom by my feet and then work his way back up, doing a full circle of the bed. It wasn’t always easy to sleep with him but if I didn’t I wouldn’t sleep at all. If I ‘forgot’ to let him in the room, invariably just after I start to drift off to sleep, I’d hear this tiny little scratching on my door. If I didn’t budge, it would become more insistent until he would ultimately begin yipping and working himself into a frenzy. He would win, always. I was well trained.
Oy was named from the dog like character in the Stephen King series The Dark Tower. He looked a lot like a rat, wasn’t even close to maltese, and weighed in at a max of eight pounds. His hair was unrully, part fur and part hair; looking a lot like he’d stuck his tail in a light socket. He abhorred anyone trying to clip his nails, ultimately peeing on at least one vet tech before the task was accomplished. He didn’t mind showers, instead he’d sulkily walk into the shower knowing he had no choice. When I describe him I often refer to the rat character in Mutant Ninja Turtles. Oy was unique, so ugly he was cute.
The past year he’s been showing his age more. He’d wake up in the middle of the night to get a drink, always waking me to let him down and back up into the bed. He’d get up early to go outside, and when he came back in he’d want to lie down and sleep away the rest of the morning. We’d get into arguments with me holding him in bed hoping he’d just go back to sleep so I wouldn’t have to get up yet again. He’d win, always.
To say that Oy died prematurely the other night is a stretch. He was beginning to have the look of a walking zomby due to his age. His death was still a shock because I somehow thought I could avoid it with him. I know that’s not possible, but I was so used to having him around. I sleep better now because he’s not there waking me up, but I wish that weren’t so. I miss him. I still wait for him sometimes by the door, thinking he’s just on his way and taking his time. I still look for him before getting into bed. I know this will pass.
Oy was a great little shit of a dog. I’m honored that I was able to share my life with him.
thanks for reading,