Once in my very long lifetime I took part in choosing a specific pet for our family.  He was a lab and lived a very long and comfortable life, except for the time that little Maltese bit him on the testicles.  That was touch and go for a while.  Literally.  Anyway, I knew when we walked in to see the puppies my husband would choose the black one moaning piteously at the back of the enclosure over the other seven that were jumping and barking trying to get our attention.  And, seriously, that is the one I was drawn to.  He was a very good dog.  Not a good watch dog unless you were hoping a burglar would trip over him and break his leg.  And hardly ever acted spiteful as dogs can do with such aplomb.

But there was that time. . .   My husband was overseas and I went to a wedding.  I dropped my daughter at my mom’s on the way.  Amos was angry about being left alone and left a large loose movement of his digestive system perched on the floor just inside the front door in such a way that one would not hit it when opening the door, but could not avoid stepping into it.  I know it was carefully planned.  I am surprised I did not find sketches of the floor plan and notations.  But, he was just a good dog, other than that event, (which may have been justified,) in every other way. Usually.

In those days, it was not so common to get dogs fixed.  We lived in a semi-rural town outside Chicago.  A neighbor we were on friendly chatting terms with had a female lab, not fixed.  Amos was not fixed.  The neighbor was walking by with her dog one day just as I was walking out the door with Amos on lead.  She hollered from the end of my very long and sharply slanted driveway, “Is he fixed?”  I hollered back that he wasn’t and she said her dog had just finished her season, but sometimes the males still hit on it.  He dragged me down thirty feet of concrete on my elbows.  Other than that, he was just a good dog.

Now,  to get back to my point, as I so frequently have to say in these blogs:  In all the many years I have been married, we have seldom been without a pet of some sort at some time.  My cocker spaniel got his knee surgery before I did.  I loved that canary.  She would talk to me.  She killed her husband. We had a gold fish I wept over.  Still feel really bad about that.  But each time a pet moves on or passes on, I say never again.  At this moment I am sitting here with a dog at my feet and a cat on the windowsill.  How does this keep happening to me?

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