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Sunday, April 10, 2005

My Pal Willie

Today my Dad called me to tell me that he is going to take my dog Willie to be put down tomorrow. I hate that. As you can probably imagine the call didn’t go very well and actually ended with my solemn vow to from now on to refer to him as “The Killer.” Although I know that it is his time, and that he has had a good long life (just shy of 16 years by 6 days) it makes me want to throw myself on the floor and sob uncontrollably (insert visual here…not pretty).
You see, I picked Kaiser Wilhelm, (aka “Willie” and the best Miniature Schnauzer in the world) out when I was thirteen years old and he has been a part of my life for quite some time. Now, for those of you who believe that animals are not part of the family you are seriously wrong. I have eight nieces and nephews and Willie is older than all but three of them and has therefore been given the honorary title of “Uncle Willie.” He has been with me through Junior High, High School, College (of which he visited for a week while my parents were on vacation and was awarded an honorary degree by my father in the field of “Human Studies”), and although he wasn’t at my wedding, he was still alive to spend the weekend at the “Pet Hotel.” He has kept the kids occupied at family functions and also kept the yard “dog free” while protecting “his people.”
Since Willie was never neutered, he earned the nickname “Wizzie” as he felt the need to urinate on everything in site in order to “mark his territory.” And there are many a picture where “Wizzie” is seen in the background whizzing on something, which always makes us laugh. Its kind of like finding Waldo. Willie made friends with everyone in the neighborhood and was usually seen wandering from house to house getting his daily treats from all of his friends. He was the captain of the “Schultz Party Barge” on Nest Lake, and copilot of the Cadillac Deville or the Chevy truck. Last year we thought the end of Willie was near when he almost suffered what was to be referred to as ‘Death by Pizza Crust”, but he snuck under the radar and was able to last another year through his special diet of Senior dog food TLC.
The memories are many and I am glad that I have each and every one of them, and although Willie will be just 6 days short of his “112th birthday” I can only imagine that he has had a life every dog dreams of.

P.S. For you parents out there who want to break the news of the death (or near death) of an animal to your children who have since left the home take my advice. Don’t say you’re going to take them to be put down, and don’t break it to them all at once. Lie. Lie like the Santa Claus red suit wearing, present leaving, reindeer flying, Easter bunny hopping, tooth-fairy money giving parent that you really are! Which reminds me of a joke, that is most probably innapropriate at the current time since nothing is funny right now, but here goes.

So Ed goes on vacation and leaves his cat with his brother Bob to watch for the two weeks while he is gone. The first night of his vacation Ed calls to check on his cat and unfortunately, Bob informs him that his cat died which, of course, threw Ed into hysteria and which he immediately jumped down Bob’s throat and asked him how he could break it to him that way. He instructed Bob that if he is ever in a similar situation like this, he needs to break the news to the party more slowly. Like the first day when he received the call he should have told him that the cat has escaped out the window and is on the roof. Then the second day he should say that the cat is no longer on the roof, but the cat is now in the tree. On the third day he should inform that the cat has jumped down to a lower branch, or onto another tree that is not quite as tall, and on the fourth day he should mention that the fire department has been called, and the fifth day is when he should say that the cat has unfortunately fallen out of the tree and has died. At least then, the news would have taken a while to sink in and would be easier to understand. So the conversation ended and Ed resumed his vacation.Two days before he was to come home he received a call to his hotel room and much to his surprise it was from Bob. “Hey Bob, what’s up?” aksed Ed. At which Bob replied “I was just calling to tell you that mom’s on the roof.”

1 comment:

i.marzipan said...

Rest in peace, Willie. You were a Good Dog.