Pooky Jardieu: 1996-2013
A few weeks ago, my mother had to put my childhood dog down. Pooky had a good run - a 17 year run to be exact. 17 actual human years. Most of my friendships haven't lasted that long.
Every little kid wants one thing: to urinate freely everywhere. But after that, every little kid wants a dog. For years, I begged my parents for one. Finally, when I was in 3rd grade, they gave in.
I was home sick. It was Valentine's Day. Before you feel sorry for me, just know that I ALWAYS call in sick on Valentine's Day to avoid the barrage of barbershop quartet love-a-grams from all my admirers. So I was home sick. I was 10. My biggest concern was that I wasn't going to get any candy. My doorbell rang. It was our neighbor holding a tote bag. I thought she was being nice and bringing over some of my favorite 3rd grade time-wastes: coloring books or Animorphs novels. Luckily for me, it was neither.
Inside the tote bag was a little puppy. She had wispy tan hair, an under bite, and looked like a rat. I loved her immediately. To my 3rd grade brain, she looked like Garfield's teddy bear:
She has forever changed my perspective on dogs. While I still love big dogs, she made me a sucker for smaller ones.
When she was younger, she loved to play with whoever would bring a toy out. When she got older, she just liked to sleep. But she never lost those things that made her the dog she was: her thin hair that a friend once called 'transparent', her under bite that led to hellish breath, and her appearance similar to a blonde NYC subway rat.
Had I seen her at the pound, I probably wouldn't have looked twice at her. Having spent 17 years with her, I realized that what seem like issues on the outside, were just the quirks that made her my dog.
For a dog, 17 human years translates to 119 dog years. She was an old lady. Towards the end of her life, she considered a trip to the mailbox a walk. She was deaf. She was going blind. All she did was sleep and eat.
You know how with old girlfriends or boyfriends, you always remember the good of that relationship and not the reasons you broke up? With human relationships, it can be destructive. With pets, it helps you remember them forever in their best light.
One of my favorite memories of her is how she would always climb onto pillows that were propped up on the couch. She barely weighed anything so she wouldn't force the pillow down. She would just hang there, between the couch and pillow, floating.
She will be missed.