Annie gets a little obsessive about her toys.
She does not share with others.
by Camela Thompson
I took Friday off from my day job and had a great time with Annie. We started with sleeping in (a day off essential), took a long walk around the neighborhood, and met my husband for lunch. That's right, Annie got to eat in a restaurant. Normally we don't give her people food outside of fruit and veggies, but her good behavior was rewarded with a tiny bit of bacon and a couple of french fries. Spending time with Annie isn't something new, but she's no longer overshadowed by the need to care for a geriatric dog with special needs or his giant personality. The old man was full of sass up until his final few days, bossing my husband around.
I had Champ since he was a small puppy, and we went through a lot together. He patiently sat while I cried into his fur after bad breakups. After a long day, he would gently rest his chin on the couch, asking for permission to curl up beside me and watch television. He liked to throw his toys around and show off, met one or two animals in his life he didn't like, and tried his best to be the perfect dog. Except when I wasn't home. Then all bets were off and he would raid the kitchen (even opening the fridge and baby locked drawers - little devil). He was so smart it was creepy. Champ even picked out my husband for me, sleeping on his feet the first evening they met. This is saying a lot because Champ only liked seven or eight people in his life.
There are times I get up in the morning and the spot Champ normally occupied jars me. It's so empty now. After thirteen years of pausing to say good morning, it feels strange to start my day without him.
Missing Champ isn't something that's going to stop any time soon, but there have been a lot of good days, too. We've discovered that Annie is very intelligent. After a few years of neglecting her training, she picked it all back up. She's better with sign language than verbal commands, which is odd because her bat ears pick up the scamper of a squirrel from the other end of the house. She relishes sleeping in, prefers short walks because she's lazy, and will chase her ball as long as she feels like it (which varies from minute to minute). When I get home, I no longer am greeted by two frantic dogs. Annie prefers to roll onto her back on her bed and wait for me to greet her. Maybe she gets a little lonely during the day, but maybe not. I do know that the jealousy is gone and she's more relaxed when we're together because she's not competing for attention.
I don't know what the future holds. I bring up another dog from time to time, but neither of us are ready. I have doubts that Annie will ever be ready, and that's okay. My writing assistant has a pretty full schedule without another dog to worry about.
Annie was exhausted after all the fun activities
Freelance writer and Dark urban fantasy author featuring vampires with bite.