Phoebe was my dog growing up. We got her when I was twelve and my brother was ten. She was a Christmas present from my mom. She started as a tiny, black puff ball – a miniature poodle/Pomeranian mix, but she was never as prissy as that sounds. She turned from black to gray when she grew up. When she died she was thirteen years old, diabetic, incontinent, etc. It’s still hard to wrap my mind around because she was so small, 25 pounds or so. So she was always a puppy to me and never seemed old, just tired. This past Monday my mom brought her to the vet to put her down.
There’s not much to say about her that’s particularly unique. She was a good dog. They’re all good dogs, of course. She used to run out to the front yard when I came home and get so excited that she’d run in wild circles. Once I slammed my finger in the kitchen door so hard that I fell to the ground crying and Phoebe was the only one home with me. She came and sat with me and licked the tears off my face. She knew how to help. Dogs are good with emotions. She loved swimming but sucked at it, never went in too deep. We used to hike with her and take her off the leash but she would never go far. She’d run like twenty feet ahead of us and then stop and turn around, waiting for us to catch up. She liked to sit in the front window and watch who went by the house. We howled together sometimes. The more I howled the more she would howl and we’d get each other going pretty good. When I went off to college she was really more my mom’s, but I always thought of her as mine. Her name is my computer password at work and every time I type her name I feel terrible. I know that soon it’ll stop being sad and start being a nice memory when I type her name, but right now it sucks ass.