Wednesday, November 5, 2008
A year without Otie
On November 6th, it will be one year since our Otie dog went to see Grandpa Cowan and Tobey Dog Bonzo. Otis and Baxter were litter mates. They had never been apart for even one night until one year ago when Otis spent the night with Dr. Esplin and wasn't able to come home again. It seems he had cancer and it was better to not make him suffer. He tried so very hard to get well. Danny and Shay lovingly brought him home to stay. It was a terrible, no good, very bad day.
He was such a funny boy. This picture is Otis sticking his head through a fence covered with ivy at our other house (Shay and Whitney's). He was so funny, I ran in the house for the camera and he was very cooperative and kept sticking his head back through. All he was doing was looking at the other side, which he could have walked to, but he was playing and being his silly self. I enlarged this picture and sent it to Rick in Iraq, where it hung on his wall the remainder of his tour.
Baxter Bartholomew really fits Baxie. He's kind of dignified, mellow, quieter. Then there's Otis Buckwheat whose name also fits perfectly. He was the chewer, from little plastic purses to lamp cords. I finally started giving him fabric softener sheets from the dryer when he was a puppy, he couldn't rip them apart as easily. He and Baxter would tug-o-war with them then leave pieces for me to pick up as they moved on to the next adventure.
Otis really was a happy-go-lucky dog. He weighed about 118 lbs and was like a bull in a china closet. His tail was a major weapon, because it never stopped wagging. He was always moving. He loved to have something in his mouth from an empty plastic milk carton to his very favorite, a stray shoe. Justin had to remember to keep his shoes inside his closet when he was home, or Otis would bring them to me or just prance around the house with it hanging out of his mouth. He was my cuddle bug, he loved me to lay on the floor with him in the mornings and snuggle with him.
He always got blamed for things, like he was the trouble maker. But if you watched he and Baxter play, you soon found that it was Baxter that would lie in wait and broadside Otis, making him roll. They really loved each other, sharing everything, including their food. I don't remember them ever fighting.
I remember the night I moved us into our new home. Rick was still in Iraq, we had a fenced yard with dirt, rocks and no shade. There I was moving them from a nice grassy, shady yard to the desert. I felt so bad for them that I sat out in back, on a lounge to feed them. This started a ritual that still exists 2 1/2 years later. Whether it's Rick, Justin or myself that feed Baxter, we have to sit outside with him until he eats, or he doesn't eat, period.
Otis and Baxter really were best friends. They slept like this a lot, always touching, with their toys nearby. Otis is on the left and Baxter on the right.
One of his favorite things was to pack around one of their food bowls. Sometimes there would still be a lot of food in the bowl, he'd pack it around spilling it as he went. Here he is during the winter of 2007 having fun in the snow.
Otis was only 3 1/2 when he left us. Justin described it best, he said that Otis knew he wasn't going to be with us long so he had to squeeze his entire life into a short 3 1/2 years. We miss our Otie Dotie, but wouldn't bring him back and have him suffer. I'm sure he and Tobey, who was about the same size, are having a ball and watching over us till we see them "Over The Rainbow Bridge".