(Note: The following message was discovered three days ago, partially slipped under the edge of the rug where the dog’s bed used to be. It required a great deal of editing on my part because, frankly, her spelling was terrible and handwriting atrocious. Just sayin’ is all.)
Being of sound mind, faltering body and fading spirits I, full name KATRINA PUPPY CAPRIOLO THE DOG, assemble my final thoughts and wishes for those I must regrettably soon leave behind.
You will find my last words, Will and Testament buried in the usual place out in the backyard near the bird bath. You’ll also find half a dozen rawhide sticks, two tennis balls, a ham hock and one of Emily’s green leather gloves, chewed up and buried, that I stole when I was still a puppy and have always felt bad about.
I shall keep my barks and growls to a minimum, and begin by distributing my earthly possessions. There are only a few. Dogs are different than people in that we don’t much care about owning things. We don’t long for items we don’t have, and we don’t worry much about keeping what we do have.
I never knew a dog concerned with money, the stock market, how the Oakland A’s will do next season or why anyone cares if a little mud or canine saliva gets on the furniture or back seat of a car.
Why do people wash their bowl after eating, anyway? And what is it that humans do when dogs aren’t looking that gets you so filthy you have to take a bath every day? We have always wondered.
You can give my leash to your next dog. Even though it’s pretty beat up I think any canine with sensible fashion taste will appreciate it. I’d happily bestow my best collar too, the turquoise one with all the jewels and fancy leather, but Dad took it to the downtown pawn shop back in October.
And please—don’t disappoint me by deciding to not get another dog. It would reflect poorly on me. The neighbors and fellow dogs at the park would assume I’d been such a disagreeable burden that you decided to never allow another dog on the premises. That would grieve me, and I would grieve for you.
A new dog is the best way to get over losing an old dog. Every puppy knows how to help. Another dog in our home would certainly be no betrayal, nor would it lessen the bonds we had with each other. Far from it.
Having spent my entire life in Ukiah surrounded by nothing but admirers may have given me enhanced notion of my beauty, lovableness and self-worth. You might need to search the world to find my replacement, which means you should start now. I’m thinking you’ll need two dogs, but for the moment go ahead with one.
There are a few other items to distribute to this new pup, most notably my shiny metal water bowl, my great big crunchie bowl, and my last little yellow stuffed duckie toy that, alas, I had neither the energy nor desire to disembowel. It will give your next dog an early challenge.
And that’s it. If you’d like to place the rather flattering color portrait that Dottie’s daughter Shelly painted above the mantel, or the one from Travis in the bedroom, I’d be honored. Don’t feel compelled. If it was my mantel or bedroom I’d hang a nice photo of you two along with Emily and Lucas, all smiling, all happy.
Here in Dogtopia things are beyond what any of us could have reasonably expected. No one wears a collar and there’s no need for doggie bags.
All the angels are sweet and kind and smell just like Arlynn and Dottie.
Our bowls are always full, and guess what? They’re filled with the tastiest treats in all the heavens, the same kind Ken Edmonds always carried around in that ziploc baggie in his pocket. If you see him tell him I miss him and still have the pin he gave me when we started going steady.
Barking of the park, my favorite thing every morning was for Haley and Boo to help me get extra treats from adults who were never quite smart enough to realize we were doing the double-reverse confusion shuffle to see how fast we could empty their pockets.
Boo was my friend and I miss him, but not so much that I want him up here anytime soon. Sometimes I see Kittiboy, but usually he’s on a timeout.
Last of all, Thank You, Mommy. When I arrived they had my lifetime totals on a big scoreboard and it said I was All-Time Number One Canine!
No dog ever had a better life than me, with better people than you.
There’s at least one lonely little pup out there who deserves the same.
(Tom Hine finds this stuff on the mawkish side so gives 100% writing credit to the oft-useless TWK.)