Once upon a time there was a beautiful hound dog named Oreo, that snored her way into our hearts. (a.k.a Roar’eo, Snor’eo, Big O). When the Big D and I got our first apartment (after a brief stint in his bachelor pad; yup, those were close quarters; we MUST’VE been in love!), we saw an ad in the community paper for some puppies that had been abandoned in a knapsack on the side of a road; 2 had suffocated, but 10 survived. (Yeah… I know… it breaks my heart, disturbs me, and makes me so sad and mad all at the same time. We said all the same bad words, so don’t hold back on my account)! Anger aside, we opted for a visit, and there was one itty bitty black and white pooch left, named Oreo, who was about 8 weeks old. We went to see her, she sniffed us, gave us slobbery kisses and showed off by ‘peeing on the potty paper’. It was love…. we brought her home the day after Valentine’s 1997. She immediately made herself at home, flopped down on a floor cushion and proceeded to saw some serious Z’s. Even though she was only the size of a football, her snores echoed throughout the apartment (and down the block).
We took Snor’eo everywhere. One year we packed up my little red Festiva (ya-ya-ya-ya!!!) and drove to PEI for a bit of October car camping. Okay… so we didn’t put a lot of forethought into how cold it would ACTUALLY be and “yowza!” it was c-h-i-l-l-y! In our little 3 man tent, Snor’eo kept us warm and she loved to chew on freshly cut firewood and hang out by the campfire in the hopes that a few dropped marshmallows would roll her way. We explored the island and had a great trip.
I remember being terrified to drive over that crazy long Confederation bridge that connects PEI to New Brunswick. So, there I sat, petrified, as the Big D calmly maneuvered the car onto the bridge for the trek back home…. and then, as the car was gently rocking back and forth in the wind, I noticed it.
It was quite faint at first, actually. I gave the air a quick ‘sniff’, and then it increased in pungency, creeping its way from the back seat, engulfing the car with its wicked stench. It was the overpowering smell of terror that had escaped from Snor’eo’s bottom side. She must’ve ‘passed wind’ in fear, and the stench was even more ferocious than her bark! So, in true smacki fashion I made up a wee song to ease her nerves and mine, which I sang until we reached the other side safely…
“Your bum’s as big as PEI… as PEI… as PEI”
“Your bum’s as big as PEI.. and it smells like ocean fish!”
Some days, like today, I get very melancholy, especially when I remember her fondly in her heyday. It’s been just over nine months, since she passed on to the big doggy bone heaven in the sky, and not a day goes by in our house that we don’t miss that big ball of burly love.
She died the week before Christmas, 2011; just shy of fifteen years old. It shook us all, even though we knew the days we had with her were getting shorter. On that fateful Saturday, she faithfully followed the Big D into work, hoping to get her share of pepperoni from the pizzeria next door, and maybe some extra crust, as she did on most days. It was there, later that morning, that she had her last bite of roasted chicken, and took her final breath in the Big D’s arms.
We all miss her. Mouks had a really hard time, especially for the first few months. He was nine at the time, and would lay in bed on many nights, write her name in the air, and cry; deep hearted sobs of loss in the darkness, over the dog he loved so much. It is one thing to lose your beloved pet, and to have to cope with that loss. It is another, to see your child in despair, as he mourns the loss of his cherished pooch, and to watch him struggle to try and comprehend what happens when one dies.
I remember crying (well, more like bawling, with gushing tears and wet boogers) to the Big D one night and saying that I didn’t want to get another dog (EVER), because I didn’t want to feel this overwhelming sense of loss again. But now, 9 months later, I feel differently. A void is still left in our little family from the place she held in our lives. We all know that big ball of love can never really be replaced, but we are getting closer to the stage where we can imagine another exuberant hound dog becoming part of our clan. NOT, that I’ve been scouring through all the Ottawa rescue sites on a frequent basis, searching for the right ronker to live with us in Smackiland, or anything like that…. But, secretly, in my heart, I know that Roar’eo would like us to save another furry soul and open our hearts to loving another pooch one day.