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Thursday, February 26, 2009
This is the 10th anniversary of the day that one of the two most special dogs in my life died. (Don't worry, I covered Maggie's ears) His name was Hoover Houdini Chips, usually just known as Chips. Who can say what makes one dog the perfect companion?
The other dog in the running is the dog that my parents owned when I was born. I am an only child and that dog was my constant companion for the next 10 years. I cannot possibly compare Butchy-Boy to Chips and say which was more special. Perhaps I'll write about Butchy some other time. But this is Chips' special day.
I think it has to be more than one aspect of a relationship that makes it so unbelievably perfect. In retrospect, he was a very naughty and difficult dog. He was a one-person pup... and I was the person. He would cry and drive everyone nuts if I tried to leave him anywhere. And he didn't mind very well, either.
Nevertheless, he came at the right time in my life. He had so much heart and enthusiasm for life-- he was ready to go on any adventure at the drop of a backpack. He was a beautiful dog. He was 40 pounds of rock-solid muscle. He was the most intelligent dog I've ever owned- he knew almost 100 words, and could figure things out that I thought were pretty amazing, and I've known a lot of dogs. He hiked more than 1200 miles of the North Country Trail with me. So now I'm crying... and this dog has been gone for 10 years. That's how special he was. He was only six, and he developed a fast acting liver cancer. He was gone almost before I knew what had happened.
For one week I am going to provide a link for people to read the chapter in my book North Country Cache, that tells about Chips' final week. It's more about Chips than hiking, but there was a last hike for him, so it made the book. The chapter is called A Golden Chip of Sunshine Note added 3/24/09- I've now removed the link, but you can read an essay about Chips at The Pup and the Post Office, and one sample chapter of my book at Books Leaving Footprints
Tomorrow, I will post a never before published essay about Chips as a puppy that isn't so sad. On Saturday, I'll be back with fresh and current things to share.
Thanks for sharing Chips with me!