I always get a catch in my throat when I see an old person with an old dog. Always walking slowly, giving each other time, honoring long years together.
You know what’s sadder than old people with their old dogs? Old people without their dogs.
We lost Soho last week. And as much as we should have known it was coming – almost a year of congestive heart failure, hearing and vision deficits, confusion, weight loss, etc etc. – we were completely unready. She had stopped eating days before. Oh but the vet prescribed an appetite stimulant – maybe that will help. Every walk was a walk too far, so the CE was carrying her up and down the stairs. Oh but maybe next week will be better. Her little body finally gave out as we rushed her to the vet one last time. His eyes filled with tears as he told us it was time to let her go. We carried her home wrapped in a blanket and when we opened it we found that they had covered her with flowers. And oh how we cried.
Fourteen years ago we brought her home. Cute as the proverbial button.
She was adorable. She was feisty and stubborn and yappy and hilarious. She did “zoomies”, racing around in zany circles.
When Chloe joined us a year later, Soho showed her who was boss and that never really changed. Did I mention she was feisty and stubborn?
They were Mutt and Jeff, the unlikeliest of best friends.
Soho also loved her humans, family and friends, especially the ones like Dave and Karen and Lori (who took most of the better photos here) and Pamela and Kirk and Christi and Kim and Tammy and Tom who carried her around like the royalty she knew she was.
She loved Kirstie, who kept her dazzling white and festooned with a new bow every week of her life.
She especially loved her overnights with Granny.
And oh, how she loved the CE, who chauffeured her to all the best restaurants in town and who valiantly kept her going with four or five medications a day for the past year.
And then there were the parties.
I’m not sure when or how they began. The first one might have been back in 2005 with a handful of friends goofily celebrating Soho’s birthday.
Somehow the idea caught on and it became an every-other-year event. The guest list grew. And Tammy, caterer extraordinaire and confidante of Soho, made sure each party was more memorable than the last.
I had already started thinking about the next party. It would have been a quinceanera for Soho’s fifteenth. But her little heart gave out and now she lies under the oaks, right next to her beloved sister, Chloe.
It has been the saddest season. Cody, Chloe and now our little pop tart party girl, Soho. The end of an era. Someday perhaps there will be another dog. But for now, at least, the party’s over. We are just old people, without a dog.