Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Precious Pup No. 1

I am a big time, little dog lover. In my lifetime I have had 4. They are all very precious to me and each have their own quirky personalities. Today I am telling you about my first dog.

I was 5 years old when a friend gave my parents a free puppy that was smaller than a rat. She had short pure white fur with floppy brown ears and a brown spot in the middle of her back. She was a Chihuahua (a heat loving dog) and we lived in Tasmania (the coldest state in Australia). We called her Lik-Lik (small in pidgin english) but she ended up with Likky. She lived up to that name too.

While she was still big enough to fit into dad's palm she was never left at home. If mum went shopping, Likky went in the bag (it was back in the 70's when knitted bags were the in thing). If dad went then he would zip her into his Parker with her head sticking out the top. It actually used to momentarily scare the check out girls.

As she grew she seemed to never stopped. In fact she was 3 if not 4 times the size of Paris Hilton's poor little fashion accessory. According to the vet she was the best pure pedigree un-messed up chihuahua she had ever seen.

Likky had 3 favourite things she played with: old socks that we gave her (she never touched the ones we still wore), balls, and your hand. The socks were great for tug of war and chewing. They would end up in so many holes. Her head would shake so fast when playing with them. She would cheat at tug of war though and grab the end I held all the time.

As for the balls her favourite one was twice the size of her head. Dad ran over it with the lawn mower so even though it held it's shape, there was no air resistance to her biting it. She would drop the ball at my feet, move back a meter or two, crouch on the floor and wait for me to kick. I had fun pretending to kick it and watching her spring into action, then reposition herself once she realised it was a false alarm.

We used to play rough when it was just her teeth and my hands. In fact a neighbour saw us one day and thought I was being attacked. Likky would look so vicious but not leave a mark.

She was a very thoughtful dog. When we would go for walks in the park we would let her off the lead. She would run ahead all the time but would come back to check on us. Our second dog, Tinks, would stay with mum while Likky and I would run ahead. I would stop, and ask "where's Tinks," and Likky would race back to Tinks, give her a nudge and then come running back to me.

Her best friend was my Aunts poodle Gi Gi. They would go crazy with each other for hours. There were also two friends of the family that she absolutely adored. You knew they had entered the yard because she got so excited (it actually sounded like someone was hurting her badly).

Her favourite spot to curl up was the bean bag (claimed by her) and right in front of the heater. When she was sick it would be the purple sheep skin rug in my bedroom (I have already said it was the 70's okay - and yes it only got thrown out 3 weeks ago).

When I turned 20 I moved to South Korea for a year. I remember saying goodbye to Likky and thinking this is the last time I am going to see her. Unfortunately I was right. Over the year I was away she developed bowel cancer among other things. Six months into my stay I get a call from my mother saying that she had to put Likky down. Mum had gone to work and moved her bed into the garage for shade from the heat.

She had been bad the night before but had seemed to improve by morning. Ten hours later when mum got home she found Likky gasping for breath on her bed. She put her in the car and raced to the vet straight away. All the while saying "I'm sorry," over and over again. She ran into the crowded vets with tears streaming down her face cradling Likky and shouting "help me my dog is dying." There was nothing they could do but put her down. Mum said she was a mess and cradled her head, scratching her behind the ears and telling her it would be over soon. She had the biggest most expressive eyes I have seen on a dog yet. Mum said that just before she closed them for the final time, she gave her a look that said thank you.

Likky lived for 16 years and was a big part of my life. Even now 14 years on I am sitting here balling my eyes out as I write this. It is amazing how much effect one animal can have on a person.

I wish I could show you a photo but they are permanently stuck in those old magnetic, full of acid, lets yellow your photo's album. She wasn't a good looking dog but she was beautiful to me.

1 comment:

ruth said...

She was a wonderful dog, and now you've made me cry thinking about Smiley.