TERRE HAUTE —
We are short one granddog. This past week, “Indy” could no longer use her back legs and she went to that great dog kennel in the hereafter.
Indy was a special dog of no special breed. She was a foundling adopted by Number One son and his family. She had been abused. She came to them weighing only 21 pounds with ribs sticking out like keys on a xylophone and cigarette burns on her ears and paws. She didn’t even hold THAT against humanity and never carried a grudge.
With tender loving care, she grew to a chubby 110 pounds before being put on her diet. Her ribs were well padded and she enjoyed a long and good life.
She took in a neighbor’s dog when the family could no longer keep it. Sheba ruled the roost in Indy’s home territory, but Indy was OK with that. When Sheba died, an energetic little puppy — “Rose” — moved in and Indy had a playmate again.
As she grew more arthritic, Rose would nurse Indy, licking her face and her ears. I suppose that’s something like human hugs and kisses for those of us with only two legs. The jury is out on how Rose is going to take Indy’s absence. Indy’s human family is taking it only as well as can be expected.
The week before our granddaughter left for a year overseas, Indy fetched her ball and wanted to play. It was like old times. Our granddaughter was delighted and said she was glad Indy was happy since she might never see her again. She received the sad news and her Facebook page bloomed with a tribute to her canine friend. She ended it with the unforgettable Joe Brown recording of “I’ll See You in My Dreams.” There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
Indy is only the most recent in a long list of dogs we have loved and lost. Sadly no one has been able to develop a plan which would give us a dog at birth and allow it to live — and die — with us, aging gracefully together.
We enjoyed having Indy visit. She never forgot where the dog cookies were kept and showed Rose how to work that wheeze. I hope the cookies wherever she is are as easily found and as willingly dispensed.
Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star reporter. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.