19 February 2006

remembering the Piper-dog

This will likely be the last post about Piper, but I realized I haven't really given readers a flavor for how unique she was.

Piper was territorial. We initially thought her outbursts at shows, when she was in a crate, was a bizarre reaction to black and fluffy dogs. She was really just defending her turf. The most dramatic demonstration occured a few weeks after we moved into our current house. CD was shovelling the front walk when a neighbor came by with his very friendly yellow lab, Katie. Piper saw CD "cheating" on her and promptly attempted to go through the window to chase off the invader. She managed to put her head through the glass without getting so much as a scratch.

Her favorite spot was on the couch with a full view of the living and dining rooms, and the aforementioned window. From here she kept watch over the house and the neighborhood, alerting us to anyone walking by the house.

When we brought Oliver home, Piper wanted to lick him. Any bits of exposed flesh captured her attention. Penguin tried to keep her away from Oliver but Piper was persistent.

In the household pack order she was the much-put-upon younger sister to Penguin. Pen frequently wanted to put Piper in her place and reminder her of the pack order. Piper didn't seem to take any of this, or anything else, too seriously. Piper had a very short memory and never held a grudge. She was the silly foil to the much more intense Penguin.

I keep looking at Piper's spot on the sofa, though it wasn't really her spot and Pen was there frequently as well, and expecting to see her there. I miss her.

CD had a great idea yesterday, perhaps turning our loss into something positive. Very few necropsies are done on dogs who pass away, yet the information that would be gathered could be of benefit to future Clumbers. It's a very emotional time for owners and often not something they've thought about. I look at it like organ donation. The time to make the decision is well in advance, when it can be considered in a less emotional state. I hope we can create a fund to educate owners and perhaps subsidize necropsy on young dogs. More on that as we develop the idea further.

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