I started working a rather unique puppy store in '99. All the dogs were in large crates in an open floor plan and we routinely opened all the lids so they could stand up and greet the people. We loved them all dearly, as though they were our own.
One day a flight crate arrived with a Doberman and a Dalmatian. We set the crate up for them to be 'crate buddies'. This was the first Doberman I had seen in the store. He was the opposite of what a show Dobie should look like, though he was pure. He was too tall, had a blaze on his chest, was missing molars, flat footed, one of his floppy ears was caddywompas and the brown in the 'black and brown' was more tan than brown.
Despite his sweet temperament, not a single visitor took him to a play room. We could only assume they all believed he would grow up to be a viscous, child eating dog; a homeowners insurance nightmare. They couldn't be more wrong! And I know that this was because he was MEANT to be my family!
My schedule had me close the store and open the next morning, so I started taking the pup home so he could play with my Boston Terrier. Then one evening he positioned himself on the sofa in front of my (now ex) husband and fell asleep. He looked at me and said "We have a Doberman, don't we?" He was a 'clearance puppy' at this point...5 months old.
We named him VooDoo...Actually, the dog named himself. My ex said he literally heard it in his head when he asked him.
He was more people than dog. In fact, I renamed his breed 'Dober-person'. He had a few nicknames... When he went to kiss you he clapped his jaw shut after each lick, so I called him 'Croc-a-dobie'
When he looked at me I saw such adoration in his eyes! He was a velcro dog...always at my side. Slept with me in bed...with his own pillow...for 13 years.
I could write a book with all the stories of his kindnesses and human-like moments. My favorites... Of his own choosing, he started walking my friend Julie home at night and would wait until she closed the door before starting his trek down the sidewalk home. Hated water but let me force him to learn how to swim. Convinced me to give him his Christmas tennis ball early by retrieving the busted one from upstairs and tossing it to me while filling his stocking.
He took his last breath at home on the sofa on Wednesday Nov 14,2012...I was in Texas on business (brokenhearted because I knew he wouldn't make it until I got home). About an hour before he passed, our ADHD White German Shepard laid down facing him and put his arm around him. When it was time, my fiance said he picked his head up and tears fell...the clock turned 8pm and he took one last breath. Rob was looking him in the eye and rubbing his ear the whole time. I wrote him a letter before I left Tuesday morning for my trip and Rob read it to him at his grave.
I can't have children...Voo was my child...I lost my 13 year old 'son'...my best friend...He got me thru the death of my mother and other family members, a divorce and starting over. We did it all together. I wish he were here to get me thru this...
I love you, VooDoo...my buddy, VooDoo. Maybe, when the grief subsides, I'll hear the clickity clack of your toenails on the floor and the patio. I'll hear you sing when I start a howl, and I'll feel you lay down in front of me in the bed so that I can put my arm around you and sleep soundly. When I see you again, I will let you give kisses for as long as you want...Don't forget to eat your breffist and finish your dinner. And I promise the water bowl will always be full...Wanna go for a walk?