It's Friday, April 27, 2012. Today, I remember my old dog Mickey. My best four legged friend that stuck with me as I was growing up. My little walking buddy, my guardian. I declared this day his birthday the day I got him. I was eight-years-old. I believe it was 1985. My mom had finally given in to my sister and my pleads for a dog- or at least she had given into the fact that we could go look. So I remember very clearly, it was a Saturday and we had to go to Greek dancing class, but afterward our mom had promised us we were going to go look at dogs. After the dance lesson we got in the yellow Omni and drove to the Vancouver SPCA.
There were quite a few mutts in the kennel area. Everyone barking their hello's and begging "please take me!" It was very loud in there. I had my eye on the white Terrier- he was so cute, but my mom said it was too yappy- so we continued down the aisle of homeless K9's desperate for a loving family to take them home. Then we saw Mickey. A three-year-old, medium sized long haired black dog with a Pomeranian tail and a pointy snout. He was sitting ever so quietly in the back corner in the cage. Just watching-not saying Boo. Boy did he know how to set himself apart from the others.
My mom liked him, and we were thrilled. We got him leashed up signed some forms and my mom paid some bail out money and out the door we went- Mickey on the other hand was so happy to be leaving that hole that he left them a poop right inside the entrance before he left the SPCA forever. We hadn't told our dad yet that we were getting a dog. That would be a surprise and it would take several months for him to warm up to Mickey. Being Greek, my dad wasn't a dog guy. In Greece most dogs are wild, homeless and dirty according to my dad. But Mickey managed, eventually to warm him up.
So we got home and we weren't in our fenced in backyard for 10 minutes before Mickey found a hole- and he took off! Oh, I was devastated. Did my new dog not like me? He just got home and now he's running away? Well, we quickly learned to patch up the holes and that Mickey was not very obedient or faithful if given the opportunity to run free- He never learned to walk without a leash-because it was a great game for him to run and be chased. I chased him many times over the years. I remember back in those days, being so young and walking my dog down the sidewalk on King Edward Street, (Vancouver). It is a very busy street. Mickey got free and went flying down the road. He could have run in the road and that would have been it- probably for both of us, but he was smart he went around the loop to the alley way and finally I caught him again. Nowadays you would never let your eight or nine year-old child go walking with the dog on their own in Vancouver- I wouldn`t even let my girl go by herself in my small town now, but hey, it was the 80`s. Times were a bit different.
So fast forward 7-13 years.... My sister, mom, and I moved to the East Coast. Of coarse Mickey came too plus our other dog Blue and our two cats, Paula and Snowflake. We left my dad behind, but clearly that is another story.... Mickey stuck with me until I finished high school and I had decided to move back to Vancouver. I remember when I moved it was almost hardest for me to leave my little Mickey than anyone else. I left him with my mom and I told him I would be back and to wait for me.
I was away for almost two years, by this point he was 16 years old and I was 20ish. He had greyed a great deal but was still a great little protector and was full of spunk. He was a little fighter. Eventually his fight came to an end though when I found out that he had a tumor in his stomach. He only lived six months after that. The year was 1998. At 17 years of age my little guy took his last breath-in my arms. I remember the day perfectly. I knew it was the end. I was very worried, but I would`nt let him see that. I held him and talked to him and said prayers for him. I told him how much I loved him my whole life. My little Mickey.... I buried him in my mom`s back yard with the `Bleeding Hearts` and `Sweet Williams`.
I ended up getting a new puppy again in 2001, after moving to Ontario. Now Finnegan is 11-years-old. My Beagle cross, is a very nice dog- always been my faithful companion. My little walking partner and never would he refuse a walk with me. I love my dog as I loved Mickey. Those two boys actually hold some very similar traits. So today as I took Finn out I thought of Mickey and gave Finnegan some good hugs for Mickey. He was one of my first responsibilities and I learned so much from him. I hope my mom knew how much I loved my dog. So glad she let me get him.