Fred came into my life on Valentine’s Day, 2006. I didn’t intend to adopt a dog that evening at the Lost Dog Rescue Adoption event – just “look” – but Ferdinand (as he was called at the time) won my heart and before I knew it, a seat on my lap as we drove home, ready for the next chapter in his life.
We lived a lot in almost thirteen years and no matter where we were, Fred left an impression on the people he met. One store owner had treats and a bowl of water for “Wiggle Butt’ (Fred’s unfortunate nickname from the man) whenever we walked by. Another neighbor kept stashes of animal crackers for Fred and others offered to care for him when I was at work. Fred loved to walk up the steps of people’s homes he did not know and right inside their door as if he lived there. He had an uncanny way with neighbors who claimed they weren’t “dog people”. ☺
After a number of apartments in different towns, we finally made the move four years ago to our home with the front porch. We have more foot traffic than cars on our street and everyone came to know Fred. He loved to sit on the front porch or out in the yard keeping tabs on everyone and everything. He would quietly watch most people go by and let a few dogs know (rather vocally) that they were on his turf…
Like most dogs, he was the perfect companion when I stayed in at night or planned a road trip out of town. He never tired of greeting me at the door when I came home and on the rare occasion when I tried to sleep in, his little head popped up at the side of my bed reminding me it was time for his walk. His favorite days were those we spent out on the front porch and taking lazy walks through the neighborhood.
When he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart a year ago, we followed the advice: medicine, blood work, echo cardiograms. When his heart condition worsened, we did more of the same with more medicine. When he hurt his hip, we treated the arthritis. But when the x-ray showed the ruptured mass in his abdomen, I knew I had to make the hardest decision of my life.
The day before Fred died in early December, he ran down the hallway to me just like when he was a puppy. His tail was up and he was full of mischief. I love that memory.
Fred brightened my life and is greatly missed every day. Thank you, Lost Dog, for bringing us together!