I wish Percy could’ve lived with me forever. Most days I think she does; other times I feel bad to think of how we could’ve squeezed in one more walk, one more bike ride, one more camping trip. One last hug. I don’t regret, I just wish.
According to our first vet visit, Percy was about 9 months old when I adopted her in December of 1998, so I decided to make her first birthday three months from that date: 3-9-99.
Percy loved toys. And chewing just one corner off most of my books.
I was blessed with her for 13 years. She was with me through a lot of important changes in my life and at all the biggest events.
Over the years, Percy became my mood-booster, my secret-keeper, my trusted ally.
My adventure-seeking travel companion, my alarm to trouble, my cuddle buddy.
My patient listener, my share-in-the-excitement fellow celebrant, my muzzle to cry on.
She became my child-friend.
More than loved, she was cherished.
Percy enjoyed her life. Everyone’s seen a smile on a dog, and when you love that dog her smile warms your smile. When Percy was having fun, I was having fun.
No terrain impassible, no car ride too long— as long as she was in the action, she was happy. Whether we were in Michigan’s U.P. or on a ride to the store, her enthusiasm for new things inspired me.
She was just as content and well-behaved in a hotel as she was camping or at someone’s home. She had a certain amount of self-respect and her natural manners accommodated every situation. Of course she wasn’t always that way, but after she departed puppy-dom Percy just seemed to know what to do.
If there was an outdoor event, I didn’t hesitate to take her along; in fact, I went to more events than I probably would have just because I wanted to take her somewhere. Somewhere different. Somewhere together. At the time I simply thought they were opportunities for her to experience something new; in retrospect, my horizons broadened as well.
Percy would walk for miles. She’d jump on logs, picnic tables, docks, you name it. Sometimes I thought she was looking for new perspectives. Again, she inspired me.
I loved hugging, petting, rubbing, scratching, kissing Percy. Although affectionate, she was very independent. She always made sure she was near me. She didn’t follow me around, but she was always there.
In the car, on a boat, or in a field, Percy was content. She loved going anywhere and everywhere. And she did.
She loved the water, plunging into any lake, stream, river, mud hole. Waves, for some only-dog-known reason, provoked her to bite them. Yet it took her a while to grow into liking (rather tolerating) baths. She would always sass me when I wiped her rainy feet off, too.
Percinator, “Nade” for short, loved to eat. I mean LIVED for it. Having tested her DNA back when only the vet’s office could do it by drawing blood, I found out she was part beagle. The husky part I had always figured; I might have guessed beagle by her incessant sniffing and ravenous appetite. And those floppy little ears! She especially took a liking to ice cream, and surprisingly ate off a cone like a lady: something she just did. And something else she just did: lift her leg to pee. Never figured that one out…
When not out exploring or eating, Nade enjoyed sitting outside. Oftentimes I’d have to make her come in like a kid who ignored calls by her parents that it was “time to come in.” She could get comfy anywhere and liked to sun herself whenever she could.
She also loved to hunt: opossum, squirrels, moles, rabbits, mice, groundhogs…even deer. I’d rather she hadn’t, but she always kept me on my toes.
Percy wasn’t a huge fan of holidays- too much commotion for her it seemed. But of course as family, she had to suffer through all the shenanigans and even wear a bow or hat or two.
Percy was 4 when we first went to training class. The first years of her life were spent on 26 acres, so an imminent move to the city meant learning to walk on a leash. I learned a lot about patience. We practiced and practiced and she did as well as I could have asked for.
Percy got along okay with other dogs by pretty much ignoring them. Perhaps the obligatory sniff. She sometimes would play with other dogs, but it was more posturing than play.
But when we adopted 4-year-old Sadie from Love-A-Golden in St. Louis in 2009 as a companion for Percy, she really took to her and they played quite often. Cats she shied away from; like walk into the other room to avoid them.
As she got older, she became more tolerant, or maybe she just decided since she wasn’t allowed to hunt them, she’d have to hang out with them.
I never put dog outfits on Percy, but I did, on occasion, have to put my clothes (or shoes) or a dog hat or booties on her…just to see…
Percy loved to be comfy and she was allowed to get comfy wherever she pleased. No furniture was off limits. As long as she was comfortable I was glad, and I always made sure there were lots of pillows and blankets around for her.
But later in 2009 she had to have a very large malignant tumor removed from her torso. We were told it would grow back, but we didn’t know how long it would take to do so.
After her surgery we kept t-shirts on her to help protect the wound. And I suppose we did it also in a vain attempt to hide it. Maybe if we couldn’t see it, she wouldn’t really have cancer.
This is Percy’s 13th birthday party. As always, we made her special food for the occasion: this time it was a banana, carrot and peanut butter cake.
Nade’s last day with us began with a car ride to one of her favorite spots: the lake. The day was Monday, July 11, 2011. She trotted around a bit and went for a dip. We went home and had treats and cuddled and watched “All Dogs go to Heaven.”
I told her for the millionth time how much I loved her and how much she meant to me. Our vet came to our house that afternoon and she went to the Rainbow Bridge with all of us around her, in her home, on her bed.
This is our last picture together, just me and her.
So much substance and so many memories. I’ve hundreds of pictures and at least as many stories, but this is a glimpse of my 13+ years with Percy.
She truly was the best dog.
28770 State Hwy P
Eagle Rock, MO 65641