Skippy our Schipperke died today.
We first met Skippy as a camper, and when it was clear he wasn’t doing well in in his adopted family’s home, we became his forever home.
Skip was a handsome, black Tasmanian devil that did not mellow much over the years — he was always a biter and a scratcher. He would spin like a top when he was excited. By nature, Schipperkes are difficult to train and more than a little neurotic. They are not the dog for everyone — really, I’m not sure they are the right dog for anyone — but as, dearly departed, Joe put it when we decided to adopt Skippy, I handle crazy better than anyone he had ever met, and with that, Skippy became a part of our family.
Skippy did not handle vet visits or changes in routine well. He liked to be home. When I travelled, he was the pup that always suffered the most. When I learned that he was sick and probably would not be with us much longer, I decided we would weather his illness together at home. He wasn’t in pain and would have good days and bad days. I fed him whatever he would eat — chicken, hamburger, cheese were all fair game in his last few weeks with us. My hope was he would die at home as comfortably as possible.
In the past I have always had to make that beyond-the-beyond difficult drive to the vets office with our pets, but this time, I was pretty sure that Skippy could die comfortably at home in familiar soundings with us.
Last night, when I was making sure that Skippy had some water, he looked up at me and clamped his teeth together tightly; I knew that he was saying goodbye. I sat with him in my lap and we reviewed our life together that had spanned the past 11 years. Skippy was always a favorite of Joe’s (crazy love crazy), so I knew that Joe and Skippy would find one another.
This morning when I woke up, Skippy was lying peacefully in his crate; he had died during the night. When I told Cole, he went to Skippy without hesitation and kneeled down to gently scratch him behind the ears and say goodbye.
Skippy spun his way into our hearts and our home, and we will miss him.
Spin, Skippy, spin.