We got Edie in early February, 2007 from the Humane Society in St. Louis. We got Sam, our cat, about a year and a half before that and had a good experience with him, but being a cat, he didn’t really go outside much. We had just moved to a neighborhood in St. Louis called Soulard – a place with more sidewalks and yards available than we had in our apartment complex in Affton.
Brooke and I weren’t sure what exactly we were looking for in a dog (though if you want to read my thoughts on the subject on the day we got her, there’s a post for you…). The dog we found was a small beagle, housed in the “puppy” room of the Humane Society, so they tried to charge us extra for a “puppy” they claimed was 5 years old. With all the grey in her coat, I placed her at least a year older than that, but what do I know…
Edie has been a good dog. We went on lots of walks in Soulard, where she found more than a few turkey legs on the ground to carry around after Mardi Gras. She’d carry home rawhide bones from Pets in the City, as passers by would smile at the 13″ beagle carrying a bone far too large for her. She didn’t like many other dogs and would get anxious around them. She did pretty well with dogs bigger than her, but for dogs smaller, she’d try to exert her dominance and fight with them a bit more.
In Soulard, Edie had to be on a leash, though in those early days, she also had a pretty strong case of separation anxiety. There were a few occasions where she tore down screen doors in Hannibal and Columbia trying to get to us. Another time, she tore through a metal dog kennel that used to hold my family’s cocker spaniel, Pepper.
By the time we moved to Iowa in 2010, however, we were in a more rural area where we could leave Edie loose more of the time. Every once and awhile, we wouldn’t be able to find her for an hour or so, but she’d ultimately find her way home. She also enjoyed walking among the chickens, while they mostly ignored her.
Edie was never really “the kids'” dog, as we had her before Meg was born in 2010, but she’s always been gentle to young hands. Even in her old age, Meg and Calvin’s cousin, Rowan, can sit next to her and tug on her ear slightly, barely eliciting a response. Meg and Calvin have loved Edie, too, helping to give her water when she needed it, and eventually would take her outside on a leash (once they were tall enough and strong enough to do it).
Recent years have been less kind to this aging pup. For most of this year, she hasn’t had much control over her urination, causing me to get up once a night just to take her out, let alone me. It’s gotten bad enough now that she doesn’t know where she is in the house, so she just goes wherever she wants to. She’s been blind and deaf for at least a year now, though the problem has gotten progressively worse, as she now walks directly into walls regularly, not just after she wakes up and is still a bit groggy. She still eats and drinks water, but there are many occasions where it’s difficult to get her to stand up, let alone walk outside, causing me to carry her out. She can go up a step or two, but stairs have been a problem for years. I can’t remember the last time she was up on the couch, so jumping remains difficult for her.
We’re sad to see her go, but we gave her as good a life as we could and we hope she’s enjoyed her time with us, in her own way. She was never a particularly “active” dog, but she was always sweet and happy to have a pat on the head.
Rest well, Edie. We love you and will miss you terribly.