On a early fall morning September 15, 1998 our dog Pippin was hit by a car and killed on Route 213. The circumstances leading up to his being on the highway are unusual and unfortunate. Both Gerry and I must not blame ourselves and feel guilty. Each of us could have prevented this very unfortunate event from happening, but things usually happen for a reason and the best we can do now is to move on and reap the benefits of his eleven years of life.
He had become such a big big part of my life since I retired from IBM in 1993. We were constantly together and when apart I missed him and was concerned for him. Born in 1987 we rescued him from an abusive situation in 1988 and he became ours forever. In the beginning he slept with Jacqui in the back bedroom and when Jacqui left for school, he really became my companion.
It was not all good and we should remember the good with the bad I guess. He had a fault of snapping at those that bent over him at times. Bitting me twice (one trip to the emergency room) and several others, but that was in his early years with one rare exception. He did sit on furniture that he was forbid from doing, but that over the years had become less frequent. He did have an affinity for snoopy thru peoples garbage. And he did try to sneak off into the woods for an extended adventure from time to time.
But beyond those faults lived a wonderful pet. I thought that I would never be able to become attached to any dog except boxers. My first pet was a boxer(Flag) and we have had two others since. Poker and Bridge. It is a great lesson in life. Never say Never. Of all the dogs this one became my favorite, I almost hate to admit. I know why that is. It is because we were most involved with each other on a daily basis and spent much more quality time together. That was because of circumstances. Since I retired in 1993 I was constantly at home with the PIPPIN.
The closeness that came was evident on a daily basis and I have had occasion to reflect on that over the years. I have taken time to smell the flowers and have appreciated what the dog brought to my life. I was able over the last several years to spend time and make acknowledgments of his presence. That extra treat, that extra pat or even those glances where his eyes met with mine and I knew he understood my mood. We shared many joys and he helped me through some tough times. I'll surely miss him.
I'll miss watching the ball game with him at my feet or in his bed alone side the TV. I'll miss the morning walks we would take. I'll miss the greeting when we arrived home after a night out calling. I miss my most supportive audience when I was practicing calling in the living room, he sitting patiently by in HIS chair. I'll miss the lawn surfing he used to do to scratch his belly. And many many many more things. I'll miss saying goodbye.
I know his life would not have lasted forever. He was even starting to show signs of age. The more frequent leaks. The difficulty climbing stairs. His deafness. Bad bouts of arthritis. Ear infections. Constant skin irritations that we battled all his life.
But he never complained and was a constant joy around the house. To my mother his visits were high points of a shut-ins non eventful life style. He was always worth the trouble of having a pet and the responsibility that goes with it.
I let him down and I'm sorry. He would forgive me; I'll have to learn to forgive myself. But when I think of all the circumstances that allowed this tragic end to occur I cannot help but think it was what was to be and not to question; why, why, why.
I have many pictures and memories. His purpose as a living being is what he brought into our lives and that should be what is left. I'm better off for his coming into my life and making me a better human being. To make his life even more worthwhile, maybe I can continue to build on some of those qualities that he instilled in me.
Ten years ago I would have never believed I would become so fond of that animal that joined our
family of kids and cats and Bridge. When Bridge passed I was comforted by Pinnin's
companionship. This is going to be tough.
Chuck Hardy September 15, 1998