Van Dyke, Youthful Till the End

From my earliest memories, dogs have always been a part of my family life. The first dog I remember was Van Dyke, an awesome black small poodle that lived a long life of about 16 years. By the time he died, he had become blind and deaf and had a bad hip that would pop out. But even with those issues he never acted like an old guy. 

Van Dyke got his bad hip one day while he dug out of the fenced backyard. In the process of digging out of under the fence, he had dislocated his hip and had to have it popped back into place by a veterinarian. He had dug out of the fenced yard while we were gone for the day and found him in the front yard limping around in the dark. This only slowed this middle-aged pup for a few days. The veterinarian showed my parents how to reset the hip in case, or cases, that he would pop the hip out again. 

So as age does to all creatures, Van Dyke started to show his age as his body got older. He slowly lost his sight and hearing, but never his joy for life and playing. While it may seem like a deaf-blind dog would only lay on his bed or someone’s lap, not him. Nope, he still had the zoomies when he was let in, or when he heard, more like felt the ground move when we got home. He would zoom here and there, up and down the hallway, up and over the couch, etc. He would stop for a moment in a ready position for us to stomp our feet hard on the ground, and off he went for another run around the house. 

You may be thinking, “How on earth did Van Dyke not run into the walls or furniture?” When he must have learned the layout of the room because other than the kitchen table chairs, he rarely ran into anything. Well, in most cases he had his zoomies free of crashes. Of course, we had to watch out for him to run into us during these zoomies. 

So, the issue he had when he would run into the furniture was for two reasons. The first was that we may have forgotten to push a kitchen chair in when he came back into the house after a trip to the backyard to do his business. The second reason he would fly right into the couch was due to my father rearranging the furniture. Van Dyke jets into the house knowing where everything used to be, only to slam into the side of the moved couch. So, for the next week or so he relearned the new layout and he was good to go again. Zooming here and there as the stomping of our feet.  

I will say that there were a couple of funny times when the furniture got rearranged and Van Dyke had to relearn the layout. One such time was when he was let back into the house and went flying to where the couch had once been. The couch had been against the far wall and Van Dyke would use the soft cushions to spring off. Well, this time he went zooming under the armchair on his way to his springboard couch. He jumped in the air perfectly in time to land on the now missing couch. It seemed like he floated in the middle air for a few seconds as he processed the lack of a soft cushion under his feet. He then fell the short distance and shook his head as if saying in disbelief, “I can’t believe everything is changed again.”  

Sadly, as with pets, his youthful spirit and energy started to slip away. We could tell he was in more pain and was having a harder time moving around. His time on this big rock we call Earth had come and gone.   

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Author: littleslices

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