Posted by: trish alexander | July 23, 2014

The life cycle of dog… the sort of falling down part of this blog

Barbie puppy Oct 2000 compShe was an adorable, fun, highly focused, pain in the ass. She was born 14 months after Skate Journeys Skate School was started and just three months after her owner-skater lost her brother Blair to a brain tumor. She comforted us at her first birthday party when 9-11 occurred. While death and destruction were rampant, petting her at her birthday party on Sept 14th brought us comfort and joy and a recognition that life is to be lived fully.

Her goals in life were:  1.) Eat as much as she wanted, 2.) Be pet by everyone in the world, 3.) Be an only pet (much to the chagrin of BunBun who was in the last year of her life and Barney the Australian Terrier who joined us when Barbie was 14 months old).  Barbie looked like a bunny, sometimes like a lamb, and sometimes like Cujo when she’d snap at Barney while scraping a bit of skin off his nose, or my finger.

IMG_2424Barbie was the single reason Skate Journeys has lasted 14 years. She came into life when Skate Journeys was 16 months old and it was a rough go. She licked the tears off the owner-skaters face when death, depression and near bankruptcy were looming large. She had her own quiet resolve, a strength of character that lead by example. She knew who she was, where she was going, who she wanted to be and she lived that life. Through thick and think, she survived some 10 different house moves and traveling to and from Portland each weekend, for a year in an Alfo Romeo with another dog and two parrots. She dealt with the cacophony, non-plussed, never complaining, barking rarely, and never missing a meal.
Barbie was at the skate school for every class for at least her first five years. She skated the trails, played at fit camp, sat in the middle of camp and tirelessly let herself be pet by eager kids. At a certain point both she and Barney got tired of going everywhere and asked to just stay home.  She’d be right there, looking at the same place she saw her skater-owner leave when I opened the door to return home. When stepping out of the shower, she’d be right there, once you opened the shower curtain she’d look over her ‘shoulder’ and then leave. Sort of saying, ‘okay, you’re back, I can go in the living room and lay down again.’

044She was driven by food. In the end it was her undoing. She could spot a morsel of food on the ground from 100 feet, despite having cloudy eyes. She was initially raised in a condo next to Seahawk Stadium and loved to walk through the food vendors and find treats that were invisible to the human eye. She once slithered a full glazed donut down her gullet, without chewing before her skater-owner could even bend down. Once prying open the mouth, not a trace of the donut could be found, save a little sugar dusting on her nose. She pooped up a full New York Peppermint patty, wrapper and all. Crayons, rubber bands and previously chewed gum found their way into a poop bag.

Two months ago she expelled an unflowered bulb. It took her a day to recover and upon inspection it did look like a very big nut, the kind you don’t like in the mixed nut tin. She always ate them fast, no chewing needed, who knew if someone was going to pry it out of her mouth.

IMG_2421Barbie died because she finally ate something that she couldn’t get rid of, or it took too long a toll on her to recover from consuming it. There wasn’t any obstruction in her stomach. She had become incontinent six months ago, was having thyroid issues, sleeping more and wanting to be held and petted even more. She was less cranky, gave up some of her top dog duties to Barney (who didn’t know what to do with them) and she was letting me know that she was pretty much done here.

Because Barbie lived at all,  her skater-owner learned to soldier through the tough times, keep the school open, and never miss a meal. She taught the cycle of life, that life is for the living. Although her skater-owner was crying buckets in Barbie’s last hours,  (an entire box of Kleenex) when life did finally leave her her, a calm came over me and I was no longer sad. She was no longer suffering and I think she had a good and honorable life.

Barbie  taught by example, she exercised alongside so many skaters, she ate a lot and always seemed hungry.  She could be cranky Trish+Dogs_MG_1091 (1)and loving. She was comforting when it was needed and off doing her own thing when not needed. She soldiered through any tough situation and simply marched into the future. She was loved and she gave comfort.

What more could we want in a skater or a dog?


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