My parents put our dog, Mickey, to sleep today.
We got him in 1993, when he was a little less than a year old. (Yes, that made him somewhere around 18 years old!) The local animal shelter, Angels for Animals, which was then just run out of someone’s farmhouse and barn, had found him on the streets of Leetonia, Ohio. They named him Mickey Mouth because he did a hilarious yelping bark when he was happy.
He liked to play in the snow, and he loved to chase balled-up wrapping paper around and shred it to pieces on Christmas morning. Sometimes, he would find a dead duck carcass in the backyard and he’d roll around in it, then come home sheepishly because he knew my mom would be mad at him. When he wanted you to pat him, he’d come over and stick his nose under your hand and throw it back so your hand would land on his head. He had been getting sicker over the last year, and my parents had been taking pretty amazing care of him — cooking him beef stew when he wouldn’t eat anything else, helping him up and down the stairs, and so on.
He was a good dog. And he had a good run.