Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kinsey: May 24 1995 - May 1 2012

We said goodbye to our little puppy girl, Kinsey, our beloved pet west highland terrier of nearly seventeen years.

Here are some rememberances of Kinsey:

She had an overbite, and a crooked tail which she never raised above her back.

She was willful and independent, and required regular reminders that she wasn't the boss of the house.

She loved to walk on logs.

She chewed for comfort as a puppy - she destroyed the wicker of her first bed, mauled an antique book, and had a particular affinity for mommy's underwear.

She didn't care for plush toys, with the exception of a sheeps-wool star shape, which she suckled and nuzzled at night for comfort to the day she died. As a younger dog she prefered balls. She'd bat them around with her paws, then chase them down and pounce on them. We'd bounce them to her to catch, or roll them to her - then shed bat them back to us. She also loved to chase and herd soccer balls around the yard, which she'd eventually pop after persistent biting.

When we'd ride in the car Kinsey would always climb up onto my shoulders, where she'd be nestled between the back of my head and the head-rest of my '89 Thunderbird.

In good weather Kinsey would be tied to a run in the yard while we were away at work. She hated being tied up, but we'd leave the back door of Nancy's old car open, and she'd jump up in there and hang out on the rear ledge. It was her dog house, made by Pontiac.

Her favorite perch indoors was on a cushion atop a piano bench next to a window. Here she could survey the bird-feeding area. When a squirrel came to feed, she'd throw herself against the glass repeatedly and bark. It's a wonder she never broke through.

Kinsey loved Fergus, one of my parents' Scottish Terriers. She'd yip, bite, and dart, coaxing him into play. Then she'd roll over on her back, all coy, giving herself to him. He didn't know what to make of her. Fergus died way before his time, leaving a hole in Kinsey's heart that would never heal.

She was six years old when we brought Toby home, and she was not pleased. He stole a healthy percentage of our love from her, and she never forgot it. For the rest of her life she was never truly nice to him, although we're certain that she secretly liked him.

Toby taught Kinsey to dig, to hunt, and to escape the fenced yard for big adventures in the neighborhood and woods. Kinsey became an escape artist, able to breach the fence even after her mentor had given up. We'd come home from work to find Toby on the inside, Kinsey on the outside.

For most of her life she had a disorder which disrupted tear production, causing dry eyes. Even with medication her eyes were often uncomfortable, and they produced mucus that would require cleaning, and occasionally infections would take hold.

Kinsey started acting old when she was around 12 years old. She slowed down during our walks and hikes. Her eyesight was declining, and her hearing began to diminish. We would eventually buy a stroller for her to ride in when she tired of walking. She drew stares, smiles and comments as she was wheeled along. She looked the Queen.

Our big North American tour was good and bad for Kinsey. She didn't care for the travel, and was indifferent to new places unless there was thick green grass to roll in. The Whale was good, however. It has more carpet than home, and its small size allowed her to easily find Nancy, or to make it known that she needed to go outside.

Towards the end of her life Kinsey had three passions: Nancy, sleep, and treats. She got all three in abundance, and so she was as happy as she could be.

We are both sad to say goodbye to our little white dog, but for Nancy it will be a slow wound to heal. Thanks to Kinsey for staying with us for so long, and for enriching our lives. We loved her and miss her.

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