After I dried my tears for the second time after reading todays post by John Grey ( Going Gently) I had to look at photos of my dear Pup .. Tate.
For those who don't "know" him, Tate was our brown Standard Poodle.
We bought him when we lived in NY. We moved to Florida and he discovered why I like Hotels.
He was an honored guest of the Kimpton Group. He had his own hotel food and water bowls.
He flew to Argentina, with the pilot giving the flight attendants messages for me during the flight on how he was, that he was still sleeping, he was fine.
And so he was.
Running through the airport, at the end of the leash that was firmly held by me ! he made his first appearance in Buenos Aires ... he was quite the sensation !
Apparently, in Buenos Aires, small dogs were preferable for city/apartment living ... no one had ever seen a Standard Poodle.
Poodles, yes, big ones, no.
So we were stopped dozens of times a day to allow people to pet him, talk about him, talk to him and kiss him.
No one was afraid or even careful, that dog got more kisses on his lips from pretty women than most men do !
And he loved cats. We had had an elderly cat when Tate the puppy came to live with us.
We worried the old cat would hate him, we worried Tate might hurt the cat in puppy exuberance.
The first morning we tiptoed down to the kitchen and there was the puppy, asleep in his crate, with the old cat snuggled up next to him.
They were lifelong friends and whenever he saw a cat, even those hard hearted city cats in Buenos Aires, he was all tail wags and smiles.
The shops and markets we went to each day, all welcomed him and got their kisses ... and gave some too.
He was my "teddy bear". the thing a child holds on to for comfort , something familiar that he loves and feels good knowing it is there ... That was Tate for me.
At night we would watch tv, he was lying on the sofa between us .. I would sit at my desk on the computer, he was sleeping there beside the chair .. when we went for a walk, we almost always took him too.
He was our Good Will Ambassador, everyone , every single person, every day, stopped and talked to us about him, petted him, kissed him and he was always smiling and gentle and easy.
I had trained him to lie down when a small child or baby was around, to avoid accidentally knocking over the baby.
When a lady with a child would walk towards us and she would ask if the child could pet him, he would already be on the sidewalk, lying down... happy to sniff a baby and get a pat ..
There was a "bag lady" that stayed in the park all day, on her bench ..
We would stop at the bakery most mornings on the way to the park, my husband would pick up medialunas and muffins etc.
When we got to the park, we would take our share then I would give the park bench lady the rest. One day I watched her share a muffin with Tate, a bite for her, a bite for him.
We bought her extra after that .
He loved the police horses .. that dog loved horses .. he would whimper and cry and beg to be close to them. The mounted police always got a good laugh out of that .. I had to watch that the horses didn't get annoyed and kick him but they looked bored and ignored him mostly.
He didn't care, he just wanted to be there with them ... " mom! look! horses !!" ...and then I would lead him away for a walk ..
Between my husband and Tate at my side, I was never really homesick when we moved to Argentina. They were my home, wherever we were .
We were a family, wherever we were ..
He died in Argentina, he was old , he had a mass on his liver.
He was not ill for long, he didn't suffer. When the time came, the vet came to the house and we all held him and cried. She would not euthanize but she gave him lots of pain killers.
Mu husband and I talked about getting a dog when we were living in NY.
We talked about what kind we would get, we would get a cat ... but there wasn't enough time.
My husband died suddenly, unexpectedly, and there I was .. alone.
None of the comfort that Tate would have provided.
I thought of that then ... if Tate had only been there with us.
Now I have cats.
Suddenly without plan, I became a Cat Lady.
I just knew I needed a little living creature in that house with me, out in the woods and fields and far from anyone I knew.
So I went to Animalkind in Hudson NY and Minette found me.
She made me bring her home with her. My tiny blue kitten with the huge yellow eyes.
She is brave, fierce, beautiful and a sweet little girl. I adore her.
Last year, I was thinking it would be nice if she had a friend, company, cat company when she was sick of me.
I looked on the Animalkind website, nothing jumped out at me .. like she did when I saw her the first time.
Then one day I looked at the Hudson County NY Animal Shelter website.
And saw this face ... this grumpy face and I called them and asked if he was still there.
They said yes .. I said, hang on to him, I am on my way.
Now Minette and Merlin take naps together and gossip in the sun and share the bed with me ..
That was it .. I had a little girl cat and an old man cat and we were fine.
We took a long drive, from New York to Florida, staying in La Quinta Hotels (pet friendly) and upon our arrival here, my poor Mom died.
And her cat had to come live with me.
No one else wanted her.
Her name is Honey. She is as sweet as she can be.
She is huge. Heavy. And dear ... she probably misses Mom. I do. She might be thinking of me as Mom now though. .
Their dinner is finished and Minette and Merlin are napping on the lanai.
Honey is here, upstairs with me.
She just had her after dinner bath and settled down for a nap.
By my side. I am her mom now.
So here I am.
The Old Widow with Cats ...