My wife, who rises earlier than I do because she has the morning dog-walking duties, woke me the other day to tell me that Thatcher was not moving.
Thatcher is a Goldendoodle or “Groodle,” a species developed in the 1990s by crossing a Golden Retriever with a Poodle. She joined our family about the same time our youngest child graduated high school and headed off to college. Thanks to Thatcher, we did not become empty-nesters.
The previous day, my wife had taken her on a five mile hike. That night, she lay by my feet in the living room, asleep by the fire, while I binged on White Lotus. When I got up to go to bed, I stepped over her carefully and wished her a good night. Sometime that night, she had stirred, moved to our bedroom, lain down, and died quietly without disturbing us.
When my wife woke me, Thatcher was lying beside our bedroom door, facing toward the patio. It appeared that she had been thinking of going out. Instead, she died as she had lived, causing no trouble.
She was just shy of 13, a long life for a dog.
Thatcher had the sweetest disposition an animal could have. She was visibly overjoyed when anyone – friend, relative, postman, deliveryman — rang the bell. She raced to the door to welcome the visitor and to ascertain by a hurried nasal inspection where he had recently been, whether he had pets, and whether he was carrying treats. She held a firm conviction that any creature walking on two legs was put on Earth to play with her.Continue reading