Blondie, as her name must tell you, was blond in color, and when she was younger, she had a very black nose. She was born in September, 1984, one of a rather large litter (8 or 9 puppies, I believe). Her mother was (who else) Brownie. I suspect her father was a big blond dog that lived a couple of blocks away on the corner of 30th and Oak, but I have no way of confirming that and I do not know the dog's name and I cannot remember the name of the family that owned the dog.
I do not remember too much about the litter except that there were three puppies that looked just like Blondie. Blondie was a female and the other two were males.
I believe this litter was born in the neighbor's garage and the puppies stayed there at first. As the puppies got older and larger, they began to play in the front of my house. And, of course, I started giving them a little food.
I remember one very cold November evening. It was unusually cold for a November and the wind was blowing very strongly. I looked outside and all of the puppies were on a very small piece of rug and they were all piled on each other. None of them stayed on top very long. They were constantly crawling to the bottom of the pile to get warm which in turn brought another to the surface and on and on it went. I really wanted to bring them inside, but I already had about 10 dogs and could not get involved in this.
As it became winter, a few of the puppies got homes, but there remained the three blond puppies and some others. Then, one day a black lady with two young boys drove by in a big big car as some of the puppies were playing in the front yard. She asked if I was looking to find homes for them and I explained that they were not mine but that I suspected that the owners wanted to find homes for them. Well, the boys went to the back where the puppies were. They emerged with the two male blond puppies. I said goodbye to the blond brothers and expressed a hope that they would take good care of them.
By Christmas time, the blond female puppy was getting bigger and had not found a home. And, of course, as time went on I became more and more attached to her. I was feeding her, petting her and all those sort of things. My Christmas present from my parents was that they would help me for one day on one of my houses. I think they came over one day in January, 1985, and of course it irritated my mother to no end that I was petting the puppy and giving it attention when I should be working on the house. Well, it was on that day that I noticed blood in her stool. Remembering Jody and Buffy, I immediately became worried about parvo and other possible causes. So, on Monday, the blond female puppy was at the doctor's office.
I have one rule! Once I have gotten involved enough to spend money on a veterinarian, I am involved in the animal for life. So, when the blond puppy came home she went into my back yard and became Blondie. The little boy next door asked a few days later if I was going to let his puppy out of the fence, and, of course, I said NO. This was in no way cruel to the little boy, since his parents had no intention in keeping or caring for the puppy.
As with the other dogs, Blondie's actual life is somewhat of a blur, but Blondie got her fair share of petting, loving and other care.
I do remember a couple of things that need to be mentioned. In 1985, Blondie was full grown, but still very much a baby. That was the year that the Royals won the World Series. As I watched the games she was constantly in my lap. Also, she and her half sister Daisy played a very interesting game. Daisy would go into the other room and grab a mouthful of food, bring it into the living room and dump it out. Then she and Blondie, but mainly Blondie, would eat the food.
In the last year of her life, Blondie became very thin (just a bag of bones in the end) which no doubt was related to kidney failure. She continued to have a very good appetite up until the day before she died. The last couple of weeks, though, I was hand feeding her chunks of Cycle Senior canned dog food and during the last week I was giving her water with a syringe.
Blondie died on April 4, 2000. I had decided to put her to sleep, but she beat me to it. While she was still eating, the last couple of days of her life, she had begun to cry out like she was in pain. I am guilty of trying to keep my dogs too long, but this is the first time that I could tell that one of them was actually in pain as opposed to just feeling not too good. When I came home she was laying there like she was asleep, so hopefully she died peacefully.
Blondie was the last of Brownie's puppies to die and the last of the dogs I brought with me from 31st and McGee. So, it is sort of an end of an era. It left me with four dogs, Parker, Zeppelin, Jack and Jake. I hoped that it would be several years before I lose another of my kids.
While I am very sad to lose Blondie, I am very much at peace with the fact that she lived a very good life and that I made that possible. Had I not taken her to the veterinarian she might have died within her first year. And, of course, few people make their animals as much a part of their lives as I do. She and the others live and sleep with me and I talk to them just as I would any human. And, of course, for several nights before she died and the night before, I put her in bed with me where I could hug, kiss and talk to her. And, I told her before I left for the day that she died, that I knew she might not be with me when I came home, but that I loved her and the she was a REALLY GOOD DOG!!!!
As I awoke on April 5, 2000, I noticed it was a bright sun shiny day. It saddened me that Blondie could not enjoy the day. She had suffered through the worst weather and now that the weather was great she was no longer here. I really wish she had lived a couple of more months, so she could lay in the yard during the spring when it is neither too cold nor too hot.