The stories

These narratives, drawn from students' personal experiences, were posted on, a narrative website, as well as here

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Lame Excuse For A Dog

Appeared on November 2013

A Lame Excuse For A Dog
By April Renzella

Every time I come home from college, I receive the same greeting. 
The little black dog hobbles over, sometimes hitting her head on a few items along the way, as she has completely lost her vision. Although she can’t hear me, because that’s gone too, she seems to know that I’m there. 

Snoopy is a 17 year old Toy Poodle that my parents bought me when I was 4 years old as I told them, “I wanted a puppy I could hold.” This was in reference to the fact that we had Maxie, a beautiful German Shepherd, who weighed more than I could pick up. 
So my parents bought me Snoopy. She was a peppy little thing. As she got older, she would do crazy things like jump over me to get a toy while I was doing a backbend. 
I took her to a dog show back in 1997 where she won first place in the ‘Best Puppy’ category. This landed us on the front page of the town’s newspaper. 

When Snoopy and I were still young, I used to do things to get her into trouble as I didn’t have any siblings to do that to.  Snoopy was never allowed on the furniture. I would put her on a chair and tell my mom that Snoopy did that all by herself. To this day I still feel bad about those little things I used to do to her. 
Flash forward and Snoopy is so ugly that she’s cute, she’s balding on her back, sides, and tail. She spends most of her time sleeping and getting lost in her surroundings, but she will spunk up every now and then to growl or pounce on a toy. That’s usually brought on by me though. 
“Be careful with her, April,” my dad will say. 
The way he speaks you would think I was tossing the dog out the window. 

 It’s very difficult seeing something or someone who has been there your whole life begin to deteriorate and become fragile. Because I moved a lot as a child, I try to hang on to the most stable things in my life. One of these things is Snoopy. It’s just sad to watch. She’s a bag of bones covered by wirey hairs, can’t hold her bladder, and has boils all over her body. Her liver and kidneys are damaged and she has a tumor on her liver. I beg my dad every time I see her to put her down because I can see the pain behind her cataract eyes. 

I have rescued animals to keep them alive. But it’s her time to go.  What used to make me smile when I walked through the door now makes me sad. 

Like most things in life, my time with Snoopy has come full circle. Now that I am older, all I wanted was a big dog, much like Maxie. So I bought Scout, a German Shepherd puppy. The two have met and although Snoopy didn’t want to play, Scout pawed her around and sniffed out the funny looking dog. When Snoopy passes, I will have Scout to continue on the dog legacy, this time in my twenties, not through adolescence.

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