Petey died peacefully in my lap this morning in the company of his loving veterinarian. He was almost 18 years old. Even in the past few days, as he seemed to age a lifetime all at once and his medications began to fail him, he was always his happy self and never really had a bad day.
Petey loved eggs. Katie made him her special brand of cheese-scrambled eggs for his last meal, which he ate with Dorrie. His buddy Casey-Dog had some too.
Mr. Pete received the title “Ruler of the Universe” from Robbie when we noticed that there seemed to be “Petey-Dogs” — small, white, mixed-breeds that resemble Lhasa Apsos, miniature Poodles and Tibetan Temple Dogs — everywhere. The idea that they were Petey’s doppelganger servants, sent by him around the world to keep watch over all of us, was born. And maybe they have kept watch and will continue to do so, directed by Petey from wherever love and the dogs that help create it go when they leave us.
In addition to eggs, Petey loved everyone he met and especially loved to travel. So much so that he taught himself to hitch-hike and formed the habit of sitting at the end of our driveway, looking perky, until someone would drive by and pick him up. They would take him home, coddle him, feed him treats and eventually call our phone number on his tag to say they had found our cute, friendly white dog. When we would ask where they “found” him, they were always astonished to hear that he had been just sitting at the end of our driveway waiting for a new friend.
Petey had an inexhaustible supply of love. When the children were younger I would notice him asleep in Robbie’s bed, then he’d move to William’s bed or Katie’s before eventually finding his way to ours, where he would spend the night cuddled with Dorrie, his truly best friend of all. Sometimes, if no one was home, he’d let me nap with him on the couch, but it was our secret.
He did not like loud noises, and was frightened by fireworks and thunder until his deafness took that fear away a few years ago. But he could somehow still hear that you needed him, and jump into your lap to lick your nose.
His antics were of colossal stature. Once, our backs turned with some human distraction, an entire lasagna disappeared from the table. Without proof, we all blamed Sara, our Irish wolfhound who could reach the tabletop without effort.
Later, Dorrie discovered a tomato-sauce-covered Petey, and the mystery was solved — although how the little guy managed to get on to the table remains unresolved.
Petey came to us from a shelter almost 16 years ago when Katie wanted a puppy for her birthday. Although he loved us all and we all loved him, from that day forward he was Dorrie’s best friend.
He was the smallest of all the dogs that have graced us with their affection. But I think he actually had the biggest heart of them all. We will miss you Mr. Pete.