We unexpectedly said goodbye to Otis this past weekend. On Friday evening, he suddenly lost the use of his legs. Rocky carried him outside. He wagged his tail and looked up at me happily when I gave him some leftover ham. Rocky spent time time petting him Friday evening, but when we woke up Saturday morning, he was gone. Rocky buried him in the garden and Saturday afternoon, Maggie & I planted the garden over him (though Maggie doesn’t know he’s buried there).
Otis came to live with us soon after we got married and were living in Virginia. We felt Nala needed a companion and found Otis from a Humane Society who was showing dogs available for adoption outside a Pet Smart. He was barking, but stopped when we got close. We decided to foster him for a week to be sure he would get a long with Nala. His first free time in the backyard led to the first of many escapes from the our backyards. We didn’t think we should keep him as he was such an escape artist and we didn’t want to have a dog on a chain. After returning him, the Humane Society (knowing a sucker when they see one) called me and, well, Otis came back home with us.
Otis & Nala got along quite well and loved to play together. Probably because Otis was such a young dog, he was probably around 2 when he came to live with us. He loved to play and go on walks, but he was never what you would call a “pack” dog. He never “needed” to be with the rest of the family. And quite honestly, there were a few times we seriously considered getting rid of him. He wasn’t quite sure of what to make of Maggie when we first brought her home, and expressed his dislike of her when she started crawling by snapping at her. We sent him to doggie boot camp when we went on a 2 week vacation and he did better around her after that. Once she got out of toddlerhood, he really seemed to enjoy her company. He never really seemed to like Jessie, but tolerated her once she started walking and would let her grab her ear without too much fuss.
He really was a good dog in ways I never expected. Maggie is comforted by thinking about Otis playing with Nala in heaven. I hope and pray that he is. Perhaps he is enjoying some sun and the cool breeze that he enjoyed so much since moving to Montana. Otis, you may not have been the most handsome dog, but you were ours. I am going to miss seeing you sleeping on my side of the bed each morning, the way you would come running if you thought there was the slightest chance of a treat or even a plate to lick, your special little Elvis lip.