Ode to Peanut


Peanut in the snow

I have never particularly liked little dogs.  I guess growing up with a German Shepherd, I just didn’t see the point in small yip-yip dogs.  They always seemed to me to be more accessories for their owners than animals.  Bill’s parents had multiple chihuahuas and toy poodles, and most were cute, but I just never jumped on the small dog wagon…until Peanut.

We were looking for a dog for Ray, when a woman who heard his dog had died contacted us.  She had a Pomeranian/Yorkie mix and she was trying to find a home for him.  She said he was special and couldn’t go to just anybody. We agreed to have him go to Ray’s for a sleepover visit.  I had to admit he was adorable, all 5 pounds of him.  He and Ray hit it off and he was the perfect fit for a senior.

He moved in and they became fast friends.  He was the reason Ray got out of bed in the morning.  When they were walking together around the retirement home, Peanut was a superstar.  Everyone stopped to talk to him and he charmed them all.  The employees loved him.  The residents adored him.  The maintenance and grounds care workers knew him. He got Ray much social attention and it was a match for both of them. Then one night, in the middle of the night, Ray fell while walking Peanut and ended up in the hospital for a week from his injuries.

As we moved Ray into a more secure environment, Peanut came to live with us.  He followed me around, right on my heels.  I took him to work with me and everyone there loved him too.  He was happy and smiling all the time, literally smiling.  Never met a stranger.  His personality was as big as any person’s. We took him to see Ray a couple of times a week for visits.  He had a bag of treats beside his chair and Peanut went right to him, jumped up in his lap, and settled in as soon as we arrived.  We recently moved Ray again to his daughter’s house in Colorado.  He was thrilled that Peanut would once again get to live with him.  Peanut made the transition doable.

ray and Peanut

I must say that little dog made me a believer in tiny canines.  He wormed his way into my heart by simply being himself.  I discovered that little dogs actually need coats in the winter to keep from trembling.  I found that having a dog in your lap anytime you sit down in a chair can be a good thing.  When he crawled under the covers in the morning and curled up next to me I didn’t even mind. The way his ears perked up when you called his name and his little stub tail wagged was endearing.  His little smile was heartwarming.  When he followed my every step, at first was annoying, but then I found it reassuring to have a little shadow.  Like he had my back in a way.  He could hold his own with our bigger dogs, on walks, with toys, and with being with us.  He enjoyed being part of a pack, I think.

Turns out he was a therapy dog for me and I didn’t even know I needed one.  But he did.  His little face just cheered me up anytime he was with me, which was most of the time. All the people who knew Peanut around here are missing him.  At my office, they ask me how he is every day.  At the retirement home, numerous employees offered to take him if he didn’t go with Ray.

He is a special little dog.  I have owned enough dogs to know that every one of them is different.  Of all the ones we have owned, I would say we have had one “angel dog” which I define as the perfect dog, at the perfect time, with the perfect personality.  Like a divine occurrence, and now, Peanut makes two.  I miss him terribly. He is on to his next assignment to take care of Ray, but there is a tiny Peanut sized hole in my heart and it hurts.


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