Both of my “bully gals” are gone now. Gabby and Pinkie — mother and daughter. They had very different personalities, but both were wonderful, sweet dogs and loyal friends.
Pinkie was born, along with her 9 brothers and sisters, in our back yard. We hadn’t planned on breeding our dogs. This was our first and only litter. If we could have kept every puppy we would gladly have done so. As it was, Pinkie was the puppy who stayed. And her mom and dad both adored her and tended to their pup for the rest of her life. Gabby loved to hold Pinkie down and clean her ears. When Pinkie went out in the rain and came back inside all wet, I would grab a towel and Gabby would go to work with her tongue.
One day when Pinkie was no more than a year old, I found all three dogs huddled together in the back yard. Mom and dad were clearly worried and wanted my help. I found that Pinkie had stuck her head through a plastic Gatorade bottle which had both ends removed. She was fine, but she looked like she was wearing a clear, plastic cervical collar.
I wish I’d thought to take a photograph at the time, but I was laughing too hard. I had to find a pair of scissors and cut her out of her predicament, much to the relief of all three dogs.
Buster, her dad, taught her how to howl at sirens. She would only start in if he initiated it, though. One day he was off on a fishing trip with the Big Guy, and I could see that Pinkie desperately wanted to howl, but her dad wasn’t there, so she whimpered a little and then gave up.
Why did we call her Pinkie? When we had 10 little black pups in our house and I was trying to keep track of them all, I found she was the only one who had a little bit of pink on her chin. She also had different-colored pads — some were black, and some were pink. I called her Pinkie then, thinking I’d change her name later. She didn’t seem to mind having such a funny name.
Pinkie had a fat “otter tail” and a gorgeous thick coat; I called it a Rottweiler coat because her dad is half Rottweier and half Doberman. She looked like a black dog — until the sunlight hit her just right. Then you could see that hidden in between the black hair was a red coat she’d inherited, maybe from her mom, a red-nose golden-eye pit bull, or maybe from her grandmother, Buster’s mom, who was a red Doberman.
Pinkie loved going to the lake and was a born swimmer, although she was usually reluctant to get in over her head. She was splashing in her water dish at only a few weeks old; but at the lake she might decide to take one short swim and then stay on the shore to play with Gabby (who was afraid to go swimming).
One year on her birthday I took her for a walk down to Negro Bar. She was on her leash as usual, but she suddenly spotted a few ducks swimming far out in the water, and she decided she was going after them. She surprised me with her determination; she swam at least 100 yards into the water, aiming for the ducks, until she finally decided to turn around and come back. That was the only time in her life that she tried to swim with the ducks.
Pinkie was diagnosed with diabetes about 10 months ago. She lost a lot of weight, and her appetite changed completely. She’d always been an eager and happy eater; she became so picky that we usually had to beg her to eat. We tried so many different types of food to tempt her. She did like to eat whatever fish the Big Guy brought home from his fishing trips. When she finally stopped eating bass and striper, we knew we were in for a rough time
She was strong, and she was stubborn. A few times in the last several months we thought we had come to the end, but she rallied and started eating again and gained some weight back. She wasn’t ready to quit.
She lost her eyesight to cataracts about eight months ago. She bumped into the walls a lot, but she kept on going. She loved to go for walks with the Big Guy and Buster. I missed seeing her beautiful brown eyes.
We love you.
July 5th, 1995 – December 6th, 2009