Now Pixie can be in the garden

You know those people who attempt to jerk tears out of you by going on and on about their pets who have gone on to The Good Place for eternity? I’m one of those people and this is one of those rambling, emotional posts, so skip it if you hate that stuff. But you can thank me for not using the expressions “fur kid” and “rainbow bridge.”

From my friend Matt:

Cartoon of dog on cloud
There goes my hero

Our dog Pixie was euthanized after her kidneys were no longer working. She was with us almost 14 years, and was full grown when we got her. Not knowing her date of birth, but knowing she was over 14, it was no surprise that eventually something had to wear out. She never had cancer, arthritis, a sense of self-preservation or other age-related afflictions, except a selective hearing loss. So that was good; at the same time, it was a hard transition for me, having watched her go from being a superdog to a sick dog very quickly.  For awhile I just avoided the back yard because it was so obvious she wasn’t in it anymore. Now it’s time to get back out and start cleaning inside the fences for the baby plants huddled inside, staring out the south-facing window.

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If I discovered an element, I’d name it after Pixie. She was a unique force that deserves a place on the Periodic Table. Five years ago, with the help of family members including small children (who were willing participants!), we built a fence over 5 feet high to keep Pix out of the garden. Her brother isn’t as much of a jumper. She would still get her share of the vegetables, but if allowed in the garden would have eaten everything in one day.

There are other reasons to keep dogs out of the garden, so it wasn’t just that. But any future fences can be a lot lower because few other dogs can clear five feet. Kids, let this be a lesson:  eat your vegetables if you want to be super. Better yet, eat your vegetables and everyone else’s.

She also liked high-protein chipati flour and decorated several rooms with a 5-pound bag of it:

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She also won a race at a charity event for retired Greyhounds, and kept going around the track after the race was over. She was the fastest dog in the tri-state area.

She cleared a boundary that was in a pond at a dog park, swam about 400 yards, bolted and returned to me a little later; no idea where she was. This would become a theme. She was an amazing agility dog but when we went to an outdoor trial was redirected from the course by a flock of pelicans. Again, no idea where she was but when she came back it was obvious she’d been swimming.

She enjoyed swimming, running, jumping, climbing and eating. She was a Boss and always got her way by using Jedi mind tricks.

She would body slam the back door when she wanted in or out, which was more effective than her brother’s method of sitting quietly hoping someone would notice he wanted the door open. She got things done. She took initiative. She was effective. But deep down, she was an orphan who had lived on the streets and loved her adoptive family. Her last nights were spent in our bed, waking up a few times during the night to look at my face and make sure I was still there.

So I think I’m going to till some more dirt in a few weeks and create a stupid memorial garden for her, with just a short rabbit fence. She and the spirit of our cat, JB, who also loved being in the garden, can be there. Not that I believe in an afterlife, necessarily, but I really want to. That concludes this sappy post and it will be about gardening again after this.

Author: Fire Horse

I live in Colorado with my husband Metal Pig, our son Evil Genius ("EG") and, for some reason, two Dalmatianesque dogs. One of my dreams is to show a respectable return on the investment I put into growing food in our suburban yard. We love plants but eat them too. I use grandiose terms when describing my garden, like "crops" and "nitrogen levels" but it's too small to be a farm. Maybe one day I'll hitch a miniature horse to a tiny plow and take out the turf grass in the front yard to make room for growing grains.

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