My sweet baby girl is no longer of this earth.
Otisse came to us in October 1988, shortly after we moved into our house. I had wanted a dog desperately and now that we had a yard, it was an option. Before we could even think about it, a neighbor found a stray boxer. Mark and I agreed to care for her temporarily. The owner could not be located and Otisse came to live with us.
Life has been different since then. She has had her ups and downs. We think she was abused before we adopted her, and she has always been aggressive toward other dogs and most people. Her only dog friend was Chase, the handsome Golden Retriver around the corner. She suffered various problems including incontinence, eye ulcers, tumors, and cancer, and underwent surgeries and other treatments with dignity. She once was lost for a number of hours after a stupid meter reader left the gate open. How overjoyed we were when she found her way home.
Despite her problems I could not have loved her any more. She was my soul sister. Looking into her beautiful brown eyes I felt a deep connection. If I was stressed over anything I knew I could touch her and the stress would start to melt away. When Mark went through a long hospitalization in 1989 she let me cry every night when I came home and provided me endless support and love. I loved to smell her right between her shoulder blades, and to apply lipstick and then kiss her on the white blaze between her eyes. As the black on her muzzle turned grey she was even more beautiful.
The silly Otisse things will always be remembered: rolling in the grass other back on a sunny day; rooting around in her bed after a particularly tasty meal; mooching for pasta at the table and slurping down long noodles; the gutteral woo woo woo woo when she wanted a walk or a bone and we weren't paying enough attention; kidney beaning at the door when the leash finally was in evidence; almost passing two obedience classes but blowing it at the end when the instructor's dog looked at her the wrong way; giving me a black eye when we bonked heads; playing hide and seek in the darkened rooms of the house; bone keep-a-way; playing dogpile with the neighborhood boys; the thunk of Mark's shoe out in the hallway while we showered. When you have wood floors you hear every step and can distinguish among the prances, the fearful hunting for the pack, the dancing, the impatient stomping. I will miss them all.
If there is a Rainbow Bridge or other place where our beloved pets go to wait for us, I believe the difficulties Otisse had on this earth will be over and she will be happy to see everyone; the weight of the world will be lifted from her shoulders and she can relax and enjoy herself. She will run with abandon. She will find Mary Diepen, who rescued her from the streets. She will mother the young pups like Thunder and Mufasa; she will seek out the grown up boxers like Muddy Austin to see what trouble they can get into, and renew acquaintances with Sunny the Golden. She will sit in the shade with my grandfather, Harry, and all of his dogs who were named Tramp, listening to Giants baseball on the radio. She will visit Bubba and Tiny the parakeets and learn some tricks with Birdlips, the best parakeet of all. She will remember fondly all the people who loved and cared for her including family and friends, our neighbors, the internet boxer community, and everyone at Acacia Pet Clinic where she was a regular. Her spirit is everywhere.
I love you so much baby and I will never ever forget you. Thank you for keeping me mindful of the things that really matter. I hope I never let you down. Thank you for everything you gave to your "dad" and I.
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San Jose, CA