Ode to Pets

My dear Indiana

WRAL Pets: Ode to Pets

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Submitted by Grant & Heidi Dunlop of Louisburg, NC

My dear Indiana, aka Noodlehead.

I found her dumped by the side of the road twelve years ago yesterday. It was a sweltering Memorial Day and I took a route I didn't normally take and there she was, crossing the street, a little black puppy. She was being chased by some other dogs and I stopped the car in the middle of the road and got out and grabbed her. The other dogs ran off. She was little, maybe 5 pounds and maybe 6 weeks old, all black except for some white on her chin and her chest. Someone had put her in a box by a bus-stop with some food (when I found her, the food was crawling with fire ants). I told her we already had too many dogs, but I wasn't going to just leave her there.

She was a pistol. She had mange, a hernia and extra toes. We got her all fixed up and called her Indiana. She made us laugh, that is for sure. When she was a puppy, twice she fell out the car window, which isn't funny, but I was driving really slowly on our gravel road and she bounced out, until she learned her balance and she wasn't hurt.

She would slide off furniture instead of jumping off. She had a pet rubber frog and a talking Elmo for toys. We would always say to her, "Elmo loves you" and "tell Elmo a secret" mimicking the toy. When we went to play tennis, Sailor was interested in the tennis, but Indy just wanted to hunt crickets and chase moths.

She learned loads of tricks, especially "whisper." She would suspend herself out the car window and bark at the water being splashed by the tires--so much so, that I would look for puddles to drive through to amuse her. She would lean out and bark and I would hold onto to her tail to make sure she didn't fall out.

She cracked us up running head first into a screen door in the dark. She bounced. She would show interest in the Frisbee, but instead of catching it, she would stand on it with her front two feet. She and Rizzo once knocked me off my feet running toward me. I thought they'd swerve, they didn't. She loved to swim, but was scary to swim with. You'd have to go underwater to get away from her. She would retrieve in water, but not on land.

Her first best buddy was Bentley, the cat. She loved to go for rides in the car. She was a talker. She loved to chase turkey buzzards flying through the airspace above our yard. She would not back down to any vacuum cleaner hose nozzle or anything pointed at her, she went after it when the other dogs would shy away. We had a toy light saber that made noise and lit up, it had teeth marks on the end of it. She was adventurous and got a big thrill chasing an armadillo. She loved ice cream from Sonic.

I was happy she made it up to New Castle, IN in April. I got some great video of her enjoying the soft grass. In her later years, she just loved to hang out in the yard when we were outside. Maybe we noticed that she started to slow down a bit in the last year or so, but only recently we found out she likely had a brain tumor. She had been so healthy all through her life; we thought she'd live until she was 20 or something. But we had to put her to sleep today. She was a fighter to the very end. Even after the vet gave her the sedative, Indy was determined to stand up one more time. And she did. She died today, June 1st, 2010. Twelve years plus one day from the day I found her.



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