Joey chose us when he came to live with us almost 12 years ago.
We went to the pet store to buy a cat.
I know. Who buys a cat when people can’t give them away fast enough? When you want a free kitten, you can’t actually find one.
There weren’t any cats at the pet store, but there were lots of puppies. One puppy in particular kept looking at us, barking at us and making those puppy eyes at us. We asked to see him. Once he was in my arms, I couldn’t put him back in the kennel. He was wiggley, warm, and cuddly.
We brought Joey home, and he quickly became friends with our other cocker spaniel Elizabeth who was just a few months older than him.
Joey was a snuggler. He loved to sit next to you on the couch with his head on your lap. He loved to have his tummy scratched. When you walked by he rolled over on his back, waiting for you to scratch his tummy.
Joey was the most attached to me, and I loved him back. Both times I was pregnant he seemed to sense something was different. For those nine months he shadowed me everywhere I went in the house. He always sat with me, his head resting on my belly.
Joey was curious about both the boys when we brought them home from the hospital, but he was especially taken with Wade. He slept under Wade’s bassinet every day for the first six weeks of his life. When I moved Wade to his crib Joey kept inspecting the bassinet, looking for Wade. He wouldn’t rest until I showed him that Wade was safe and sound in his room.
In the last year or two Joey lost his sight, and he struggled with arthritis in his hips. It didn’t stop him from inspecting the field behind our house every day. He got slower, and it took him longer and longer to take his daily constitutional, but he kept doing it.
Joey was a good companion and friend, a very gentle and loyal dog. I never saw him nip or threaten anyone except the vet who tried to give him the canine version of a prostrate check. Joey didn’t care for that at all.
I miss Joey already.
It won’t be the same when we wake up tomorrow morning and he’s not here.