by Kathy Orchard Edie was a little terrier mix who came to live with us in the fall of 1999 when she was a little over a year old. My husband was working in Ft Myers at the time and only home on the weekends. I still had Beej, my older Bichon Frise, but wanted some additional companionship. I got Edie from someone at my work who didn’t want her anymore. I brought her home overnight on a trial basis and took her to my vet. Edie had some minor health issues and a bad yeast infection affecting her skin. She was so cute and I couldn’t bear to take her back to them so I kept her. (The prior owner told me she was “itchy” – no wonder! It took about a year to totally get rid of the yeast infection and it would reoccur from time to time over the years.) As my husband was away during the week, she grew very protective of me.
Her original name was Fifi, which did not fit her at all, since she was a scrappy little tomboy dog with a stubby tail. I wanted to give her another similar sounding name and “Edie” just seemed to fit her.
Edie loved squeaky toys from the very beginning and that love didn’t diminish over the years. If left to her own devices, she would squeak one continually until it was “dead”. Her favorite were the big jacks, with a squeaker in each end – 6 total. One jack might keep her going for weeks. Usually I would have to stitch toys up multiple times as she would practically shred it to bits before the squeaker would die. Sometimes I would have to give up and just take the squeaker out. Edie would tempt you with a toy and then duck under the dining room table because she never wanted you to actually take it from her. I was the only one who could; she would growl seriously at anyone else who tried. Edie and I always had fun playing with her toys together. And any holiday was an excuse for me to buy her a new one.
Edie slept with us and she usually slept right next to my pillow. Sometimes I would wake up and she would be the one on the pillow. I never really had to set the alarm. If it was daylight, Edie thought it was time to be up and out of bed. (I always looked forward to the time change when it would be dark in the morning.) If I didn’t get up when she wanted, she would practically stand on my head. On Saturdays, we would get up, I'd feed her, and we'd sit in my recliner. Sometimes we would both be asleep there when my husband got up. I bought a mug that says “I wish the dog had a snooze button.”
Edie would eat just about anything but never chewed her dog food. She sucked it up like a vacuum. My husband said we should have named her Hoover. I always gave her a minimal amount of “people food” each day. But we found out early on that we could not give her anything with eggs as they made her sick. She liked crunchy foods like rice cakes and romaine lettuce, which she would chew. But she loved lamb. When my husband was cooking lamb, she would spend the whole time underfoot, with My husband trying not to trip over her. I laughed at pet surveys that showed lamb way down on the list of flavors that dogs liked. Edie’s top three favorite flavors were lamb, lamb, and lamb.
Otherwise than being in the kitchen when my husband was cooking lamb, Edie didn’t like for me to be out of her sight. If I got up, she got up and followed me. If I went out front, she would climb up on the couch and look for me out the front window. When I worked out in the front yard, I had to take Edie outside with me. If I let her out into the backyard but my husband let her back inside, Edie would run through the house looking for me, not stopping until I was found. It really bothered her not knowing where I was.
When I'd come in the front door, she always came to greet me. If she liked you, she would come with a toy. But if anyone knocked on our door or rang the doorbell, she would bark and come running.
When Edie wanted something, she would stamp her little paws, rocking side to side, and make a gurgling noise. If that didn’t work, she would start barking. She would also do this if I was sitting at the computer. Edie didn’t like when that happened since it was not something that she could do with me.
One day I let Edie out in the back yard. When after a while she hadn’t returned to the door, I looked outside but couldn’t see her. So I walked out in the yard and saw that the side gate had been left open. I walked around, looking frantically for her and calling her name very loudly. Not finding her, I rushed back inside and went out the front door, nearly falling over her. She had been by the front door, waiting patiently to be let in. I think she knew she lived the good life and wasn’t about to run away from it. My husband called her the most spoiled dog in south Tampa. And I would always say, just spoiled with love.
We took a walk just about every evening and also on Sunday mornings. On Sundays we would take a longer walk and get the Sunday paper while we were out. I walked her every weeknight after work, when she had been cooped up a day, unless there was severe weather. After our evening walks, she got a Kong treat kept in freezer that had a peanut butter-flavored filling and treat in it. After we got back from our walk, if I sat down before she got it, she would come and stare at me and make a fuss. She always knew if she’d had her treat or not, even if she’d eaten dinner in between. She never forgot.
Our weekday routine was just that, routine. Once the alarm went off, Edie was up and there was no going back to sleep. She and I were usually the first ones up so we would go out and get the newspaper in the driveway. She liked to lick my legs after I got out of the shower. But if Edie thought I was taking too long a shower, or if she heard me and my husband talking, she would bark and/or scratch on the bathroom door. While I was getting ready for work, she would lay quietly on the floor, watching me. When I left the house, she always got a dog treat. Sometime you could tell she was thinking, “Hurry up and leave already so I can have my treat!” At the end of the day, whichever one of us got home would let her outside. But sometimes when my husband would get home before me, Edie would wait for me to come home before she would go out. So as soon as I walked in the door, she would start barking at me to let her outside. We could never figure this out. Of course, my husband would make sure she went out if he knew I was not coming home right away. In the evenings, we would have our walk. Only rarely would Edie go into our bedroom to go to sleep without me being in there. She liked to hang out with me until I went to bed.
Up until her last few weeks, Edie was very active and playful and you’d never have guessed that she was sick. She passed from this life on June 6, 2011, just 10 days before her 13th birthday. Edie was a beloved and faithful companion that will be missed by all those who loved her.