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A few months after losing Mascot I missed having a dog around. It is not the same coming back home and opening the door to silence. I was so used to hearing a bark or two of welcome and the patter of little paws and scratching nails coming to greet me at the door, a furiously wagging tail and a lick or two. If more enthusiasm, then jumping up and down and a general show of such happiness at your arrival, nothing takes its place. Only owners of dogs know how that feels.
So I started looking for another dog. Through an ad in the paper I read about a young female white poodle that was being advertised for sale. The address was a long way off, so my Father drove me there and we went to see her. I fell in love on the spot. She was quite tiny and just walked up to me and nuzzled my leg. I was totally gone from that moment. My Father started the expected give and take about the price, and I thought it was part of the game when he stood up and said no, the price was too high and said we’d be leaving. I went along thinking that any minute we’d turn back and get her for less, but he kept going till we got to the car. I just stood there and said shouldn’t we go back and get her now, and he said no. She really wasn’t much of a dog, she had a squint. I was in shock. I had set my heart on her, and there she was, getting away. I cried all the way home, with my Father trying to reason with me. Next day we picked her up.
She was my dog. I called her Spooky. Yes she did squint a bit, but I loved her. Eventually even my Father became fond of her.
She had the bad habit of eating anything and everything, so we had to keep a very sharp eye on her most of the time. Looking back, I now realize that she was not a very bright dog, but she was a happy little puppy that grew into a loving, rather stubborn dog.
A few years after we’d had her, one weekend she started getting sick. She started throwing up green bile, so I wrapped her up and drove all the way to the shelter because of Dr. Farouk, who was an excellent Vet. He examined her and had an ultrasound taken of her stomach, where it showed a small piece of plastic wedged there obstructing her intestines. I asked if surgery was needed, knowing full well how risky surgery is because of the anesthesia. He thought a bit then said, not right away. We’ll try something else for a day, but if that didn’t work, it’ll have to be surgery. He gave me two medicines, both of which she had to be given every two hours. Their effect was to try to lubricate her insides so that the piece of plastic slips out with the stools. So I took her, the medicines, and went home.
All that evening and throughout the night I gave her her medicine every two hours. By morning I was a wreck, called in sick, and continued my vigil throughout the day. Around sundown she had the most glorious bowel movement that shook the earth, and down came that horrible piece of plastic. She had made it and would not need surgery.
Going back to the office the following day, my boss was very understanding because he had dogs of his own, but one of my colleagues was making fun of me. Missing a day of work for a DOG! Ha, ha, ha! I asked him if he ever had a pet, and he said no. So I told him then don’t talk about it you don’t know anything about what it feels like. A few months later that same colleague came to me and out of the blue apologized. I did not understand. He said he just got a dog and now knows how insensitive he had been when mine was sick a few months back.
Spooky lived to a ripe old age, in the meantime my Father had passed away, and many changes had taken place in our lives.
Spooky started showing signs that were not good. There was a growth right above her tail, which started bleeding. I took her to the vet, Dr. Farouk had retired, so I took her to someone else. He said she had cancer! When my brother found out, he took over. I would never be able to take her to be put down. My brother came with the children, picked Spooky and I up and took us to a vet in Maadi I did not know. I could not go in with them, bade her goodbye in the car and waited out there for them, crying my eyes out. Pets give you such joy and love for so many happy years, but the end when it comes is so very painful. You are losing a friend who has loved you unconditionally for years. But once you are used to having pets around, you cannot go without. Their presence is addictive.
Two months after Spooky, we got Poochy, our famous Yorkshire terrier that understood English.

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