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The Patience of Pete: A tribute to a friend

Pete came to us in March 2009, when he was already 11 years old.  Some of you might remember when Jan was forced to disperse all the dogs at the rescue, a difficult job to do with healthy, young dogs.  Pete was neither.  But, since we only had 3 Shorthairs in our home, we stepped up and adopted an old dog who needed a home.

That’s where we went wrong.  We thought we were rescuing Pete.  He thought he was being kidnapped.

It was a rocky relationship all around.  Pete didn’t want to be with us in any way.  He would walk away when we would try and pet him.  He wasn’t house trained.  His teeth and ears were so infected, he smelled rotten.  He barked at nothing, and howled many times a day at nothing.  He was nearly blind, and almost deaf.  He didn’t climb stairs.  Our other three Shorthairs stayed far away from old Pete, especially when he started showing signs of dementia.

That first year was a challenge on many, many levels.  But after a year’s worth of good nutrition, ear treatments, many teeth cleanings at the vet, and tolerance, Pete started coming around.  I’ll never forget the time Pete had his head in my lap, lifted his eyes, and actually looked at me.  That was after a year of living with us.  It was the first time we’d made eye contact, and he held it for a few seconds.  In those seconds, I was able to look into his brown eyes, and I saw Pete for the first time.  We connected, Pete let down his barriers, and I finally saw his gentle soul.

Pete taught us patience and tolerance.  He taught us acceptance of odd behaviors.

He changed us, all in good ways.

And when the time came this month, when the organs slowed down, and the seizures ramped up, we held him as he slipped away.
We miss Pete every day.  We miss the howling.  We miss his imaginary friends that he would romp with every evening.  We miss him killing the broom every day.

We miss you Pete.

Thank you for all you taught us.

Robert & Roberta Carr

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