The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven not man’s

This week my family had to say goodbye to our dog, Tipper. Anyone who has been a pet owner can understand how difficult it is to loose one. For as long as I have been alive my family has had dogs. We’ve been lucky to have so many great dogs over the years, each of them with a distinct personality. My Dad dog sleds as a hobby so the majority of our dogs have been Huskies, up until Tipper.

In 2004 I was finishing up my Junior year in High School and got it in my head that our family ought to get a house dog. I thought it would be a great present for my Mother because she had often mentioned how much she liked the dog “Eddie” from the TV show Frasier. My Dad was not so convinced. He’d shrug and say, “I don’t like small dogs.” It was his opinion that small dogs weren’t “real” dogs. I remember the day that I finally changed his mind. I had found a listing of a Jack Russell Terrier Breeder from Southern Minnesota and brought it out to him as he was shooting bow in the front yard. The Breeder was selling the Puppies for less because they weren’t AKC certified. He told me that they were purebred, though. My Dad finally gave in and agreed to meet the Breeder in a suburb of the Twin Cities on the condition that he bring both of the dog’s parents so he could ensure they appeared to be purebred.

So, for the first time ever our family had an indoor dog. We brought him home where my Mom was awaiting his arrival. She had bought a kennel that day that was big enough to house one of our Huskies. This puppy couldn’t have been more than 6 inches in height. The kennel was a little excessive, but it showed how excited we all were to have a house dog.

During that Summer I spent a lot of time with Tipper. I signed him up for what I thought was obedience training, turns out it was puppy endurance training (the type of training that dogs go through for dog shows). He was a natural, he’d jump over hurdles, run through tunnels and balance on beams as if he was born to do it. I taught Tipper tricks with ease. Considering my dog-training experience had consisted of Huskies up until then, I was shocked to how quickly he’d pick things up. He was so smart and so eager to please.

After I graduated and moved out of the house I missed him. During my sophomore year of College I was going through a rough patch where, at times, it felt like everything was going wrong. Going to my Parent’s house and seeing that dog was something that always made me feel better. So much so, that I decided to purchase a dog of my own of the same breed.

I feel like we lost Tipper too early and that he should be still here, brighten our days. But I don’t get to make that choice and as a pet owner I know that, God willing, we outlive our pets. I feel lucky to have had Tipper in my life for the time that I did. He was truly the happiest dog I ever met. I’ll miss you little buddy!

~Claire~

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