There is a little white furry guy, weighing about 21 pounds, stands one foot tall and lives in our house. He is a Bichon Frise and his name is Chipper. He is just what his name says he is, Chipper. A happier dog you will never find, or a truer friend. He loves us lots , and we love him more. He has been a part of our household and family for 12 years, his entire life. He once had a companion named Jake, another Bichon. They did everything together. Chipper depended on Jake for ideas of where to go to the bathroom, what food to eat, where to take a nap and which cat to chase.
Two years ago, Jake died of cancer. Chipper was devastated and missed him terribly. We thought of getting another dog to be his companion, but we knew no dog could replace Jake in Chipper’s life. My husband and I became Chipper’s best friends. We help him make the every day decisions for which he once looked to Jake.
About 6:30 every morning, I feel a warm tonge on my face and a little paw scratching on my arm. That is the signal that tells me it is time for a walk. I drag myself out of bed, put on my sneakers, gray hoodie, and a golf hat, and Chipper and I set out to explore the neighborhood. This is the most important part of Chipper’s day. He trots down the sidewalk as if he owns the whole neighborhood. We pass the bank of mailboxes and head down the street. We pass Jan’s house. Jan recently moved to South Carolina. We both miss her, and Chipper gives the rock in her front yared a good sniff. The guy, who lives in the gray house next to Jan’s, seems to always be mowing the grass or timming a tree. Chipper goes up and gives him a sniff, and Chipper receives a pat on the head.
Chipper loves to meet his dog friends. He excitedly greets Nicky, the Fox Terrier, with a good thorough sniff. There is a Pug who runs up the street to greet Chipper, and Chipper is happy to give him a sniff. He would like to play with the Pit Bull, who is behind a fence, thankfully, and the black Labrador Retrievers, who bark at him from behind their fence. Chipper sniffs the fences and they bark. Chipper feels he is entitled to sniff the neighborhood every morning.
The love of his life is Precious, the Pekinese who lives across the street. They both look for each other when they trot out of their respective front doors. They run to great each other, share kisses, and frolic in the grass. There is never a cross growl between them. Chipper is in love.
I look forward to walking the neighborhood with Chipper each morning. I endure his long sniffs of all things that interest him, and stand beside him as he greets his many friends. The humans on the other end of the leashes are my friends. The quiet time we have together is a wonderful way to begin our day together every day.