Otis in 1993
So much to say about our 1st little puppy! Otis - what a treasure he was for nearly 16 years. We brought him home on a cold November day in 1992. We had just built our 1st home and moved in and the next step was to add to our family!!! Otis was adorable - looked just like a baby fox when we brought him home. Infact, my Mom came over that 1st night to see him and totally thought we had gone out and bought a baby fox. It wouldn't have surprised her since we already had several ferrets and a baby skunk in our family!
I remember taking Otis everywhere with me. He was the perfect baby!! He would sit properly in the seat and look out the window. Always the proud pup - always on his best behavior. Mike and I both worked outside the home back then and Otis would stay in his play pen all day and play and nap. He never chewed up anything and was the perfect angel. He was so perfect, we were prompted to find him a "baby brother" several months later. That's a whole other saga though!!! Myshka was the total opposite of Otis and we were convinced Myshka's name should have been "Damien" - LOL.
Our 1st Thanksgiving in our home was wonderful. Nana Gregory went through a ton of film capturing Otis' 1st Thanksgiving!!! The same occured on Otis' 1st Christmas!! Infact, I could swear there are more pictures of Otis' 1st Christmas than our son's! He was definitely the center of attention! Christmas of 1993 was such a fun one with our 2 boys!! You'll need to read about the infamous visit to Santa on Myshka's page!!
In 1996, when Otis was about 3 years old, we had our son. Otis and Myshka were so proud of their "baby brother" and Otis was very protective of him! My father had suffered a massive stroke and came to our home in February 1996 to recoop for a while - Tanner was only 1 month old. Otis had never met my Dad and barked at him for 3 days solid - Otis WAS NOT A BARKER, so you can imagine our surprise at this new behavior. I'll never forget, after about 3 days of solid barking, I had left the room briefly and overheard my Dad say to Otis "Shut your trap, you little devil or I'll ship you off to the 'Old Country' so they can serve you up for lunch!" LOL. After that, Otis and my Dad were the best of friends.
During my Dad's stay, my Mom came over to make dinner many a night. One particular night she was sitting at the kitchen table making meatballs for dinner. She turned her back for 1 second and when she turned around saw Otis sitting in the kitchen chair right in front of the plate of meatballs! I guess he was ready for din-din!!
We decided we had outgrown our 1st home, so in 2001 we started on our new home. I'll never forget the 2 months we had to live in a extended stay hotel because our house sold in a week (and they said it would never be that quick!). Otis adapted very well....more than I can say for the other one. Otis was always embarrassed about doing his business with other's around, so you can only imagine how humiliating it was for him to do his business while on a leash!! We had to take them over to "Grandma's" periodically so they could both get some relief in her back yard. Both Otis and Myshka were sooooo happy to have a new home - especially when the fence went in!!! Right after the fence went in, somehow (???) they got out of the yard and took off on a huge run around the neighborhood. Both Otis and Myshka smiling from ear to ear "We're finally FREE!!!" They had a ball playing the "catch me if you can" game with Mike. Dad was NOT amused!! Everytime he would get close to them...off they would go again. They eventually came home exhausted from their marathon and both hit the water bowl!!!
2 years ago, Otis really started going downhill. He suffered a horrible inner ear infection and it affected his equilibrium. Tanner got a kick out of Otis rolling across the back yard. We almost lost him. But, he was tough! He was never the same after that. The twinkle in his eye and the smile he had begun fading more and more each day. After Myshka died last year, Otis kept slipping further and further away. His eyesight was nearly gone and he was miserable. He was constantly falling into the window well. We knew he would soon be joining Myshka. His balance was horrible and he slept all the time. When he started having trouble getting up from lying down and walking into a corner and crying because he didn't know how to get out - we knew it was time to make the decision to return our precious boy to our Heavenly Father. That was the hardest decision we have ever had to make, but I know now it was for the best.
June 17, 2008 was one of the hardest days of my life. After Otis drifted away, he was finally at peace. He looked so relaxed. I know Papaw and Myshka were there to meet Otis after he crossed over. We will forever love and miss our 2 boys - Otis and Myshka.
Please visit Myshka's memorial site: