"A hundred dollars a pound for a little, round, bald-headed, big eared
and bright-eyed Cairn Terrier?" I exclaimed. And we certainly did not need
another dog, especially one who had a mind of her own.
Barely six inches long she'd snatch whatever she wanted and make it her own.
Strutting, dancing, back arched, tail straight in the air, she'd slip under
the couch, holding her prize.
We called her Yoda after the Star Wars character who used her ancient
powers to teach others to survive. Star Wars' Yoda taught our Yoda to fly.
One day in the back yard, sniffing, never satisfied with the first spot she
found, our Yoda literally flew over a fence and scampered across the
neighbor's lawn. No sweet calling would bring her back, but little bits of
cheese placed carefully across the lawn finally won her over. Her marvelous
sense of smell drew her. This time she slipped under the fence and ate her
way right back into the house.
Our Yoda always looked like a puppy until last fall when she developed
pancreatitis. Her little stomach grew very big and hard and her personality
changed. She lay in a small cage at the vets, not even curious when other
dogs or children came into view. It was time to "put her down." She must
have heard that because the next day she demanded water and she began to
talk, "Yoda-da-lay-lee. Lay-lee". She wanted to go out!
After the vet expressed her amazement, Yoda returned home. She was on a
mature-dog diet, but her appetite was excellent and her hearing and her
barking were better than they had ever been.
Now Yoda has hit old age. She turned thirteen years old last month and
is languishing again. Another trip to the vet confirms bad news. Yoda has
diabetes and needs an insulin shot every morning. But it doesn't bother her!
All of a sudden her youth has returned. She dashes up and down the steps,
backs up for a chase whenever a hand is reached toward her and tosses her
toys around in gay abandon. Her little body wiggles whenever a child walks
through the neighborhood or comes for a visit. Her joy is infectious; she
has earned her keep and for a good long time to come.