Bridget, A Rat Terrier

Nov. 20, 1984 - May 8, 1998

It is said, "Money doesn't buy happiness" however, on Nov 20, 1984 for $150 I bought a little bundle of joy I named Teddi Bridget. To be known as Bridget.

She was 5 weeks old and looked like a little white sausage.Her first home was a small cardboard box in a big cardboard box with a rolled up towel for a sleeping mate. She only whined for the first couple of nights and set right in to the household. I was single at the time and lived in a double wide mobile home and she soon learned she could make a circle, out the bedroom through the family room, living room, dining room, kitchen ,family room and back to bedroom.

In the mornings she was allowed to play around the house while I ate breakfast then when I showered and dressed for work she stayed in the tub playing with water and sometime I left it trickling to keep her busy. This began her life long love of water. In the mobile home park there was a small duck pond. The ducks only interested her slightly, it was the water she slapped trying to catch the splashes. On the weekends we would go to a local park, she played in the stream trying to catch bubbles and anything floating by. At the base of a waterfall was a pond and when I waded out to the waterfall she would follow swimming as fast as she could to keep up. Bridget developed a diving technique that made people laugh. I would place her on a rock she would go in head first, make a circle and come back for another jump.

She was always busy even in the house so I supplied her with many toys, however she always found nontoy toys. One day I heard a thunk thunk thunk and there she was running her circle pulling a tennis shoe by the shoe string then she would stop running and sling the shoe around. She had a small round rubber chew so I put a shoe string through it and this became her #1 toy.Her other delight was fetching. When she learned I would throw the ball after she brought it to me there was no stopping her. "No, No Bridget, no more". One evening she dropped the ball at my feet and I said, "Not now". Suddenly there was a whack and the ball dropped in my lap. It could only mean that Bridget had thrown it. I tested her by tying her to a door knob and we played ball and sure enough she threw it to me averaging about 3-4ft. I began to move backward and after playing many times she was able to throw it 8-10ft. So here was another game that continued through her life.

She was a runner, why walk when you can run? One day we were out walking where the local high school practiced their cross country runs when a group of girls came running by. Bridget perked up her ears and started running after them. She ran about 200 feet then stopped and looked at me, shrugged her shoulders [really :)] and walked back to her slow mom. On sunny days in the yard she love to chase the shadows made by butterflies and hummingbirds. When we moved into a new house she became an outdoor dog and really seemed to like it better Checking the fence several times a day and night to make sure no strange cats were in the yard. One night an opossum was in the yard and what a ruckus, by the time everyone got outside Bridget was the winner. If a mouse happened to get in the wood pile she would tear it down to get at the vermin that dare to be in her yard.

At Christmas time, Bridget always had a gift under the tree. After the first couple of years she remembered the routine. She would be allowed to sniff amoung the gifts until she found hers. We always helped with the unwrapping as we were more eager than she was. However no one was allowed to touch the new gift [Grrrrrrrrrr] until Bridget thoroughly tasted and tried whatever it was. Then she would drop it at someone's feet to be thrown to check it out and make sure that that part worked too.

As she aged the black spots around her eyes started to show gray hairs but she still liked her walks and games Her biggest threat came when she was 8 years old. She had cancer in one of her breasts after surgery the Vet was sure it had all been removed and seemed he was right. We moved about 4 years ago and she did not like the new place as well. New walks to learn, hotter summers, the back yard much smaller. There were deer here so something new to watch.

She seemed Bridget up close to the end. Suddenly she stopped eating and was walking very tenderly. A visit to the Vet proved that she was very sick and had kidney failure. I had bought some baby food chicken that day and she seemed to like it, eating it all. The next day it was decided she was too sick to cure so the time had come for her to leave us. When we took her back to the Vet we had to carry her in her bed as she couldn't walk well. She sat in the bed and stared out the window while I sadly watched her dreading the goodbye. The Vet gave her the first shot outside so we could sit with her under the trees.

Those who don't have pets often wonder what the fuss is all about and those of us who do still wonder how one little doggie can leave a 25lb hole in your heart. "Yes, Bridget. Yes, I will throw the ball one more time."

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