Isabel, 1998-2012

by Anne Bennett on September 6, 2012

 Steve Allen once said that an old man misses many dogs.

This is because dogs don’t live as long as humans, and if we are dog lovers, chances are we will own multiple dogs throughout our lives and we will thus engage in a continuous series of greetings and goodbyes.

Today we said goodbye to Isabel,  our 14-year-old black poodle whose relatively long, exuberant life included such mischievous adventures as consuming frozen bread dough (which thawed and rose throughout her intestinal tract  and necessitated a night at the emergency vet hospital); an entire pan of dark chocolate brownies (another vet visit); whole raw rib-eye steaks we were about to grill for a dinner party; and countless tidbits, large and small, that she deftly stole off the kitchen counter when I wasn’t looking.

She was so adept at this clandestine skill that after she became blind she was still able to sense when my back was turned and then…poof…she was up, down and out of the kitchen with her goods.

She would have made a great pick-pocket.

My husband and kids always said that it was my fault, that it was my obligation as a human to outsmart Isabel by keeping food away from the edge of the counter. True as this may have been, it was impossible for me to match her indomitable canine raison d’être, to remember that every single time I entered the kitchen she was scoping me out, waiting for an opportunity to strike.

If we had kept score, it would have looked something like this: Isabel, 526;  Anne, zip.

But despite her a bottomless pit of an appetite, she was an eternally happy creature who, once she was fed, liked nothing better than to curl up next to Champ, her favorite human, and sleep it off.

This morning, at the very moment she drifted away from us at Annette the vet’s office and we were crying and saying goodbye to her, her tail wagged. Annette pointed it out to us and said that she’d never seen anything like it.

I’d like to think that Isabel was telling us that she loved us back, but truth be known, she was probably thinking of those steaks.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda September 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Oh, we are so sorry, Anne.

Myra September 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm

So sorry to hear. I know how you loved that dog. I loved hearing whatever creative thing your poodle was up to. Keep me smiling all day.

Amy Kamm September 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm

So sorry for your loss Anne. I always love all your stories of Isabel and your other dogs. I hope Julia and Whitman will help you smile again.

Jayne Hamilton September 6, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Anne, I was sad to hear about your loss. Your tales reminded me of many of our past dogs, and current ones….They do have their special tricks, don’t they?
Hoping the memories linger with your forever…..

Ann Nordquist September 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Beautiful, beautiful story Anne. I am so sorry for your loss of Isabel. What a wonderful life she had with you and your family. We who love dogs know the bittersweet truth that our companions’ lives are always too short. I hope you have another canine friend or two to hug tight and be comforted by.

Michael Boyd September 7, 2012 at 6:04 am

If I am reincarnated, I hope I’m lucky enough to be an Anne B. dog. I know I’ll always be loved & appreciated. Isabel and many other dogs have been very lucky indeed.

Marguerite September 7, 2012 at 10:27 am

I am so sorry to learn about Isabel, there was nothing better then coming over and being greeted by Isabel with all her energy. I will miss her dearly and enjoyed every minute I spent with her, even when she got into my purse and ate the bags of tea, or when she would jump on me and bite my arm (with love) hahahahahaha. Hug Julia, Lulu and Whitman for me.

Nancy Alpers September 7, 2012 at 10:52 am

Oh Anne, I’m so sorry.

Patty September 8, 2012 at 11:55 am

I am so sorry to hear of Isabel’s passing. She was a character, that’s for sure. Remember when she ate the roasted beets off the counter when Jennifer and I visited? ( She did leave some for us, though, and boy, were they good!) She will be remembered fondly.

Judy September 10, 2012 at 6:02 pm

So very sorry for your loss. The memories will always be so sweet.

Camille McGinnis September 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I’m am so sorry for your loss.

Lin September 12, 2012 at 7:47 am

Oh, Anne, we will all miss your Isabel stories and the humor she brought to your life. Thank you for sharing her with us with wit and love. I know you will miss her and I am sorry for your loss.

Mike September 19, 2012 at 8:26 am

Anne– I’m so sorry to hear about Isabel. I loved hearing about all the mischief she would get into when your back was turned. Dogs are such amazing creatures, I’m always amazed at the relationship we have with them. No matter how bad a day you have, when you walk in the door, it all melts away when they come bounding down the stairs, to greet you like you’ve been gone 6 months. They trust us completely, and rollover on their backs exposing their bellies, BEGGING to be rubbed. And to a dog, there’s no such thing as too much rubbing of the belly. When my dog Alfie takes me for our evening walk tonight, I’ll also be thinking of Isabel, Grand Dame of the Poodles of Anne.

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