Candy and Missy, my two Bichons

Candy shivered all the way home when we picked her up in 1992 at the adoption center. Her former owner did not want her anymore because she was “difficult”. She was only one year old.

For the next month I carried her around with me wherever I went and gradually she stopped shaking. I had just lost my job after 22 years and I think we both needed and comforted each other during the next few years. After a while she began to trust us and throughout the years she has always been protective of me.

She is a great joy to have around and I now fondly remember the times when I frantically would call the emergency clinic or my vet because she had jumped on top of the dining room table and eaten an entire stick of butter or cream cheese, chocolate bar or opened the zipper of my handbag and stolen a candy bar.

In 2002 we rescued six month old Missy and then spent the next six months taking her every week to the vet for treatment of parasites, etc. She had come from deplorable conditions and was as scared as Candy had been when she first came to us. It took her quite a while to trust anyone.

During Missy’s first few months with us, Candy used to drag her around. But, as Missy got older and bigger, she would take Candy’s tale in her mouth and “walk” her as if she had her on a leash and so they would run through the house and even up the stairs. They are inseparable.

Last year Candy had several strokes and the prognosis is not good. Her hind legs are almost paralyzed and she wears a diaper. When she hobbles around, she lovingly reminds me of “Grandpa” in the old TV series “The McCoys”. She is now finicky as to what she eats, hamburger, rice, beans, pound cake, occasionally some dog food, melted vanilla ice cream, etc. (Our vet said to give her whatever she’ll eat and thankfully she eats most of the time.) Instead of jumping up, she now walks up to the couch, lies down and waits patiently for someone to come by, pick her up and put her on her favorite spot to look out the window, watch the birds, bark at the squirrels at the bird feeder or sleep. Around ten/eleven in the evening she’ll make her way to the foyer, lay down at the foot of the stairs waiting for someone to carry her up to our bed.

Lately, Missy stays very close to her. She lays almost on top of Candy with her arms around her as if she is keeping her warm or senses that we won’t have her much longer.

I know Candy’s days are numbered and I thank God for every day she is with me. My husband calls her my Guardian Angel. I frequently carry Candy in my arms again — we have almost come full circle.

Hannelore from NY