My Darling Crackleberry

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As a hard-core cat person, I wasn’t planning on having a dog in my life. But several years ago a retired show dog, a black and tan American Cocker Spaniel slowly worked her way into my heart. And so I became the new person of American and Canadian Champion Braewood Tarnished Brass, known to her friends as Crackle - and sometimes, Crackleberry, when I was feeling sufficiently tenderhearted.

Life-with-dog was an adventure, not only for me but for my cats who believe to this day that dogs are members of an inferior species. There was never a dull moment. Either I was enjoying her silly antics or becoming exasperated at her stubborn and determined nature. Still I miss our daily arguments - my voice getting louder and Crackle retorting with her hoarse bark. She seemed pleased to do the opposite of what I wanted.

And obedience classes were a disaster! Our lack of progress was attributed to my slacking off on our homework. So the instructor made an example of us, in front of the class. She took Crackle and commanded the ‘down-stay’. Crackle adamantly refused. Several minutes passed before the instructor handed Crackle back to me, turned to the class and said there was a reason that some dogs were called bitches. She never questioned my commitment to homework again.

In the sunset of her life, Crackle weathered many medical conditions. She lost both eyes after battling glaucoma. Her kidneys failed. She was incontinent. She was a very determined dog. We had been looking forward to her 15th birthday (August 24th, 2010). Instead she left before her party could begin - on July 20th surrounded with the love of those who mattered to her. she said her good byes and made a graceful exit, ripping a hole in my heart with her departure.

That hole is transforming itself into a chamber of memories. There, Crackle lives on: equal parts of laughter, mischief, loyalty and argumentativeness; the gentleness of motherhood; the timidity of a cat-obedient dog; the warrior who never ran from the challenges she faced. It was a privilege to know her. It is a privilege to remember her. I will always love you, my darling Crackleberry.

Susan Mack
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Poor Crackleberry, It must of

Poor Crackleberry, It must of been sad for you and her