Thursday “Throwback” Thoughts – May 25, 2023 Edition: Dogs Part 6

(Note that the dog pictured in the header is not Icy – but looks just like her!)

This week I will be talking about IcyQ – aka Icy – aka Bing. And if you were sad about Casey losing Mick, you will LOVE this one!

After Spanky died, Casey and I were dogless. We had a cat, Bruce, who thought he was a dog, but not the same. And I wanted it to stay that way. We were still stinging from the loss of Mick, and my Spanky who had seen me through every major event in my life since college. We needed time to heal – time to maybe do a little traveling – some peace and quiet…

One weekend Casey was at her dad’s and I took a little trip up north to see a friend (that I originally had met on ICQ). He was a dog breeder, and unbeknownst to me he had some puppies. He bred yorkies and pomeranians, and had an accidental breeding between the two. Because they weren’t important to his business (yet!*) he didn’t really mess with them at all, just let mom raise them and she did so – under the davenport. No contact with other dogs or people other than the grandkids poking at them once in a while. It wasn’t that he didn’t care about them but he had his hands full with his purebred breeding dogs, and wasn’t quite sure what he was going to do with these little ones. So I showed up for my visit and it just so happened that these little wild creatures had been to the vet for their first shots that morning, and were back in hiding. He dragged one out to show to me, and…well…the next thing I knew there was a teeny tiny wildcat of a dog biting and clawing her way out of the box next to me during the 3-hour drive home. Though she didn’t “let” me pick her up, once she achieved her objective while I was driving and couldn’t do anything about it she climbed up me and to the back of my neck where she wedged herself between my hairline and the head rest. And that’s where she stayed.

On the way home I stopped to show a friend and as I was getting out of the car, my friend shrieked, “You got a PET RAT?!?” Yeah, she was a tiny girl.

Got home and got Icy stowed away in her crate with some food and water where she glared at me through the bars the rest of the weekend. I’d get her out to take her outside for her business, grabbing her by the neck before her little needle-teeth could put more holes in my hands, then spending a little time – hands-off – with her before she went back in.

The next day Casey came home and was so excited to have a dog again! They faced off through the bars, sizing each other up. I had warned Casey this wasn’t exactly a cuddly dog, and she had to be extremely careful, she probably should let me handle her at first until she was tamed down…and little Casey (she was 5 or 6 at the time) finally opened the cage door. When she reached in I heard – shocked into silence – snarling and angry yapping, following instantly by the sight of this little girl holding Icy up by the scruff, nose to nose, telling her that she was NOT going to put up with this, and she had better be nice! I was stunned. But within hours they were playing together and their relationship was cemented from then on.

(BTW I do have photos of Icy and some of the others – somewhere. I am not sure where. But I will share them, eventually…when I can find them.)

Pete described Icy perfectly: The heart of a lion with the brain of a peanut. She was a ditzy blond. Loved everybody – eventually – and was devoted to Casey more than anything. She was always happy, always a grin on her face, and her tail never stopped wagging. She had a problem holding her licker though, and not everyone that met her appreciated being kissed so early in their relationship. But she didn’t care, she was just one little bundle of love. Especially for Casey.

They slept together, played together, and grew up together. She was a tiny dog, totally manageable for a determined little girl (that same determination that tamed the wild beast has served her well over the years!), and fit into most doll clothes. And during those years when JRA kept Casey from being able to handle or hold or manage anything from holding cutlery to walking (and in constant pain), Icy wasn’t too heavy or too large for her; she was one thing in Casey’s life that she still could handle…and which brought her comfort.

As with all of my past pets I have too many stories to tell…but one that made my heart stop always comes to mind. I was picking Casey up from school one day; her school was at the intersection of two busy roads that had heavy traffic at the best of times but at drop-off and pick-up times it was especially crazy. Icy was with me, as always, because their reunion every day simply couldn’t wait until Casey got home 5 minutes later! But on this day, for some reason, Icy ran out the door when Casey opened it, and was heading straight for the intersection. My heart stopped as Casey started chasing her…it happened so quickly, I was out of the car and yelling at both of them but especially Casey – she was following her dog without thought of anything else. A desperate prayer and a final panicked yell, and Icy turned back toward the car less than a yard from the road – Casey at her heels. My palms get sweaty every time I remember that moment…

Being a terrier, Icy had a mind of her own. Though after the first few days she never snapped or even growled at another living soul no matter what, and she did what she wanted to do and there was no stopping her. She was obedient – unless she had a better idea. She never got into trouble – unless she did so accidentally. She was the perfect mix – of love, good humor, affection, loyalty, enthusiasm for life, and devotion to Casey. The best dog for any little girl to grow up with.

After Casey left home, she was living somewhere that didn’t allow dogs. We were happy for Icy to remain part of our family, and Casey of course saw her often. Eventually Casey had Leelan, her own baby boy, and Icy’s role in Casey’s life changed. But she had a lot of love from us, and attention, and remained the happy dog she always was. At the age of 15 she started to slow down, finally, and one day she just woke up weak. The vet told us that her heart was just giving out; she was a good age, and still happy, but her body was failing her. We made the choice that we never want to make. She had been a near-perfect dog all her life, the happiest dog I’d ever known, and she left our lives exactly the opposite of the way she entered – wagging her tail and licking my hand.

*Once Dan saw the demand for the puppies from Icy’s litter, he bred the 2 dogs again. My aunt and uncle were one of the many who were requesting one of these puppies. I got Cricket for them from that next litter, kept her for a while to teach her house manners, and then passed her on. Cricket was as easy to train and as obedient as Icy wasn’t, and also grew to more than double Icy’s size – but was just as happy and loving. They had her for many years and she was also a delight!

2 thoughts on “Thursday “Throwback” Thoughts – May 25, 2023 Edition: Dogs Part 6

  1. I love your dog stories! At least THIS one had a happy life and ending. Why do dogs ‘run-away’ at their very first opportunity. when they have such a happy, happy home life? I’m so glad Icy didn’t get onto the streets. She surely would not have made it. Keep these coming. Likely you’re almost done…? ‘cuz this takes Casey to around her 20th year or so. Love ya’!

    1. I’ve had 14 dogs so we still have more than half to go :). Since Icy never ran away from us, or ran off, other than that one time I’m thinking she must have seen or heard something just before Casey opened the door to get in? Because she was definitely a stay-near-to-her-people kind of dog! But she did have a good long life, and Casey had her perfect little dog to grow up with! Love you too!

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