Now, I love my dog (he fell asleep with his fluffy head on my lap once, and I remember when he fell into an icy stream in the winter, how he had to blow-dry him while he shivered, and how happy he was to be dry and warm again), I take care of him, play with him. At least, I did when I was at home - the rest of the time, I guess I was neglectful, didn't look after him in a proper way. Going to college and living in a dorm doesn't really afford you the ability to have an aging Cocker Spaniel, and I certainly couldn't go home every day to take proper care of him.

Well, Tar Baby is probably going on 13 years old now (68 in dog years), and is just the sweetest little black Cocker Spaniel you will ever meet. Every time we go to the vet, some staff member makes some comment about Cockers normally getting mean and nippy when they get older, while Tar Baby just sits there docilely, perfectly happy to have someone poking and prodding him. He's very friendly, in other words.. Sadly, Tar Baby hasn't aged terribly well; the last time I saw him, he was more or less deaf, and more or less blind. So he would bump into things somewhat comically, although it pained me to see it, because the poor little guy didn't know what he was doing!

Graduation time rolled around for me, and I moved from North Carolina to Massachusetts, but couldn't take my dog with me. (The apartment my roommates and I chose doesn't allow pets) My parents moved almost immediately thereafter too. (They seem to be moving once ever two years or so, since we moved back to the USA, but that's another story.) Well, they couldn't really take care of him properly (even keeping my sister's cat, Fox, was tough), so they sent him off to the farm, to some friends who wanted a dog to pamper.

Last I heard, he was living happily on the farm, he was healthy, and the resident German Shepherd had taken him under his proverbial wing, making sure he didn't bump into things, get lost, just generally taking good care of him. So I miss my little puppy dog, but I know he's happy and well taken-care of, and that makes me glad.

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