Mickey's Mail - March 14, 2018

 Mickey's Mail - 3/14/18 - Ode to Ringo

For those of you who read this blog each week, you know that I usually write about a topical matter involving the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, or one of our affiliate organizations. I make no apology for that. The BRBC is increasingly an organization that actively promotes business growth in our region and provides valuable business services and opportunities to our member companies. We are proud of this role and are always seeking ways to do our job better.
Today, though, I am going to write about my dog, Ringo, who just passed away as he was approaching his 14th birthday. On Christmas Day 1999, exactly one week before the Millennium, a beautiful purebred standard poodle was born. He became ours on Valentine’s Day, 2000, and we named him “Rudy”, short for Rudolph because of his birth date. Rudy was a very smart, majestic pet who became an integral part of our family. That’s Rudy with my daughter Stephanie in the first photo below.
Four years later, my wife, Jackie, on her own, decided that Rudy should have a playmate, and had her eye on a mutt (the shelter claimed he was a “jackahuahua”, a cross between a chihuahua and a Jack Russell terrier, but he was a mutt). So, she brought him home in the summer of 2004, without even bothering to consult with me. I was furious, since it seemed we were always busy, so how could we possibly care for two dogs, for years and years to come? We named him Ringo. He is the cute little fella in photo #2.
I also had no idea how he would co-exist with Rudy, who had ruled the roost at our home for over four years. Silly me. They bonded immediately, and Rudy had a companion to run with, all over our property, including through the woods, and right down to the shore. They became inseparable, and fiercely protective of each other whenever a wild critter (opossum, woodchuck, skunk, deer, raccoon, fox, etc.) was nearby.  And my sons, Mickey and Charlie, above, loved both dogs.
What a decade they had together, probably as good a dog’s life for either of them, as you could imagine.
The two best buds are pictured in the opening shot above on the couch on Rudy’s 12th birthday. 
Two other pics above  - one of them in their favorite waiting spot, looking for Jackie or me to come home and another shot...when we took them out during a ferocious winter windstorm. Neither could even stand up against the wind, so Charlie and Jackie carried them home.
When we talked about our dogs, it was as if “Rudy & Ringo” were one word, even though one was a very smart purebred, and the other was a decidedly less smart mutt.
We loved them equally, and they both knew it.
Then one day in August 3 ½ years ago as Rudy was nearing his 14th birthday, he died suddenly on a hot summer afternoon. We were all devastated even though we knew his time was near since he had been having mini-strokes for a year and a half. We buried Rudy, and showered Ringo with more attention than ever for fear he would become depressed. But if he did, he didn’t show it, and even seemed to relish ruling the roost the way Rudy did way back before Ringo arrived.
These last years were special. Ringo got old and heavier with warts he never had before. It didn’t matter to us. He was family. It hurt me a lot when I went back to work full time and he had to spend a lot of time alone during the day.  
One nice thing: he lived long enough to get to know my grandchildren, and they him. He is with Zach, grandson #3 above, after a swim (not for Ringo, though. He always hated the water). 
And he was very much with us at holiday time, as seen in a photo from last Thanksgiving outside at our big family gathering.
When he passed away quietly in his sleep, we knew it was his time. The day before, he had disappeared in our thick holly bushes during that big snow storm, and he wouldn’t come when I called him. I had to crawl in and lift him out. I believe he knew it was his time, and he didn’t want to be a burden to us.
He now rests right next to Rudy on the hill above our house, the same hill where we buried our beloved golden retriever, Herbie, in July 1999. But that’s a whole other story, for another day. R.I.P., Ringo, you were a joy to our family for nearly fourteen glorious years!