THE BLOG
10/03/2013 04:41 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Curly Red-Haired Tap Dancing Moppet Was Doggie Version of Shirley Temple

Pebbles was a perfect specimen of a dog -- physically and behavior wise. A non-barker, good-natured (non-nervous) as they come, and extremely loving. She had an irrepressible spirit and was always happy, adoring, high energy, boisterously affectionate, and special in so many ways, only a few can be enumerated or described here.

I adopted Pebbles, (named for the raven-haired child on The Flintstones) along with her litter mate (brother) Doodles when she was just a few months old. A gorgeous curly red-haired moppet of a toy poodle, (Shirley Temple had nothing on her) she was outgoing, smart, and unconditionally adoring.

On the day of our adoption, her breeder pronounced that she was show quality, which wasn't surprising since she was instantly quite the show-off as well as a stunning beauty. Her best features might have gone unnoticed by others who saw her cute face and perfect coat. Shenever had a bad hair day -- going to the hairdresser (groomer) more often than any of her human counterparts in the home. Yet I most loved her big brown eyes framed by long orange eyelashes, and her dainty paws.

Pebbles' special talent was dancing. I was treated to a daily performance of the Riverdance with four enthusiastic paws because each morning as I groggily awakened to an alarm, she showed her thrill that I was awake and alive with an Irish jig by my bedside. (Perhaps it was the Can-Can given her French heritage.) She danced for joy at food or treats too and could do a full twirl around as she danced. At times she was so excited on our hardwood floors, it appeared she was tap dancing. (Again, like Shirley Temple!)

Her motto in life was, "I aim to please," and that included allowing my daughter and her friends to manhandle her as they grew up, including passing her around, dressing her up, and otherwise treating her like a rag doll. Pebbles always obediently and willingly complied with any activity in which she was included.

She never worked a day in her life, and that includes being a guard dog because she loved strangers coming into the home -- thinking each one was coming to see her -- and showing her delight for the visit with an entertaining happy dance and a vigorous tail wagging.

We adopted her littermate Doodles thinking they would be great companions for one another. That's exactly how it turned out. As my kids went through their teen years, on many occasions they were too busy to entertain the pups, and the adults were often preoccupied as well No matter, Pebbles and Doodles always had each other.

Pebbles never slowed down or showed signs of becoming a senior citizen as she aged into her pre-teens. She seemed youthful, vibrant, and indestructible, with bright eyes, and a strong spring in her trot. She still had the energy to entertain with a little happy dance any time she was offered a treat.

All she ever asked for was her food, her time outside, some chew toys, and occasional belly rubs. In exchange, she gave an extraordinary amount of loyalty, affection and entertainment.

Pebbles only had only one bad habit -- which led to her downfall -- she liked to lick and eat anything she would find. This resulted in her consumption of acorns, dead cicadas, and roaches on occasion, and who knows what else she found from scavenging, with the resulting minor to major stomach upset. This one last time she found something deadly -- most likely outdoors where we let her play at length on nice days.

My precious dancing dog suddenly went into organ failure due to ingesting something toxic. After every test in the world there was no sign of disease and just two days before she was healthy and peppy as can be, so that was the educated guess of her veterinarian. This unidentified toxic substance that led to her death -- I will never know what exactly it was. It would have cost a lot of money for further testing, and she was already gone. As our thousands of dollars of bills testified, the vet worked valiantly to save her.

As I held her that last time, cooing words of love, I could feel the life draining out of her limp body and I knew I had to let her go humanely.

My only consolation is that she was joyful, adored, and filled with happiness every day of her life until the last.

I know many of you reading this understand the loss of a furry family member and can relate to the range of emotions I have gone through. Although Pebbles is no longer with us, her vivacious spirit lingers, and I imagine somewhere in the far beyond, she is still entertaining with her little dances.

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