When Page joined my household more than a decade ago, I wasn’t thrilled. That might surprise you when this dog found her way into so many of my creative endeavors. Not only did I use Page as a character within a webcomic called The Wildcat’s Lair, but I also made her the pet for the main character in my Gidion Keep, Vampire Hunter series. The reason I didn’t originally want her was because I knew I’d love her. I grew up with another dog I also loved very much, and I dreaded the thought of going through that loss again. Yesterday was that day.
During the past year, the vet diagnosed Page with cancer, and prior to that, she tore her ACL (ending any hopes Page had for her career in the NFL). We’ve known yesterday was coming. I expected it much sooner, and when she lasted beyond my expectations, a part of me foolishly wondered if she’d even make it all the way into next year. This past week, though, we knew she was nearing the end. Ironically, I was the last to cave when we got her all those years ago, and I was last to cave again when it was time to say good-bye.
I’m sharing some of my favorite pictures of Page in this post. Getting a picture of her wasn’t easy, and if the advent of the iPhone hadn’t happened, I’m not sure we would have ever gotten many pictures of her. Even using our cell phones, she somehow sensed when we would try to photograph her and turn away. The digital cameras we owned prior to that, the instant we pulled them out, Page would all but dive under the bed to get away from the camera. That makes the picture to the right that much more special. That picture is the only one for which she ever willingly posed. I was sitting at my desk in the Batcave. Page walked over to me, even though I had the camera in my hand. She sat down as you see in the picture and reached up with her paw and tugged gently on my arm. At first, I thought she simply wanted me to pet her, but she became more insistent. I turned on the camera, generating the grinding gears and beeps that every other time sent her fleeing to the darkest corners of the house. This time, she sat there and waited. I snapped the picture, and then she calmly curled up on the floor. In twelve years, she never repeated this behavior.
She spent the first two years of her life going through four other homes before joining our family. The other owners tried to make her an outdoor dog, but Page would constantly jump the fence. We wanted her for an indoor dog. The first month, she never barked, almost too timid to get comfortable after being bounced around through so many homes. She more than made up for that silence once she realized we meant to keep her, barking at the slightest hint of an invader to our home. She didn’t bark much during this last month, and realizing that has me crying again.
As I mentioned, Page also (unwillingly) took part in my webcomic, The Wildcat’s Lair. She often antagonized Frank, my imaginary talking pet cat and main character of the webcomic. In a weird twist, the last episode I ever produced for the webcomic didn’t include Frank. It was just me and Page in the car. To close this blog entry out with a smile instead of more tears, here’s a link to that. I’m also going to include below links to several of the episodes that featured Page, a few of my favorites. Most of those episodes involve the NCAA Tournament when the many characters in the webcomic would participate in a bracket battle. Things typically didn’t go well for Page.
Some of my favorite episodes of The Wildcat’s Lair with Page: