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my dog, Petra

Story ID:11276
Written by:K D (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:In Memory
Location:Wichita KS United States
Year:2017
Person:my dog, Petra
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my dog, Petra

We just said goodbye to our wonderful Petra. She was a loyal, loving part of our family whose heart just couldn't take anymore. My best memories will be of her as a perfect roommate for the seven months I lived alone, with her, when I moved to Emporia. We closely bonded then and I'll miss her. feeling heartbroken. -- Bill Duggan

by Kristy Duggan--
My favorite memory was watching you teach her to put the children to bed when they were little and stalling. Countdown, 10, 9, 8, 7 ... The children had to be warned because she would chase them through the house into their rooms. She even pancaked Will once in her enthusiasm for her job.

Then there was the time that I took my eyes off Kaci and Petra for just a moment. Petra, 70 lbs, drug Kaci down the driveway, across the street and down to the neighbor's house. When I asked Kaci why she didn't just let go (with asphalt marks on her stomach and legs), she said, "I didn't want her to get hit by a car". Thankfully Petra was big enough that Kaci wasn't badly hurt. I explained to Kaci that she was more important and next time she needed to just let go then try to call the dog to come to her.

We had no way to know it but it turns out that experience was a blessing, because it was less a month later when the pair (Petra and Kaci) scared me again. We took Petra to the State 4-H Dog Conference for the first time. This is an awesome opportunity to learn about dogs for a weekend event at Rock Spring 4-H Ranch. We were walking back to our cabin. Kaci and Petra hurried ahead and climbed a flight of very steep concrete steps, maybe a dozen. My knees were tired so I took a shortcut that avoided the steps. Petra saw me going a different way and bolted down the steps. In that split second, I imagined Kaci flying face first down the steps but she let go! Petra came straight to me and Kaci walked safely down the steps.

Another time I will never forget taught me to be cautious about how Petra behaved with strangers entering our home. She was still a young puppy when my dad stopped by the house to pick me up for a K-State football game. Being my dad, he knocked but came on in. Petra was across the living room, watching. When he suddenly walked past me asking to use our restroom before starting the long drive, Petra launched herself across the sofa and attacked my dad's arm. I stood next to him in shock and dismay. She held him still until I spoke to her calmly. Thankfully she hadn't broken the skin nor tore his K-state hoodie. From that moment on, I had no doubt that Petra would protect me if the occasional ever warranted it and we were careful to always let her see us open the door for people. We taught her to trust those that we welcomed in.

However, one time when our daughter came back to visit (moved out before we got Petra), she started rough housing with Bill and Petra got worried. Petra started barking so fierce that my daughter ran through the house and out the back door to get away, chased by a very serious Petra the whole way.

Petra loved to catch a frisbee and was really good at it when we could throw it well. She'd bring you her frisbee begging for play time. She rarely got out of the house/backyard off leash because we worried about the busy road nearby. One time she had run out the front door and was running around the neighborhood, happily free. Kaci and I were both calling her without any results and getting more and more frantic as she ran more wildly. Then, suddenly, Bill appeared on the front porch and simply yelled, "Petra, Come" - she was at his feet in an instant.

She did have a special toy stuffed animal that was a cow. It had four dangly legs but sadly wasn't very well made. She loved to flip her head and have the cow's legs go flying. Over time the legs came off and I attempt to sew them back on, eventually giving up. It finally had to be thrown away after it had lost 3 legs and the head. She was still trying to carry it around. Forever after we replaced that toy with another similar one and they were all called, "cow" - even the squirrel, giraffe, and monkey.

I think Petra had a sense of Kaci's seizures because she seemed to be extra protective of Kaci, sometimes. Petra had several favorite toys but loved Kaci's slippers and shoes the best. She didn't chew them up, simply carried them around the house. She did eat Kaci's socks. No one else's socks, just Kaci's. Sadly she did have to have surgery before we were able to convince Kaci of the importance of keeping her socks always picked up. Luckily she did well through the surgery and learned her lesson a little about eating things that weren't food.

Petra means "Rock" in the Bible. I think that fits her very well. She was our family's protector and a loved companion. I am sure she is guarding us from her place in dog heaven.