We became so attached to our neighbors’ dogs

By Ernie Sochin….

My granddaughter, Natalie, is pictured with her two friends, Cinnamon (left) and Bailey.

Cinnamon died last week. Cinnamon was a Chocolate Labrador belonging to my neighbors, Brian and Mary Smith.

As most of you know my house and husband-keeper will not allow me to own a dog. We did have dogs for the first 28 years of our marriage and after our last one passed on she made me sign a contract agreeing not to have another for 28 more years. I will be 82 by then and may need one just to guide me around.

Cinnamon and her son Bailey would greet me at my door every time I got home from work. I used to give them my used tennis balls to play with and this became their daily treat. One night when my keeper came home after dark, Bailey and Cinnamon did their usual thing of running across the street to greet me and get their tennis balls.

They did this by loudly explaining in dog talk: “Where are our tennis balls?”

My keeper doesn’t speak dog and had no idea why they were barking, attacking our car, and not letting her out. She blew the horn until Brian came out and rescued her after explaining about the tennis balls.

After a while they got a little older and weren’t as interested in chasing tennis balls, so we went to Costco and bough a gigundo box of huge dog biscuits. We began feeding these to them each night as I got home.

When my master arrived a few minutes after me they would again come over with Cinnamon looking up with her sorrowful eyes and Bailey cocking his head in dog fashion saying something like: “I haven’t been fed in years and we are very hungry so please give us each another biscuit.” This came after having received one 10 minutes earlier from me.

One time when I went into the house to put some things away and left the door open for a moment. Bailey went inside, found the box of biscuits, carried it outside to our sidewalk and stood there with an expression that said, “Hey…what about my biscuit?”

My grandkids, who visit us frequently, used to ask where Papa was when they came to our house. Lately it has been: “Are Bailey and Cinnamon home?” Thanks kids! At a recent synagogue gathering, when the time came to say a prayer for the departed, my grandson, Julian, offered up Cinnamon’s name for the prayer.

You wouldn’t think that it would be possible to become so attached to neighbor’s dogs, but that is what happened. Now Bailey is alone without his best friend and mother and he shows the sadness in his eyes whenever I see him. I have promised Brian and Mary that when they were away, I would go over and talk to Bailey, and so far I have been doing this although it breaks my heart every time I do.

Cinnamon lived to be 16 (112 man years) and I am sure enjoyed every minute of those years with not just me, but all of our other neighbors spoiling her as much as we could. Bailey is now 13 (91 man years) even older than me so we get to complain about the same aches and pains, and how tough it is getting old. Lucky that I speak dog.

Cinnamon, woof… woof (“Rest in Peace”).

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2 Comments on "We became so attached to our neighbors’ dogs"

  1. Ernie,

    Thanks for sharing your story about mans best friend.

  2. Touching. Good dogs are a gift from god. Always there for you when you need them without any vices. Mans best friend.

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