Died: Pixel, beloved canine companion of author Malcolm J. Brenner, from natural causes due to old age, in the early hours of May 18, 2015. Born in early August, 2001, Pixel was thus some 13 years and 9 months old when she passed away, making her about 100 years old in human terms.
Brenner obtained Pixel from a stranger who was giving away puppies from the back of an old white Ford pickup truck in the parking lot of the Walmart store in Grants, N.M. No money changed hands. “Pixel was the only dog in the litter whose tail hadn’t been docked, which made her more attractive to me,” Brenner said. “That, and she also happened to be female.”
The stranger claimed Pixel’s father was a Rottweiler and her mother a German shepherd, “but he lied,” Brenner said. “Pixel’s dense, luxurious fur marked her almost certainly as a shepherd-collie mix.”
Pixel displayed an early interest in canine psychology. “When I brought her a companion dog, it had been the runt of the litter and was frightened and aggressive,” Brenner said. “It snapped at Pixel and wanted to bite her, but she ran up and down the room, going right by it so fast the smaller dog couldn’t connect. In 15 minutes, Pixel had that little dog playing with her, and I named her Pugsley. They were firm friends for life.”
Ah hell, I can’t maintain this obituary format any longer. What can I say about a dog who was also my lover? Who is now buried in a hole in the back yard? Pixel, I loved you and I wish things could have been better for you. I wish Pugsley had lived longer to remain your companion into your old age, I think you would have enjoyed it more. I gave you the best life I could within my means, Pixel, I sure hope you enjoyed it.
What I liked about Pixel was that she had an independent mind. Perhaps this is just another way of saying I didn’t train her well enough, but I actually liked the fact that she didn’t always do my bidding, even though it was frustrating at times.
I hated the times I had to leave her to travel, especially the three weeks I spent out in San Francisco over Christmas 2013. I know it was hard on her. I thank my friend Cay Small for all the dog sitting services she has provided over the years.
Last night we went for a walk in the early evening, like we did every night. She was slow and doddering, but that was normal for a dog her age. After I went to bed she began to pace around nervously. I woke up around 2 a.m. to find her agitated and restless, and I stayed up with her as she wandered here and there. I began to suspect she was looking for a place to die. She lay down in a corner of the trailer, and I went back to bed around 4 a.m. When I woke up at 6:30 she was gone and had been for some time.
I spent two hours this morning digging her grave in my back yard, close to where I buried Pugsley a few years ago. Pixel, please know that you were loved and cherished, and you will always remain in my memory my first dog.