Saying Goodbye To Claire

Less than a week after we said goodbye to Lucky I find myself writing another obituary, for our sweet little Claire.

When my eldest was 9 she mentioned she’d like a puppy for her 10th birthday. Lucky was a Rat Terrier, and we really liked her, so Cate went looking for Rat Terriers. She found a Rat Terrier rescue called New Rattitude that had some pups available near us. We scheduled a visit, and Claire came into our lives.

She was very quiet and curious. On her first day she tried to steal a piece of pizza from the coffee table. She struggled with house training for a bit. She would go outside, wander around for a long time, come in, and immediately do her business inside. So I finally decided to take her out and stay with her until she did her thing. She and I walked in circles in the yard for about an hour in a light ice storm.

The first night we had her we put her in Lucky’s coop and locked the door. It was in Ema’s room. Lucky wasn’t real sure about it, but they made friends quickly. They weren’t ever really apart until 12 years later when Lucky died.

Claire loved her toys, and played with them much farther into adulthood than Lucky. She loved fetch, and she loved chewing on anything crinkly or squeaky.

Also similar to Lucky she LOVED going to Grandma’s farm. When they saw luggage or the coop being gotten around, they would dance and skip. When we first got Claire she wasn’t excited about walks, but that changed. All we’d have to do is say “Want to go for a walk?” and she would get all wiggly and start talking. Not really a bark or growl, just funny little vocalizations.

When Claire was quite young she wanted to join Lucky on the heater, except there was really only room for one, so Claire would sit on top.

But she never really stopped doing that, even when she was much bigger.

Lucky never complained though. She was always cold, and Claire was always a little heater.

Claire was also afraid of a variety of noises. We learned she was afraid of the smoke detector test beep when she was quite young. The detector was outside the bathroom door and if someone was showering with the door open a crack, steam would come out, and about every 30 seconds it would make a beep, about a quarter of a second. One morning, quite early, Cate was showering while the rest of us were sleeping. Suddenly Claire LEAPED through the curtain so she could be near Cate because of that horrible noise. Scared Cate to death.

She hated booms, like thunder or fireworks. She’d shake and shiver, and sometimes hide in the basement, or in Ema’s closet. Sometimes she’d creep upstairs (a no-no) and hide under our bed.

The funniest noise was hiccoughs. I’d see Claire coming up from the basement on a nice day and say “Hey, why was Claire in the basement?” and someone would say “I had the hiccoughs.”

One time she was sleeping on the floor and I starting hiccoughing and she jumping a little, turned and looked right at me, slowly got to her feet and slowly walked through the house to the basement stairs, stopped, looked right at me again, and then slowly went downstairs and crawled behind the washing machine. It was hilarious.

Here are some more pictures of her.

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