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It was my idea from the beginning.

“Kids need to grow up with one,” I insisted.

I had other reasons too. The oldest was developing a phobia. The middle youngling had a birthday coming and needed something to call her own. And the youngest, well, he was only two and I didn’t want him being afraid.

So I got my way and for her sixth birthday, we got the middle one…

Obie. Obi Two Kenobi to be precise.

Named after the last dog my siblings and I had given my parents.

He was a hyper dog, overly enthusiastic to greet every person and animal he saw. So much so that he infamously launched himself out open car windows (while the car was moving) and tore through a second story window screen, landing in the bushes below (not a scratch on him) to say hi to someone walking their dog down the street.

He was an escape artist as well, slipping under the back yard fence wherever there was a low spot, and heaven forbid you actually left the gate open. He would be gone. Out in the neighborhood looking to make new friends. He loved everyone, every dog and even tried to be friends with cats. Squirrels and birds… not so much.

As with most pets, he quickly became the adults in the house’s responsibility. And even though he is my daughter’s dog, his nickname is “White Shadow” because he follows me everywhere, and I mean everywhere. If I leave the room, even for a minute, he’d follow me. Always underfoot, always annoying me.

Until this week.

We noticed he hadn’t eaten much and he seemed to be slipping more on the wood floors. Took him to the vet and his kidneys are failing. His numbers are off the charts. First one leg and now both back legs are paralyzed.

It is time.

After 13 1/2 years, we have to let him go. Today will be his final trip to the Vet. He won’t be coming home.

And despite my outward attitude, I’m a softie underneath. I’ll miss my White Shadow. (But no, I don’t want another one. Not until I retire and will be home. The wife and I want to travel first.)

Goodbye Obie Two Kenobi. May the force be with you.

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