I was inspired to share my story by a few accounts I've read here on YGS regarding deceased pet visitations. So with that being said, here is the story of Scrappy.
I was 20 when I got Scrappy. I had been wanting a dog after moving out of my parents house about a year prior. I wasn't sure what breed, but knew a small dog was the way to go as I was in an apartment with my fiance at the time. One day, my mother called me and said "I found your dog. I already know you'll love him so I put a deposit down." That was so like my mom, taking charge as usual. Honestly, I didn't mind, I was excited. She gave me an address and told me the owner was expecting me. I asked "How will I know what he looks like?" Her reply was "Simple. He looks like Toto from the Wizard of Oz, you'll know."
So off I went, arriving at a house with Silky Terrier puppies. There were only 2 left, both males. They were on the "older side" for puppies at 6 months. I glanced down and this little shaggy, black (at the time) puppy came racing towards me, jumping to be picked up. He furiously licked my face and clawed at my shirt to get closer. I just knew this was him and the owner confirmed this. I brought him home and debated on a name. He jumped like a maniac from the couch to the floor, to the chair, back to the floor and so on. After awhile it hit me, he reminded me of Scrappy, the name of Scooby Doo's sidekick. It fit him to a T; Fearless and independent with that big dog attitude trapped inside a little dog.
After his first grooming, his coat was a combination of black, brown and silver. I'll never forget when I went to pick him up, I thought the groomer brought out the wrong dog! I couldn't believe the colors. But of course it was my little spazz.
To avoid being too lengthy, I will try to summarize a bit of my life with Scrappy. Hopefully, you'll understand why it's important to include the details. As I previously said, I was 20 at time. About 4 months after getting Scrappy, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. I was just finishing college and working part time. At 6 months, I went into premature labor and was put on bed rest. Thankfully, my daughter stayed put and was born healthy only 2 weeks early. During this time, I had family stopping in to help and take Scrappy outside. He learned in no time where his potty spot was and would race outside, do his business and race back in. A year and 3 months later, my mother passed away very suddenly. It's too difficult to write about the details. About a year later, my fiance and I went our separate ways.
Myself, my daughter and Scrappy had to move back home with my Dad, due to my financial state. A year and a half later, I moved in with my boyfriend at the time and again, found out I was pregnant after about 6 months. While together we had custody of his daughter from a previous relationship, so I basically went from one child to three in a short amount of time.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), our relationship did not last long and I moved into my own apartment with my daughter, son and Scrappy. Shortly after, I met my now boyfriend. Yes, it took me some time to warm up to another relationship, but I'm a believer in "Everything happens for a reason". After a number of years of staying in a small apartment, we moved into our house about 6 years ago.
Leading up to the move, I noticed Scrappy acting lethargic and not quite himself. I brought him into the vet asap where he was diagnosed with cancer. To say I was heartbroken is putting it mildly. We were in our house only 2 months when I had to make the decision to say goodbye.
I cried for months, missing my little Scrappy Doo, I couldn't believe how much it hurt. I felt that he made it here, to our house, and then seeing we were ok, gave in and went downhill quickly. Chosen by my mother, he was my first dog out on my own, my first baby, my faithful and fearless little buddy. Everyone loved Scrappy, he even spent the night at grandpa's with my kids. He followed me everywhere, and experienced life with me; through relationships, the death of my mother, helping my father raise my two little brothers, the births of my children, multiple moves... So many life changes.
One night, a month after losing Scrappy, I was in bed watching TV with my boyfriend. I was sitting up with my back against some pillows, and turned to him to comment on the show when I saw a small dark silhouette in the hallway outside my door. It was exactly the shape and height of my little buddy. I could only see black, no colors, but there was no mistaking it. I could only gasp and say "Oh my God! I just saw Scrappy!" Unfortunately, my boyfriend didn't see him. A few weeks later, same scenario, in bed watching TV, but my boyfriend was asleep. I distinctly heard a "Marf" sound from the end of the bed. Scrappy sometimes had a lazy bark which sounded muffled, hence the "Marf". I literally sat straight up, called his name softly and checked the end of the bed and room. Nothing. I thanked him for stopping in.
Two months later, I was in bed, trying to get comfortable. Everyone was asleep. After becoming still, I was listening to my boyfriend snore and debating on tapping him on the shoulder to stop the snoring when I felt something walking up the bed between myself and my boyfriend. It was very slow and light; picture a small cat walking from the end of the bed towards your head. At first, I froze, wondering what the he** it was. My eyes were open, facing my boyfriend's back and yet I saw nothing (there is a dim nightlight in the hall). It stopped when it reached my waist. I remember laying there for quite awhile trying to rationalize what I just experienced. Blankets settling? Boyfriend moving? But what came to mind, was Scrappy. It was so distinct. Maybe he was coming for a cuddle?
This occurred twice more. The second and last time I actually giggled out loud, the energy felt light, loving and a bit playful. The walking always ceased by my waist. My boyfriend never did get to experience it, but he believes it was Scrappy too. It's important to note, at the time, we had no dogs, no cats, no animals period. When Scrappy was with us, he had a habit of making his rounds; checking the doors of my kids rooms, coming into our room, hopping into bed, hopping back out, and so on.
I still wonder if he checks in. The only clue I have is that the dog I have now, will suddenly watch something, following with her eyes, head cocked to the side. It's at just the right height for a small dog. I hope he does stop in to say hi and make his rounds. Maybe someday I'll get another cuddle.