Lately I have been feeling sorry for myself. Yep, a regular ol' pitty party. You see, I've always been a dog person. And right now we don't have a dog. Nor can we have a dog. We live a simple life, yet are blessed to have a nice duplex in a very nice neighborhood. We found it by internet before we moved. But, it has one downfall. NO PETS. We can understand, if we were property managers, we'd probably feel the same way after seeing the way some people care for their animals. But, I've always had a dog...and I want one! All in due time...
Our last property managers didn't allow dogs either. That is, until they met Dawg.
One day, Amy and I went to the pound because she was feeling a bit lonely and we thought she needed a companion. But, then I saw this big, no HUGE, baby all skin and bones in a too small cage (most cages were too small), and I just knew that Jerry would love him. Poor Jerry. He had worked a night shift, and was home sleeping when I called and said, "Hey, can you get the dog pen put together, we got a dog." When Jerry and dog met...it was a given. They belonged to each other. I asked Jerry what we should name him, and Jerry said, "Since I was a little boy, I've always dreamed about having a big ol' dog named Dawg."
Dawg loved car trips. Once we went to Texas. It was time for us (me and Dawg) to meet Jerry's parents. It was cold, and we hit an ice storm. So all three of us ended up in the cab. And big and hairy got the middle, while I was pushed up against the door the whole time! Dawg was not average size, even for a lab. He was tall! When standing, he could rest his chin on the kitchen counter (and would get his nose bopped if he tried.)
Dawg loved four things. His daddy, sticks, swimming and chasing squirrels. He wore a charm on his collar that Amy got him. It said "squirrel patrol". On nice weekends we would load up and head to the river, a creek, anywhere Dawg could have a nice swimming time. Dawg loved Amy, Seth and I too...but not like he loved his daddy!
And yes, he had birthday parties.
One cold winter day, we all headed to the woods to go on a walk. It was a nice park where we could just let Dawg run free. Dawg took off after a rabbit; and we wish we'd never gone there! Nothing visible happened. But, the next day Dawg had a limp. Over time, and several vets later, it was decided that Dawg hurt his shoulder that day. He was just so big. Even with surgery, he would never be the same. Never chase a squirrel, never swim.
We made him as comortable as we could, until his pain became unbearable no matter the amount of medication. Last fall, we kissed him good-bye. Seth wrote the following limerick about him: