This week we said goodbye to a family member, friend and companion. No cars or car stories for this blog entry, but a farewell to our dog Crockett. He had picked up a lot of nick names over the years: Poopa, Puppa, Poopalicious, Puppalicious, Grill Guard, Little Fluffy Buddy (LFB), Fluffy White Sausage, White Torpedo, Mr. C, and the infamous Bad Dog. He loved his family, tolerated a few visitors (like my Mom and the people that feed him while we were gone) and hated everyone else.
Mr. C was typical for his breed - America Eskimo. They apparently come with one of two distinct personalities – they either love everyone or dislike everyone (except for their family). We got the latter. Protective to a fault, I am sure to the people knocking on the door, Crockett sounded like a much larger dog.
Pure white and VERY fluffy The Poopa looked like he should be the most gentle friendly dog in the world, and every time we were out on a walk, the people we encountered would say “awww he is so cute” and reach down to pet him (who would not want to pet a snow white fluffy dog), he growled at them. I would warn them…he is not too friendly and they would reluctantly back off. It actually had just a touch of irony.
The Puppa loved his treats (to a fault) and was always on treat or dropped food patrol. It was funny, when we ate a meal, he would sit and stare at me, boring holes in my fork to mouth motion. I would reach down and try to pet him and he would duck away not wanting to be pet as if saying “Hey! I am working here!” But if a morsel of food hit the deck, I would yell “Man Down” and he was on it in a split second. This was okay at the table, but if we were preparing food and something big hit the ground, you had to be really fast to beat him to it and snatch a sure treat away from the jaws of victory.
Like I said, he loved his treats. When I took my vitamins in the morning, he was right there needing his pill too. His pill was doggie dental food, but he thought it was his treat. Bed time? I like to stay up and write until late into the night. Sure enough about 11 PM, he would let me know he wanted to go to bed. What he really wanted was his bedtime treat. A lot of nights, he would have to wait until 2 or 3 if I was on a writing tear. I think he had trained us. But through all his food fixation, he actually had a very delicate stomach and if he did get something he shouldn’t, it frequently came back up a short time later. We cleaned up a lot of puke over the years.
I could go on about the other end and all that fur, but my wife won’t let me, she thinks it is TMI. She is probably right… Poopalicious loved to eat smelly socks, underwear or any other piece of laundry he could get a hold of. One time my wife put a dish-rag in the laundry that she had used to mop up some spilled juice from a roast. We could not find that rag anywhere, we looked suspiciously at Crockett, he feigned innocence. One month later, we finally found the rag, he had puked it up…it sat in his stomach for a month…disgusting!
Not exactly greased lightening, Puppalicious had two kills to his credit, a baby bunny and a baby duck. Hey, I said he was not too fast. Frequently he was a pain-in-the-ass, but mostly he was our dog. Mr. C’s favorite thing? Having his booty scratched; the area along his back near his tail, Crockett would just shimmy and squirm the whole time, a few seconds of pure pleasure. But then he was done and walked off. He only liked pets when he wanted them, in certain ways he was pretty independent (almost cat like).
OK, about the Fluffy White Sausage and White Submarines nick names; frequently when he laid down he would put his front paws straight out and his back legs splayed out behind him, he did this so he could put his belly on our tile floor. With all that fur, he was always hot. So my sister commented one time that he looked like a fluffy white sausage laying on the floor, that nick name stuck. When playing tug–of-war, after a few seconds of vigorous pulling he would flop down on the floor and my boys would pull him along the tile on his belly, like he was skimming through the waves….White Torpedo. Crockett had a lot of personality.
You would figure that he was one tough dog and for over 10 years you would have been correct. The dog books tell us this breed frequently live to be 18-20 years old. We thought he would be with us at least another 7-8 years. But it was not to be. He started acting sick about 6 month ago and we took him to the vet. He had acute kidney failure and was put on a very restrictive diet (even more restrictive than his usual one) and he hated it. He had to take lots of pills, but we wrapped them in this new product called Pill Pockets (we wish we could invest in this company but they are privately owned, it's a great product). He lived for his treats wrapped in Pill Pockets, his bark tone having changed to almost a sharp urgent plea.
Several weeks ago, he started moaning when lying down and we were very concerned and it seemed that we went to the vet at least once a week. Anytime he showed any symptom that seemed abnormal we would call our patient vet and voice our concerns. Crockett had a lot of tests and it seemed that we had a handle on the kidney issue. Perhaps he learned to be more vocal about his discomfort.
But the moaning continued and it just seemed that he was not all there. He was not the same dog. We video taped how he acted at home and took it to the vet. She was very worried and asked me to bring him in right away. She took an x-ray and she found a large tumor on his stomach. In our hearts we knew it was the end. He had tried to fight through the pain and would come to tell us, as if asking for us to do something. But it was just too much.
We did the humane thing and put him to sleep yesterday. I held him close in my arms while the vet injected him with the euthanasia drug and in seconds his great heart stopped beating. I cried and held him close, not wanting to let go.
Good bye little buddy, I will sure miss you. Sleep well, the pain is gone.
See you all next time.