1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

The passing of a noble hound

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by ink-stained wretch, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. ink-stained wretch

    ink-stained wretch Active Member

    I am not one to ascribe human behavior or emotions to animals, particularly dogs. They are wired in a different manner. Their eyes see a world different than ours. Their sense of smell and hearing are more refined. They process the world in a way we can only imagine.

    That we would project our thoughts and emotions onto them is proof enough of the difference between out species. A dog's world revolves around am I hungry, thirsty, warm, cold, loved?

    But if you seek unconditional love, get a dog.

    The house was silent this morning.

    There was no clicking of nails on the hardwood floor. No gollumping down the stairs as the sun rises. No hissing of cats, awakened in such a rude manner by inquiring cold, wet nose. No muted wake-up yelps.

    No prancing and bowing as the coffee perked. No annoying metallic scraping of teeth on stainless steel as breakfast was inhaled.

    There was silence and a hole in our souls.

    The wife did not have her 70-pound shadow — he liked his handouts and she was a sucker. There was no greyhound dance when the grumpy teenager came down the stairs heading off to school. And as I started my day at the kitchen table, my co-author and sometimes editor is not at his usual place on the rug. How can a graceful, sleek animal look so doofus, napping on his back with four legs in the air?

    The cancer came swiftly. The vet found the mass in his massive chest at noon yesterday. Chemo and surgery were nonstarters. Nature would take him when it was time. There was nothing anyone could do. It was my call when to end it.

    I called the wife at work. Explained it all. Hung up and cried in a corner. It wasn't as if — God, please, no — I was losing a child or my wife. I thought myself inured to death, violent or otherwise.

    He was a good and faithful friend. We had rescued him — or he us — after much pleading by the then 9-year-old Siberian princess. She wanted a puppy. She got a 2-year-old retired racer. She was not pleased. First, he was not a licker. Second, he wasn't cute. Third, he was bigger than she.

    But he was gentler, quieter and faithful. The wife started leaving a Milk Bone in the mailbox so when the daughter got off the school bus, she'd enter the house with a treat in hand.

    Soon he had us trained. Come in the door, and you'd better have a Milk Bone.

    Our faithfulness to our new routine was repaid a thousand-fold. We could put the daughter on on end of the lead and the dog on the other. We knew both would return safely. Once on their daily "walk", surprised by the sudden appearance of a stranger, he jumped between the daughter and the stranger, baring his impressive teeth.

    "I wasn't scared at all," she said. "He was there."

    Though his muzzled grayed and his step slowed, every time a new swain passed over the threshold to call on the now-teenage daughter he gollumped down the stairs and take his stand between the daughter and the boy. Some made it no farther than the foyer before fleeing. Until he was sure of their intentions, they would come no farther. The ones the daughter liked were warned ahead of time to bring a treat.

    At 5:58 p.m. yesterday, while I was arguing with a wrong-headed editor, the wife called. She was in her second-floor home office cradling a convulsing dog. The vet was on his way. The dog would not go gentle into that good night.

    I called Son No. 2 who rushed to our house, left the editor to his own devices and sped home.

    I was not in time. The vet knew what needing doing. He eased our friend's journey into the dying of the light.

    Please pardon my maudlin crap.

    So tonight, the drinks are on me at Jeers, where no one knows your name. Hoist a cold one for Ty, the Wonder Dog, a good and faithful friend, the noblest of hounds.
  2. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    a bit dusty here... farewell to your companion...
  3. Big Circus

    Big Circus Well-Known Member

    Just got out of my chair and gave my dog a hug. Sounds like you had a great one, Wretch.
  4. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    At first, I clicked on this thread thinking, "Oh boy, someone else's dog died and now we have to read about it, as if anyone cares." That lasted to the end of the fourth graf. Incredibly well-written, Wretch, and a great tribute to what sounds like a great friend.
  5. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    a life story of a dog and his family. enraptured by the journey of words and emotions. sorry for your loss.
  6. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Cousin Wretch, I'm sorry for your loss.

    And it wasn't "maudlin crap." It was achingly beautiful to anybody who's been loved by a dog.
  7. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I had one that I had for 14 years pass earlier this year. I was nothing short of devastated. It happened as suddenly as it can to a 14-year-old dog, which was good because he was never sick.

    Anyone who minimizes the loss of a pet should have their ass kicked.
  8. Dyno

    Dyno Well-Known Member

    So sorry for your loss. That was a beautiful tribute.
  9. waterytart

    waterytart Active Member

    Wretch, you just wrung out this cat-person's heart. Condolences.
  10. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Great stuff, ink-stained.

    And a great dog.
  11. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    That was beautiful, ink-stained.

    And here's the sad, Rainbow Bridge poem that I post when people lose pets. May it help you as it helped me a few years back.

  12. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    Is it wrong to start playing
    in your head when a dog dies?

    If that's wrong, I sure don't want to be right.

    My condolences, man. Your tribute was beautiful.

    EDIT: Every time I read that "Rainbow Bridge" poem, it gets dusty in here. Damn.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page