Thursday, April 3, 2014

Our Old Boy

When we got Henry he was a puppy and we shopped for him at a pet adoption event at Petsmart.  We brought the kids and they were smitten with that little furball and begged to bring him home.

He was like Marmaduke and he grew and grew and grew.  The 40# sheltie we thought we got turned into an 80# retriever/chow mix.  He once bit a neighborhood kid in the stomach when he came through the front door unannounced.   Had we known he was part Chow we would have never gotten him but by then it was too late, so I watched him like a hawk around that door. 

He thought his call to duty was to guard the castle entrance and that damn dog stressed me out.

I walked him every morning and when he saw a squirrel he'd yank my arm trying to go after it.  Every single morning.  A friend of mine had a poodle and they had an altercation one day.  Henry never forgot and he'd bark and pull at his leash whenever he saw that dog because he had to settle the score.  One time the poodle got away from my friend and came bounding towards us.  Seeing as how there was a 75# difference between those dogs, I thought the poodle was going to be a goner.  Instead he ran under Henry and try as he could to get that varmint, he just kept running in circles with that little toy dog stuck between his legs the whole time.

It would have been comical if I weren't so sure that Henry wasn't going to kill my friend's dog.

And then he mellowed out.  Slept more and didn't get so bothered by the mailman or the UPS man.  An 80# dog was always too big for this house but we all squeezed in and made it work even if we weren't so sure of each other in the beginning.  Or for years.

Today we put our old boy to sleep.  He has never liked going in the car and was a shaking, panting mess all the way to the vet and in the waiting room.  We took him back and this vet that we've been going to for twenty years explained the process and gave him some sedation.

Our old boy went fast asleep with his head over the exam table and started snoring.  We petted him the whole time and even though he was a big hunk of fur, you could feel all his ribs and vertebrae.

He made me nuts.  For the first ten years of his life he probably thought Calm The Fuck Down was his name.  This last year he's peed in the house a hundred times.  At least.  He ate chicken off the dining room table and kitchen counter.  He'd stick his whole head in the garbage can to eat the chicken bones.  He would get right next to you if he liked what was cooking on the stove and never move out of the way.  He always smeared the glass on the front door five minutes after I cleaned it.  He once ate a rib that fell off the grill and got the bone wedged sideways in his mouth.  He drank out of the toilet bowl and licked the carpet for no reason.

He had no class. 

He was perfect for us.


  1. A wonderful Tribute to a huge part of your lives.
    I am sure you will be blessed for the life you all gave him.

  2. Oh, sweets. I have tears in my eyes reading this because the day we put our family dog down seems so fresh in my memory. And we have a 10 year old mini poodle who may only last another few years, and I dread his last day. Your writing is vivid and lovely and captures the essence of everything. Hugs to you and your family.

  3. It is so hard to lose them. But life with them is joyful and makes great memories. Thanks for sharing yours.

  4. Kathy, I'm so, so sorry you had to say goodbye to Henry. I will miss seeing you walk through Porter Park and past our house with your faithful friend. We put Pearl (our old girl) down in January and I'm still not completely over it. She was blind, peed all over our house, had multiple seizures every day, had congestive heart failure and wasn't eating and we still had difficulty deciding it was time. What a lovely tribute to your good old boy.

  5. What an awesome tribute, made me laugh and cry at the same time....