Friday, April 28, 2006

A Goodbye

One January day in 1998, we took a trip to the Jessamine County "animal shelter" (read: dog pound) to "play with the dogs." One particular dog stuck out to Tara, though I didn't even notice with all the barking and yapping going on. He was a black lab mix, and he simply sat in his cage, not barking, not jumping, and not yapping. He looked resigned to his fate.

We asked to take him out for a walk, and when we did, he became four-legged lightning. He ran everywhere, pulling as hard as he could on the leash. FREEDOM! He was gentle and friendly. We were sure that he would get adopted because of his temperment, but the worker told us, "I wouldn't bet on it. His card is pulled." Meaning: they were going to euthanize him that day.

We told them not to do anything with him, and we scurried out to secure the permission of our landlord to have a dog. She, being soft-hearted, allowed him to come home with us.

We named him Scooter, partially because he would try to sneak his way into our bedroom (where he wasn't allowed) by lying down then sitting up and stretching his way in.

Scooter became my buddy, always sitting by me when I was doing my seminary work (though sometimes that wasn't a good thing, especially when he'd been eating the cheap dogfood, if you know what I mean). Every morning we would get up and go for a run through the neighborhood. All the kids loved him. They would come over and ask if they could take him for a walk.

When we moved to Columbus, Scooter made himself at home. He loved the backyard, including his chances to flex his hunting muscles (groundhogs, rabbits, and chipmunks were his victims back there: what groundhog is stupid enough to climb under a fence where there's a dog?). We would still go for our (almost) daily 3 mile runs, and people got used to seeing us jogging along.

They say that all good things must come to an end. Jonathan came along, and Scooter wasn't happy. He didn't like having to share the spotlight and the attention. Of course, Jonathan loved "Doowah" - his name for Scooter. He loved to chase him and pet him. But Scooter didn't like this, and he tended to growl at Jonathan, often for no reason, and a couple of times he snapped and showed his teeth. We had to watch them carefully and keep them apart, so we started looking for a new home for Scooter. Nobody wanted a 9 year old dog that had showed some aggressive tendencies.

So goodbye, Scooter. You were a good dog, and I loved you.

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You will be sadly missed. I certainly hope that "all dogs go to Heaven" (or at least, the good ones anyway), because I want to get to see you again. To see you running crackerdog all around your own (rabbit and groundhog-free) yard, chewing up all the bones you want, and having your very own couch that you're always allowed up on.

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We will miss you Scooter. Goodbye, and thanks for all the memories. You were the best dog I could ask for.

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nate said...

Wow! I loved scooter too. We had fun the times i got to dogsit. He ws really an awesome dog. I'm just glad he's not already in heaven, if you know what i mean. When i saw the title, i didn't want to read the rest. I miss our runs in the mornings. He always knew when i needed a little break. That's when he would do his thing. I loved our dog leash jumping and scoring ice-skating style and cheering him on for his multi-dump days! That's too bad that he had to go, but certainly understandable.

Chuckinator said...

A good memory: I believe it was Christmas 2003. I was dog sitting Scooter for B and T before I took him to the kennel the next day. He had managed to knock T's gingerbread train off of the kitchen table and devour all of it except the paper from the candy, and the back wheel of the caboose...He was a HAPPY dog that night. I'll miss you Scooter.

Ronda said...

What a GOOD DOG Scooter was! (And coming from a non-animal person, that's quite a compliment!)

PA said...

I'm so sorry you lost your buddy. But this is a great story to share. Thanks for letting me in.