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I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Happy - Part Seven

To his dying day our dog Happy barked at every somebody he didn't know and joyfully welcomed those he did. He growled when we had to picked ticks off his paws, growled if we got too near his food bowl. He did his cha-cha and begged for food scraps. He rolled in smelly, stinky stuff, growled when he got a bath and delighted in getting toweled dry. He pulled burrs from our socks, caught rats and mongooses and leapt from the jeep as often as he could.

He was predictable with his morning and evening routine, making sure we were all up and awake before taking his morning constitutional; making sure we were all home at the end of the day before he did it again and before he ate. And every night he did bed checks.

He would have given his life to protect us.

The tropics are hard on dogs, though not so much now because we have heartworm preventative and meds for parasites and skin problems. But back then dogs didn't usually live much past 8 or 9 years. So we were honored to have our ornery beast around for 12.

But all good things must come to an end. I would like to say he died peacefully in his sleep, but it it was not to be. One morning while on his constitutional he was struck by a motorcyclist who roared off without stopping. Happy walked down our driveway and went to his chain. He lay down, placing himself off duty for the last time and never got up again. He was paralyzed from his neck down. We had no choice. He growled when Dad picked him up to put him in the car and he growled when the vet put the needle in his vein.

He was Himself to the very last, our lovable Ornery Beast, Happy.

I know, without a doubt, he is to this very day running through the tall grass of the Elysian Fields, chasing and catching mongooses, and rolling in smelly, stinky stuff without the concern of getting a bath. He is growling just because he can, snapping out Shakespearian insults like, "You mangled weather-bitten wagtail!" Best of all he is sleeping in the sun with his pal Kitty Puss.

There they are; a plain honey colored brown dog with a funny short tail and a black and white cat. Can you see them? They are walking into a glorious sunset without a care. They are waiting for us to join them.

12 comments:

  1. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh that is such a sad story. Who could hit an animal and drive on...?

    So sorry

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  2. This is a sad but very well written story! I hate to see and hear things like this, too many people don't think about what they've done and how an animal is something to be helped just as much as anyone else.

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  3. Happy sounds like the best kind of dog. I know I said this before, but he must have been my old dog Cheerio's ancestor in some way.

    I'm amazed that he managed to live for 12 years...he must have barked at the mosquitoes carrying heartworms. :-)

    I've worked in an animal shelter for a couple years now, and I still think the best kind of pets are the ones with multiple facets: not just all sweet, not just all protective, but layered and complicated until they seem just like another member of the family.

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  4. Loved the stories about Happy, Bish! How sad your family must have been when he was hit!
    You have so many fond stories of him to keep his memory alive!

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  5. Awww. Happy sounds like a great dog. I love that he was growly and his name was Happy. Very cool story.

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  6. As much as all of us loved Happy, "warts and all," I really think the last duty Dad had to do in his care hurt Dad most of all - and he did it alone. It took, for us, a long time to get another dog - and we'd had several cats - but then again, through you, along came Lassie! I really think that Happy would have cheerfully taken her "under his paw," though Lassie had tricks of her own that she could have taught Happy. There'll never be another like him or like any of the other canines who have claimed us as their people.

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  7. 人要先學會做一隻駱駝,然後才能做一隻獅子........................................

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  8. This story just breaks my heart. I'm so glad you had the time you had with Happy, but sorry for your loss!

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  9. Oh, how sad. Pets give so many warm memories, but we always know there's a sad time coming.

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  10. Thanks everyone! He was special, we still talk about him and remember him with a great deal fondness.

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  11. What a sad, lovely, touching ending to your tale of Happy. Pets leave such a hole when they leave, and I love your hopeful sense that they're "out there" waiting for us. I think they are, too.

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  12. Poor Happy. But at least he had a loving family that was with him until the very end. And I, too, love your hopeful ending about our beloved pets being out there waiting for us.
    Thank you for the wonderful Happy stories.

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