I believe that we have an obligation to the lives that we take into our care. This is especially true of the pets that we acquire. We are responsible for making sure that they are fed and generally looked after. Some people even go so far as to think of their pets as their children. I tend to think of them more as friends; friends that are very dear to my heart.
I would like to talk about my dog, Trooper. We got both him and his brother, Sunny, when they were 8 weeks old. Their mother was a registered German Shepard, their father is anyones guess. They both have the coloring of a yellow lab. Sunny has the shepard features, Trooper looks like there is definitely Great Dane thrown in somewhere.
My son came up with Troopers name. Personally I think we should have called him Eeyore. He just has that mopey “thanks for noticing me” demeanor. While he was growing, he went through a stage where he was all feet and legs. And clumsy. He would fall over his own feet. He has the sweetest disposition, even though his size alone would put most people off.
His bark is very loud, and he has a tendency to howl. Especially at night. Seriously he would sound like the soundtrack from the “Hound of the Baskervilles”. But we always know when something is prowling around in the dark. I am sure that many a terrified animal has run off after hearing him howl. He probably has scared off a few humans as well.
In his prime he weighed in at around 150 lbs. There is not a tiny thing about him. For all his size and booming bark, he is as gentle as a kitten. When our grandson, Hunter, was just learning to crawl, he would use Trooper for climbing practice. Hunter would end up pulling his ears or grabbing a handful of skin and fur but Trooper would only patiently watch him. There was never a growl or anything out of him.
All of our dogs love their treats, but Trooper is especially fond of cheese, gummy bears and popcorn. I would start out by tossing the popcorn for him to catch, then he would start moving closer and closer until he was practically in my lap. I could never quite convince him that he wasn’t a lap dog, especially during a thunderstorm. He didn’t mind the flashes of lightning, but the thunder always sent him either to find a place to hide or to my lap.
I have many fond memories of him, and now the memories are all that is left. My friend that I have had for so many years died yesterday morning. He is buried in the shade of a walnut tree where you can hear the birds sing and the music of the creek. I hope that I have fulfilled my devoir to have given him a happy and loved life, filled with good times. Good bye my friend, I miss you.