Monday, June 8, 2009

9/13/95 ~ 6/9/09

When Sandy and I first met over a dozen years ago, we had four dogs between us. In fact, the dogs were why and how we met, walking in the same neighborhood. And over the years our interaction with and affection for our dogs taught us as much about ourselves as it did about each other. Those original four dogs were, are now and always will be a big part of who we are, as individuals and as a couple.

The young Scooter was an athlete. I'll never forget how impossibly excited he got in the car when the smooth hum of highway turned to the unmistakable crunch of gravel as we neared a Terrier Trial. Racing dogs have to wear muzzles, and he was nearly unmuzzleable. He wasted so much energy fighting to get to the races that it's amazing he could finish, let alone win. But win he did, early and often. As he got older, he became less competitive but he always loved the races. And his affinity for a gravel road, long removed from its original source of excitement, never left him.

He was also ornery. I looked up his registration this morning to get his birth date right. Pine Hill Scooter. Personality Traits: Aggressive w/ other dogs. I also looked up 'Ornery' to make sure it was accurate: bad tempered and combative; stubborn. Yep, ornery. Some dogs are easy to love. Others are more of an acquired taste. For me, in all honesty, it took probably five years for Scooter to work his way fully and irrevocably into my heart. And maybe because it didn't come easily, the bond ultimately seemed doubly strong. Like the difference between a hand-rubbed oil finish on a piece of furniture and a thick coat of paint. As much as I loved my dogs, I found myself starting to hope that the universe would see fit to let Sandy's beloved Scooter, that cranky bastard, live the longest.

We of course moved through life and inevitably started losing those 'charter' dogs - a young Jasmine early on, old Junior many years later and Sierra most recently. And the tough, cantankerous baby outlived them all. But today we had to say goodbye. My heart aches for Scooter, but it flat out breaks for Sandy.

I take strength at such times by reminding myself that we are different, better, for having known all of them. And Scooter's place in our history will always be extra special. His loss will be deeply felt. The end of a good, full life. The end of an era. We love you, Scooter. Rest in peace.


Peg said...

We are SO very sorry for your loss,our thoughts and prayers are with you and mostly Sandy as you say good bye to such a special boy.
Peace and love are sent your way-
Jim and Peg

hwvizsla said...

Dear dear Scooter...ornery as he may have been..I am sure that Sandys deep love for him was because he was special to HER, even if not to the rest of the world. Those dogs are the hardest to say bye too..the ones you love deepest for your own reasons, despite of what the rest of the world thinks of them.

My deepest heartfelt sympathy to you Sandy, and to you I know how hard this day is for you both. Rest assured that Scooter will be there waiting on the other side for you and is romping with his friends that went before him.....

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. He was obviously very special.

Best wishes

Jena said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. I hope you and Sandy find comfort in your fondest memories of Scooter. I know there's nothing like a Jack Russel's antics to make you laugh out loud. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you at this time of sadness, on your loss of dear Scooter. May the fond memories you have shared with him eventually help bring a smile to replace the tears you now have. Hoping you will find comfort within the affections you share with each other, and your 4-legged family...
Chris and Cassie

Lisa Drinkwater said...

Sandy & Ed,
My deepest sympathies to you both. I know how deeply you loved Scooter. I could not have asked for better parents for one of my Pine Hill puppies. Please know that I am thinking of you.

Rest in peace dear Scooter.

Lisa Drinkwater
Pine Hill Terriers

Matt said...

Just remember that Scooter is in a good place and is back to racing and winning again, and might even be getting along with other dogs! Maybe he'll meet our sweet Bogey and they will become friends.
My thoughts are with you both.

Ed. said...

Thank you, friends, for the kind and thoughtful comments. Your support is strongly felt and greatly appreciated.

A special thanks to Lisa, whose Pine Hill Kennel is responsible for bringing this special dog into our lives.

Rufus said...

What a lovely but very sad post. So sorry to hear your news.