My Scout died this afternoon at about 2:25 p.m. It was a stubborn upper respiratory infection, possibly along with something else. All efforts to save him were in vain, but we tried.
Scout chose me as his own when he was just a baby. He attached himself to me with no uncertainty about it. My lap belonged to him ONLY. If I were going to give any of the other dogs any particular attention, I had to give him his attention first.
He was smart and obedient, and a creature of habit. Once a routine was set, it was set in stone. We did not alter any daily routine if we could help it. And if we had to alter a routine, he would look at me with a slightly disappointed expression. I could almost see him shaking his head and hear him "tsk-tsk"-ing. But he always forgave me.
He was usually up for a game of tug of war with a stick. All it took was for me to say, "Gimme that thing!", (with nothing in my hand) and he'd start looking around for something to run and get before I could. That's how the game started. So I'd make sure there was a stick or toy handy; he'd run to get it, and then he'd tease me with it. I'd tug, and he'd tug. Finally he'd let go; I'd throw it, and say, "Gimme that thing!" And we'd do the whole thing over again.
He was born with a naturally cropped tail. But he was also born with a hip and/or spine deformity. He was a very fast runner (almost as fast as his mother and sister) until he was about 4 years old. Then he started slowing down a bit. He was still pretty fast, though. And as long as he didn't get cold, his hip/back didn't seem to bother him. As long as he got regular exercise, he didn't seem stiff. But if the weather was bad, and he hadn't been for a good walk or run for a day or two, then he'd be a bit stiff for a while. Since I was also born with a bad spine and hips, I always thought it was appropriate that he was my dog. He started getting a lot of gray hair a year or two ago. It happened very quickly; something else the two of us had in common.
I'll miss him. It's been a hard, tear-filled evening. Tomorrow I'm going to buy some bulbs of some kind -- maybe daffodils -- to plant beside his grave.
Miss Little Bit will miss her big brother. I have a feeling she's going to be extremely spoiled for a while.
Eler Beth has been my right hand the past few days -- as she usually is. She helped me give him medicine, coax him to eat and drink, and watched out for him when I had to sleep or do something else. Thomas has shown that he's just a big softy when it comes to the pets; he was as concerned as the rest of us. Scout died right before Thomas had to leave for work, so Andrew came home early from a friends' house to dig the grave for me.
It helps to write this and to look at his pictures. These are the three that I had handy on the computer. I'll try to find a few more to post.
It's going to be hard to sleep tonight.