A Dog Story

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Eddie as a puppy

It has been a hot summer here, much hotter than normal, with temps consistently in to the 30’s (That’s in the mid 90’s Fahrenheit for my American friends – roughly 15% warmer than normal) and very dry. The sky has been the color of smoke from the distant fires in BC. Every day has been oppressive in a way that it hasn’t before. My dog, Eddie the Wonder Schnauzer, passed away yesterday after a very short but very serious illness. I won’t go onto the details, they are not exceptional, and I know that anyone who has ever had a good dog goes through this.

He was an assertive little dude who liked everyone and thought that he should be running the show. I managed to teach him how to sit and how to shake a paw but that’s it. I am not a dog whisperer. Mostly, I’d try to figure out what he needed and get it done. My Dad always said that Eddie was “smart about figuring out how to get what he wants” and the following story illustrates the point:

It was my habit to give Eddie a treat first thing in the morning and then, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we’d boot to the gym. I train 50k away from home in a “key club” that caters to competitive powerlifters – the gym is affectionately known as “The Dungeon.” I’d drop Eddie off at my parent’s place while I trained – they have an acreage with a large dog run – he’d run around and bark and my mother doted on him and my parents would give him a treat or two.

Not too terribly long ago my girlfriend moved in. She gets up a bit later than I do and she too would give Eddie a treat when she got up. Not long after this started Eddie started to refuse the invitation to hop in the car after I’d given him his treat. It was easy enough to figure out that he wasn’t leaving that house until he got his second treat. Eddie could do all the math he needed. She doted on him too, and would take him along for the ride when taking her daughter to/from school. Full of cookies and confidence, he’d ride shotgun and make sure no ne’er-do-wells thought they could just come up and kidnap anyone right out of the van.

While I think of it, any time one of the kids entered the house after being out for a time he’d bark and lead them to his mat/bowls and attempt to extort a treat from them too. In this he was invariably successful. Between the two of us we have four children and all are soft touches – easily manipulated by their Schnauzer Major Domo.

His groomer phoned and cried when she was told he’d passed away. I wondered how many treats he’d bullied her into.

I knew in my heart that it was over two days before he passed when he wouldn’t eat a treat.

RIP Eddie, you were a good boy. I am sure that when we meet again it will be as if no time has passed, and I’ll bring a treat for you.

It has been too hot this summer, and the air is full of smoke. It is sometimes hard to see and sometimes even hard to breathe.

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