Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Rascal, the dog

We got Rascal in 1996; he was the cutest puppy ever, a little white furball.  We'd stopped in at a pet shop and there he was and Sarah cried the crocodile tears, and we had to buy him.   The very next week the pet shop was raided and they found dead and dying dogs and very sick animals and the pet shop owner went to jail over it.  As we walked out of the pet shop, Sarah carrying her new dog, she said "His name is Rascal."

That was pretty psychic because he was a rascal if ever there was one.  He never comes when called, to this day.  He ran away from me, he chewed up the house, he barks if a car drives down the street.  Well, he used to, now he can't hear worth a darn, which has made our life quieter.  He sure was a good watch dog, though.

For all that, Rascal is a gentle soul.  He's never aggressive with other dogs, he's very mentally healthy that way.  He never bothered the cats and for all his barking, has never hinted at hurting a human.  He's good with kids.  My little granddaughter just loves to put the leash on him and he will gently follow her around, putting up with it.  Once, when she was little and he'd had enough, he put his teeth on her arm.  I saw it.  He didn't bite, he didn't hurt her in any way.  It was a slow, gentle act of discipline.  It was like "My dear, I've had quite enough.  Cease and desist."  She screamed her head off, but her feelings were hurt, not her arm. 

Now, in his old age, he's my buddy.  He follows me everywhere I go and sits with me till I go to the next room.  When I'm really upset and crying----I cry very quietly, which may come as a surprise---he seems to know it and he stays glued to my side. 

He's a lot slower now.  We surprise him often; I've learned to touch him softly on his head when he's sleeping or he jumps all over the place.  We have a Jack Russell puppy and sometimes Rascal has a hard time keeping up.  He'll still "man up" though and they play tug of war and tag all over the house.  Rascal just tires out quicker.  He's on a special old dog diet.

It saddens us a bit, to see this spitfire dog who once ran circles around the kids in the neighborhood (so funny to watch them try to catch him---he can still cut a rug that way if he feels like it).  We coddle him.  We let him lie on the front porch in the sun---the other dogs are never allowed out of the fence.  He's the grandpa we're taking care of in his old age. 

He was always Sarah's dog, although he bonded well with me because he had Parvoe when we got him and I nursed him with total loving care.  His life has been a gift in our lives.  Nothing like a good dog.


They were all blissfully nappng.  It didn't look very comfortable to me.


lifeinredshoes said...

That did come as a surprise!

cathycan said...

I'm teary and he didn't even die! Pets are such a blessing in our lives and we love them, really love them. I hope Rascal has many good years left!!

annegb said...

Don't you love the picture with half of him hanging off the chair? I won't let the animals sit on me like that, but they lay all over Bill. And they all nap away with the TV on.

Bookslinger said...

Very heartwarming. I needed to see those 2 pics of the pets sleeping on Bill after reading your other recent posts.

I don't understand family dynamics. But I do know that no one can hurt you like family can.

Bookslinger said...
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annegb said...

Isn't it a funny picture? They were all asleep. The animals sprawl all over Bill all the time. Our animals are so spoiled.

We used to leave on Rascal all the time because it was the only way we could catch him. Even then it was a job. We'd have to run after him and jump on the leash. My neighbors called it his second tail.