Why do we let them do it, or maybe the better question how is that they are so innately adaptive and finding a weak spot and digging in so ferociously into our hearts. They grab a space and hold on and no matter what you do they cannot be dislodged and you would not want to dislodge them in the first place. Dogs are amazing, loyal and loving and oh so good at becoming whatever we need them to be in our life. They are a blessing, no other words can describe and no more true statement was ever said than all dogs go to heaven.
Haus did not creep into my life. He stormed the barricades in a clumsy too big for his own good way. I did not want a Labrador Retriever. A few years before Haus came around my ex decided on New Years eve no less that she wanted a dog. We had to give away our dogs because one of the two had become a notorious biter and we had a small baby that would soon be a toddler. Some very good friends took in our two dogs so I was a bit surprised when Celia made up her mind. I had been doing some research on the side of dogs that were loving and not known to bite. I had decided that what we needed was a Collie. So we went out and bought one that very day. A day short of six weeks Sami was like an infant. He slept next to me and I had to get up two to three times a night to let him do his business and play with him. He was very playful. It was not surprising that he bonded with me but it pissed Celia off. She wanted a dog to follow her around.
So one day I came home from visiting my dad and there he was 8 months old, clumsy all feet and head. I had been wanting a hunting dog but before I could buy a Vizsla Celia found a Lab; a black Lab. He was one of 2 brothers sold on the side of the road in front of a Walmart. I cannot remember what she paid for him but she picked the dog that was less interested in playing and more interested in loving. Throughout his life Haus rarely played, ever. What Ceila did not know was that there was not an ounce of alpha in Haus. He was a follower. He followed Sami the Collie, which meant that he followed me. We did not divorce over this, but over a bunch of other things but I got both dogs. Sami loved chasing the ball. He would do it all day if you threw it. Haus would chase after Sami completely uninterested in the ball and just bowl him over. It would leave me in stitches. I used to say he was dumb as a box of rocks in an affectionate way of course. In fact when he was around a year old he ate a rock and we had to have it surgically removed. I still have the rock in a prescription bottle. Over time I completely came to love this big clumsy dog. He crawled inside and dug out a place in my heart. That space got a lot deeper when Sami died of cancer. I thought well now Haus can be number one and get more space next to me which Sami monopolized. Not so. Haus went into a deep sadness that worried me. He did not want to go out and seemed to look around all the time for his buddy. It broke my heart and despite not feeling like I was ready for another dog I adopted a 3 year old Doberman named Sascha. Haus was in love at first sight even though she was mostly indifferent. Sascha is all alpha. He followed her around incessantly and looked at me like I had brought him the greatest playmate ever. In fact Haus never played as much as he did once she came into our lives. Even when he was tired she would bite him on his ears and get him to paw at her. He never got upset. Haus was loyal, always on the floor next to me a faithful companion with a bark that made you think that maybe he was part hell hound but he was all gentleness. When Sami died he was my pillow and we shared a sadness that only the two of us could know. When my mom died he was pillow again and what I clung to when the sadness overwhelmed me. You could lay on him all day and he would not move.
The last few weeks I could see it coming. He struggled with everything. He would have a bad day and then perk up for a few. Yesterday he went inside his kennel cage, one of his comfort spots where he would retreat when I was yelling at Arsenal or the Dallas Cowboys. He was alert and watched me whenever I came near, his big Lab eyes. I sort of knew that I would have to take him soon or he would die. Last night he passed away, peacefully, looking asleep. He was a great dog. I am thankful for his love and friendship because onl only a mother’s love compares to the sort of unconditional love and loyalty that a dog gives so effortlessly.
Rest in peace buddy. I will miss you.