I wrote about my dog a fair amount in the early days of this blog. He was a terror then, leaving a path of destruction whenever we left the room.
Nothing escaped his jaws, it certainly didn't have to be edible, and since this is a baseball card blog, you read about the times he destroyed some baseball cards.
He even went through some Christmas presents under the tree one year and tore out some card packs with his teeth.
As the years went by, Dodger calmed down -- relatively speaking as he had beagle in his blood -- and was no longer a threat to cards. Just the other day last week, I happened to drop a couple of cards into his bed where he was sleeping without knowing I did it. I came back hours later to find them right where I dropped them, completely untouched.
Dodger could barely see by then and his hearing was just as bad. He'd pace relentlessly even though his legs were wobbly and the health problems that he had lived with for years grew worse and more dire.
On Sunday, Mother's Day, the day he was born 14 years ago, we knew he was fading fast. We stayed up with him all night. And Monday morning, as my wife was on the phone making an appointment for him to be put to sleep, he passed in his bed, where he would often sit or sleep as I wrote blog posts.
Dodger was a farm dog. We got him at the urging of my daughter who had just turned 10 at the time, one month before I started reading card blogs and four months before I started this blog. I would often measure how old he was by how long I had written the blog.
Dodger was my first dog pet. I think I've mentioned that I didn't grow up with animals, my mother was not an animal person. But I married someone who was. She had a dog, Holly, when I met her. Holly and I got along great. After we got married, we had two different cats, and then Dodger came along.
Now, there's no one. It's my first day with no one in the house in so long, I can't remember when. No one waiting at the door, no one staring at me for dinner time that's two hours away, no one to greet me with the snack ritual when I get home from work late at night, no one to bark at the porch intruders, no one to chase away squirrels (he didn't catch a single one), no one to walk, no one to freak out over thunderstorms. No one to be completely irrational.
As I'm writing this, I feel his presence in the next room, but I look over and nothing's there. It's weird.
It's got to be weirder for my wife, who has had pets all her life. Yet, she has insisted that this is the last pet. She said that long before Dodger passed, and part of me doesn't believe it, but this really could be it. I don't know how I feel. I sort of like it. But I sort of don't.
Anyway, I was going to show some card pictures of dogs, but I've done some of that before, and I'm not really feeling it. Here are a couple more photos of my dog instead:
He was a good boy.
Going back to when he used to destroy cards, here are a couple of cards that I've owned since he put his teeth marks in them many years ago:
They don't look too bad, just a few love bites, but there have been many a time I've shuffled through my shoeboxes looking for cards to trade and saw these two and thought, "can't trade those."
The status of those cards changed yesterday. I don't want to trade them now and they'll be getting a place of honor.
Miss him. We picked a good one.