Tuesday, October 24, 2006

R.I.P. Dundee "The Wonder Mutt"

Apparently it was his time last week, he was a great dog.

Dundee hasn't been living with me for several years now, I sent him on a humanitarian mission. He has been keeping my parents company since their last dog passed away. They were lonely and I knew that Dundee would be good company for them. He was very smart and very well behaved.

Even though I've lived with dogs for most of my life I don't consider myself a dog person. When I was growing up my family always had dogs. The first ones I can remember were Candy ( a Springer Spaniel) and Yuppy (a Beagle with a Hungarian name). Both of those dogs passed away while we were on a family vacation when I was young.

Over the years there were more, even a 2nd Yuppy (Yups for short) that was a Vizsla (a Hungarian bird dog).

When I moved away at 18 I decided not to have a dog anymore. I tried a cat but the thing just hated me. His name was Herman and he went out of his way to piss and shit in my clothes. After that cat I decided no more.

When I got married my wife was dog lover so we had several dogs. A couple of Beagles and then some Shitzus.

When I divorced we had a dog named Andy and he stayed with my ex and the kids. So I was without a dog again.

At this point I should probably point out that I was never the one that spent a lot of time with the dogs that were in my family. I very rarely fed them, took them places or played with them. I didn't hate them, I was just used to having them around.

So after about a year of being single I decided to start looking for a dog. I didn't know if it was out of habit or if I was just a little lonely living by myself. I did a lot of looking on the Internet and reading about all the different kinds of dogs. I read books and studied up. In the end I decided that I wasn't going to find a dog, the dog would probably find me.

So I started going to animal shelters and looking at the dogs. There was never a dog that stood out. I saw many dogs that I thought were nice, but there was never one I wanted to take home.

After months of looking I went through the local Humane Society and saw Dundee for the first time. I don't know what it was about him that caused me to stop, but I did and he seemed like a nice dog. I didn't take him home that day but he stayed on my mind. I went back 2 more times before I decided to take him home.

I think he was about 4 months old at the time.

The kids were thrilled the first time they came over met him. I had bought a book called "Every Dog Need a Little Training" and used it to teach him how to sit, stay and use a kennel. He was very smart and picked up on everything quickly.

When I got him I had planned to take him on the road with me but he got to be too big. So I ended up having to leave him with Pam (a women that worked for me) when I left town. Dundee was smart enough to know that different houses had different rules. At my house I could leave a plate full of food on the coffee table and would never touch it, even if I left the room. At Pam's house he once took an entire meatloaf off the kitchen counter and ate it because he knew he wouldn't be in much trouble.

My place was where all the rules were and Pam's was doggie Disneyland.

Dundee ended being my buddy, my running partner (he could run up to 10 miles), company mascot and watch dog. He was the first dog I ever had that was really mine and the first one I really took care of.

It was hard for me to take him out to live with my parents but I knew it was the right thing to do. My parents were 88 and 70 at the time. They had just lost the 2nd of 2 dogs in the past 6 months. They just didn't have the energy for a puppy. I figured Dundee would be a great addition to there family and he was.

They loved him more than I probably ever did. My mom and dad both spoiled him rotten and he returned their love by being a loyal member of their family. I can't tell you how many times my parents would call me and tell me how happy they were to have Dundee with them. I never needed to hear that. I was just glad he made them happy.

So on Sunday October 15 I was able to spend the day at my parents house. I got to see Dundee and had a very nice time with my parents. He looked fine to me when I left Monday morning at 6:00AM.

Unfortunately he collapsed around 9:00AM that morning while he walking across the living room. My dad (who is now 90) fell over and hurt himself trying to help him. But there was nothing they could do. They took him to the vet and he passed away Tuesday morning.

The vet told us that he didn't suffer at all. He had some sort of stroke and felt very little pain.

I bet right now he is in heaven breaking every one of my rules......

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