Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Requiescat in Pace, Deke Dog



Yesterday, 21 April, 2008, marked the end of the road for the Dog who had been in my family since 1997, and whose picture, up until now, graced the right side of my blog.
He was a good old dog, was Deke, and didn't really seem too upset as the anaesthetic flowed and he passed away. I think he was just tired of the discomfort of the ever growing tumor in his abdomen. So, in a few seconds, it was over for the old guy.

Odd name for a dog - Deke. It was actually picked by my wife, based on the way we acquired him, suddenly and unexpectedly in March of '97. At that time, I worked as a manager of a local car dealer, and I went by the office one Friday afternoon (my bi-monthly day off) to get my paycheck. As I walked across the showroom, there was, sitting at one of the tables, a girl with a big black dog on a leash. I immediately said "Aww, a doooggg!" and went over to say hello. As I knelt down in front of him, and the dog gently reared up on his haunches and gently placed his front paws on my shoulders. Then the girl explained that it was her family dog, and she was taking it to the animal shelter, and had stopped to get an oil change on the way. It was a good dog, she said, but her neighbor was a kook and for a series of reasons, they had to get rid of the dog. A couple of quick begging calls to my wife later, the dog was in my truck and headed for home.

When we got home, she asked what was his name - it was "scratchy". Well, we wanted to rename him to make him ours. Since he had managed to essentially save his own life with minutes to spare, she suggested "Deke", based on the quote from my favorite test-pilot astronaut, "Deke" Slayton - "A test pilot in trouble doesn't think 'I've got 10 seconds until I crash', he thinks 'Hell, I've got ten seconds! I bet I can save this thing!'" I liked it, and it stuck.

He was an odd dog - silent - he only barked three times in the 11 years we had him. And loved LOVED to run - as long as it was away from me! We quickly learned to never let him off the leash, or he was g-o-n-e. And boy did he love food! The people kind, that is. And he was infinitely kind and affectionate with the kids. And me.

But now he has gone from this world, and I miss him badly.

Arrivederci, My Friend.

1 comment:

Julianna said...

Mom sent me your link...and I just wanted to say...It took me spending all of five minutes with Deke to know he was a true treasure. I know how much you loved him and how much he loved you. I am so sorry for your loss.