Buck’s story isn’t as dramatic as Frankie’s. A few years ago, my parents were worried about Frankie getting older, and they started looking into German Shepherd rescue organizations for another dog to adopt. Buck was a hard case, he’d been given up by his original family because he was too big, and then returned to the rescue agency by his first adoptive family for being too loud.
Funny thing, he rarely barked at my ‘rents house. Frankie, on the other hand, suddenly began barking, frequently and loudly, at Buck. She was here first, after all, and knew all the rules. Whenever he did something she thought was out of line, she’d bark at him and he’d look startled and then go stand near her to await further orders. When she died this spring, he was really confused for a few months and couldn’t figure out where she was at.
He was a big dog, though, with paws as big as my hands. And to get your attention, he’d put one of those big paws on your foot. And since I don’t like to wear shoes… ow. He loved people, just loved sitting next to people, or leaning against you if you were standing around. When 110 lbs of dog lean on you, you tend to lean, too.
Buck had a wicked sense of humor. He liked chewing on things like balls and knotted ropes, and especially liked chewing on things and sitting next to people. Well, sometimes people would take the thing away from him, and he’d joyfully go fetch it back for a good gnaw and plunk hisself down next to you again. He’d do that three times. On the fourth time, he’d go to the item, pee on it, and then bring it back and set it down in front of you, and just look at you like, “What you gonna do now? Hmm?”
Like a lot of big dogs, he had a bad back. He’s been having more and more trouble walking, and the nerve damage was pretty severe. He’d been in a lot of pain for a while, and apparently this morning his back legs just stopped working.
Dad buried him next to Frankie, who’s probably busy explaining all the new rules to him now. Dad says for the first time, the house feels like it’s too big.
And I would just like to register my complaint with the Home Office: This. Sucks. Like, really a lot.