I’m alone in the big house with Mom and Dad now. One of Mom’s friends told her something that stuck with her.
GIRLFRIEND TO MOM: “You never get used to losing them, you only get used to living without them.”
Big dog Rex really was a good dog. They loved him a lot. I mean a whole lot. I just hope that I can be that good of a dog one day.
I started to think of all the things Rex taught me since I came to live here eight months ago.
First, how to be a good sleeper. No fussing. No barking. Rex always went right to bed in his room at 7:30 and got up in the morning when they opened his door around 6:00. He got that cushy home office because of the two cats that used to live here. They needed time to roam alone, so Rex got the office at night. Lucky dog. I got a wire pen and a plastic crate set up in the family room. After the first few nights, I learned to go inside my den, find my treats they threw in for me, then lie down and go to sleep. They got me up when Rex got up.
Second, how to tolerate rubdowns. I didn’t like getting rubbed around my rear end (I had those issues if you remember). But even if it’s raining, a dog has to relieve himself. I watched Rex walk outside, head held high. He did his thing and even stood out there sometimes and let the rain fall onto his face. Me, I didn’t like the rain, but we both had to get towel dried when we came in. He showed me how to buck up and take it like a man, standing still and letting Mom rub us all over.
Third, how to stifle my urge to bark. When I first came here, I wanted to defend my turf and let the neighborhood know I wasn’t someone to mess with. Two wiry Terriers live next door and they’d climb up onto a high point in the yard, look over at Rex and me, and then bark up a tornado. And I wasn’t supposed to answer? Rex didn’t. He just walked away. I shut my mouth too. And you know what? It got quieter all the way around. Mom and Dad didn’t yell (they hated the barking), and those high-strung little monkeys eventually engaged with other dogs.
Trouble was, for all the times I attacked Rex, for all the moments when I wished I was an only dog and had the peeps to myself, I really miss him.
Rex, you left big paws to fill.
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