Because the greatest ever dog eulogy occurs in John Dies At The End 2, I’ll just steal it for my purposes:
“This here is Molly. She was a good dog. And when I say ‘good dog’ I don’t mean it the way other people mean it, when they’re talking about a dog that never shit on the floor or bit their kids. No, I’m talking about a dog that died saving Amy’s life. By my rough count, that’s half a dozen times Molly saved one of our lives. How many dogs can say that? Hell, how many people can say that? One time, Dave was in a burning building, and Molly here rescued him by getting behind the wheel of his car and driving into the building. You know that couldn’t have been easy for her.
Anyhow, Molly died, in the way that all really good things die, fast and brutal and for no apparent reason. They say that even though it often appears that God just really, really doesn’t give a shit about what happens here, that that’s just an illusion and that He really does care after all, and that it’s all part of his great plan to make it appear that He doesn’t give a shit. Though what fucking point that serves I can’t possibly imagine. I think God probably just wanted Molly for Himself, and I guess I can’t blame Him.
So, here you go, God. Here’s your dog back, I guess. We hereby commit Molly to doggy heaven, which is probably nicer than regular heaven, if you think about it. Amen.”
We got Shadow a little more than a year after moving to Grove City. Back then, he was a tiny American Eskimo pup who wasn’t supposed to get bigger than a large cat. Shadow, however, would have none of that toy poodle style nonsense and ended up weighing a good 35-40 pounds and getting too big to keep indoors. For several years, he and Bear (an older Siberian Husky) would hang out in the back yard, Shadow roaming around and doing his thing (mostly trying to hump peoples’ legs) and Bear in his cage most of the day. Whenever we would let Bear out for his daily jaunt in the back yard, Shadow was like the small dog in a Looney Toons cartoon: jumping around to and fro, aggressive but playful. After Bear died, Shadow refused to go into his cage, eat or drink from his bowls, and certainly would never go into Bear’s doghouse.
During his prime, Shadow was a dog of action. If he liked you (i.e., you were family or friends), he would try to hump your leg. If he didn’t like you (a stranger), he’d try to attack. We had a “Beware of Dog” sign up on our fence to warn attempted entrants. One day, the meter reader, apparently disregarding the sign (because hey, who’s going to be intimidated by a dog who isn’t even 2 feet tall?), stuck his arm over the fence, maybe to try to pet Shadow and calm him down so the guy could jump over and write down the numbers he needed. Shadow, in response, completely tore off the sleeve of the guy’s flannel shirt. After this point, Shadow became “your dog,” in the sense that a very intemperate-looking woman politely but forcibly asked us, on a monthly basis, to restrain “your dog” so they could read the meter.
As he got older, Shadow began to mellow out a bit, and when we moved again, he enjoyed playing with the neighbors’ kids and grandkids. Sure, they were on the other side of the fence, but he’d run up and down with them, at least until he got tired. Sadly, his health started deteriorating, starting in winter of 2006. Shadow already had arthritis and, on a cold and icy morning, my parents brought him inside so he wouldn’t get too cold. After the sun came out and it warmed up a little, they sent him back out so he could do what dogs do. Unfortunately, he slipped when trying to go down the porch steps and tore a ligament in his back leg. Because he was too old for surgery, all we could do was to give him pain medication. He often refused to take it and his mobility deteriorated to the point where he couldn’t walk up the two steps anymore to get inside, so whenever it was time to take the dog in, he would sit in front of the steps and start barking, once every few seconds (in case we didn’t hear the first seven times), until we brought him in. At this point, Shadow decided that his quality actions merited a treat, so he would complain if you didn’t give him one…
As time went on, Shadow became an inside dog who stayed in the laundry room due to his never having been successfully potty trained—we tried once but it ended up not working out very well. He would lounge in the room in front of his fan and hang out until he wanted to go outside. His inside-outside-inside-outside antics would get on our nerves, but we put up with it—what else could we do?
Shadow liked the indoors game, but it was apparent that even this wasn’t helping him too much. Aside from arthritis and a torn ligament, Shadow developed an ear infection, an enlarged heart, and prostate cancer. In addition, he also lost most of his teeth and became nearly blind and deaf. We could get antibiotics for the ear infection, but if he took them too long, he would die, so the best we could do was to give him antibiotics when the infection was at its worst and stop after a few days, and just keep his ear clean. Shadow loved getting his ear cleaned out and would just melt like butter when my mom did it. Despite all of his problems, though, Shadow was still a happy dog, merrily sniffing the cats whenever he had an opportunity, enjoying his treks outside, and delighting in making us carry him up the stairs a few times an hour.
Last week, however, Shadow suffered a major stroke. He had had several seizures in the past, including a couple where he was likely to die, but this was different. After the stroke, he had trouble walking straight and couldn’t even make it down the stairs anymore. A couple of days later, my parents noticed that he was unable to do anything, just laying on the floor all day. My dad and brother eventually decided to go put him to sleep. Now he’s in doggy heaven, which is probably nicer than regular heaven, if you think about it… (more…)