First published 7/30/10
Journal #6: A Great Teacher
I never thought there would be an end to the teething, chewing up my slippers,jumping on furniture, and just outright defiance sometimes. There was one time when he barked his puppy bark and I remember getting on the couch scared for my life at this mini-beast that didn’t want to listen. Or the time when we both got stuck outside in the rain after I got mad at him and slammed the sliding door. Eddy would have to chase him around the house after some minor infraction distracted from whatever he was doing, just to focus in on a dog and his needs. Those visits to the vet meant heaving him up into the CRV and dealing with the slobbers near Eddy’s ear. Beau was always excited on car trips and it took a while for Eddy to be able to go alone. I remember holding him on my lap those first few times. Then when he grew too big for that, it meant tackling with a big head dog that wanted to be your assistant driver.
Hearing Dee tell me the phases would come and go and that I had to stick with it. Having Phia laugh at me for all those antics that had me pulling out my hair. Having Lyzette, not really understanding, but willing to hear me voice my frustrations anyway. He would always surprise me with his progress and I knew that those moments were all worth it.
You know when they said that a dog was a man’s best friend, they really meant that. There is no human being on this earth that would ever love you like a dog will. Cats have their ways, birds theirs, each other animal special in their own right. But a dog, ahh, there is no other specimen that would get his nose popped one minute and be right there to walk with you the next. Beau’s ears would flip back and his tail would curl in when he knew he was in trouble. Yet those same ears would perk up and tail would wag when he was happy to see us after a long day of being in the house alone. Leaving him in the early years would be unsettling. I would feel guilty because he didn’t have another pet to keep him company. He always knew when we were leaving. He’d go off to lay by himself with his back turned to us. That was his way of saying he was none too pleased with us. He’d get quiet and just stare off into space.
But when we got home, boy he’d be all over the place! I had started the whole “daddy’s home” thing and he knew that Eddy was coming through the door. Him and I would open the door for Eddy and wait for “daddy” to come inside. I knew that Eddy would like that as it meant that his family was excited to see him.
There aren’t enough pages to write about a dog who brought happiness to not just Eddy and I but to the children he came in contact with. I had to break the news to the parents of our two older god-children (Jerry & Destinee) who had spent considerable time with Beau over the years. Destinee was the brave one who took full ownership of Beau as her first pet. She belonged to him when she spent nights with us. There was Christmas Eve when she pestered Beau so much he had to go off to be by himself. Destinee was the affectionate type and Beau loved every minute of it. I have the pictures of her giving him a bath. Destinee did what very few adults would do and for that she’s our brave girl.
Now Jerry took some warming up to Beau. Had it not been for his younger brother Tyler (who had no qualms about playing with a dog twice his size) Jerry may have never developed the friendship they now have. Beau became their “ball catcher” and a lot of time was spent outdoors. Beau was the type to adapt to whoever he was with. With me, it was long lazy days indoors in the AC (something he loved). With Eddy it was rough play and the occassional walks (Beau’s hip dysplasia kept us from taking him out much) but he was always game for the short walks around the block. Beau knew us intuitively. When Eddy and I would hug, he’d try to bump us so that he would be included in the group hug. When we would play hide and seek, he’d whine if we didn’t show ourselves after a while (thanks Dee for that game.) And when Eddy and I would play fight and I would yelp from all the tickling, Beau would come to the bedroom’s threshold ears perked ready for whatever. He was my protector and I knew he was my ride AND die.
When Eddy and I would spar, we’d end up talking to Beau and use him as the mediator in our spats. All our comments would be directed to Beau who would perk up when he heard his name and just stare at us, puzzled at what the all the fuss was about.
Beau was always patient when I had some idea on how to dress him up. Eddy would give his condolences and leave the room so as not to embarass the poor dog. Last Christmas he was an elf. I always hated the fact that I could never find anything that would fit that monster head of his. I never wanted a fru-fru dog so that meant no “girly” stuff for him!