Saturday, March 7, 2015

Dion the Dog

We had to bid a sad farewell to our beloved dog, Dion on February 28th.  At 11 years old,  our grey chinned dog's health had slowly been ailing over time.  He's had arthritis for a couple of years, but would still run and jump and play with our boys without any complaint of pain.  A couple of months back he started eating less and I noticed that he'd lost a little weight, which soon turned into a lot of weight and after Dawson arrived it had escalated.  Corey, amongst all the other family issues we've been dealing with, had even been buying and regularly feeding him all kinds of soft dog food, which prior to this had been a treat for Dion.  At first, he'd eat more, then less and less and at the end, Corey was trying to spoon feed our poor dog.  I think Corey's true feelings (he's been hiding them for years!) for our family pet came through in his last weeks and days as he tried all he could to make Dion happy.  In the end, as he just wouldn't eat, we made the decision we'd been putting off.  Corey and my dad (who was in town visiting) made Dion a comfy spot in the back of the car, we all said our tearful goodbyes, Dion met Dawson nose to nose, and off they drove to the vet so our big boy could go to heaven.  A couple of minutes out, Asher had me call them back so he could take some last pictures with his new camera.  It was a very sad time for all of us, and we'll miss him a lot(despite some of his annoyances).  He really was a pretty cool dog.

Memories of Dion and things I will miss the most: 
I remember driving home with him after picking him up from the Animal Shelter. He was whining and crying loudly in the kennel in the back of the car.  I pulled over, sat him in the front seat and drove, probably very unsafely, the rest of the way home. He was content and happy, tail wagging like crazy.  I was so excited to get him home!

He continued to whine and cry outside when not with us so we had to bring him in whenever we were home (we were both working full time).  Whenever we were gone, he smooshed himself beneath the BBQ grill.  Most days we'd find him there when we came least for as long as he fit!

I remember a time that Laurie and Ryan (my siblings) came to Albuquerque to visit.  I wasn't home from work yet, but had told them to come on in and get settled.  It had been an unusually rainy day, and Ryan saw my dog sitting outside on the lawn looking big, sweet and cuddly.  He decided to go and pet him and quickly found out he was more exuberant than he'd looked, and quickly came back in all muddy and loved by Dion.  Ryan...looks can be deceiving!

When I was pregnant with Asher and on bed rest I had Dion in with me all day, laying next to the couch I laid on.  It was great having him there, except for the one time he bolted out the front door when someone came to visit.  I couldn't run after him, but he soon came back and laid on the front porch.  He always came back and hung out on the porch, waiting for us. 

When Ash was about a year and a half or so, Dion had started looking a little, er, chubby, so I'd walk him around the neighborhood with a dog pack loaded up to help him get in some exercise.  What a sight we, baby in stroller, and our black pack animal.  Good times.

Dion was always the best doorbell.  I knew someone was coming to our house before they'd even parked in our driveway.  He was good.  And I always knew when Corey was home because he would run up to the backdoor and wait instead of barking alertly.  Smart boy.  I'll miss that a lot.

Every time Corey went out of town, I knew I was safe because we had a huge, crazy black dog in our backyard and I knew he'd bark like crazy if anyone came near our house.  I will miss that too.

Dion was a chewer.  Over the years we've found remnants of sand toys, gardening gloves, socks, wiring, tennis balls (unrecognizable), and anything he could get his teeth into including the doorway to his own dog house.  Oddly enough though, whenever one of our boys' shoes went missing, the first thing to assume was that they'd left them outside.  My first thought would always be, "Oh great, Dion for sure chewed up your shoe!"  But he never did.  Not even once.  And many a shoe would go missing, sometimes pairs, sometimes just one.  We would find those shoes in shallow mounds of sand and dirt all over the yard and besides being very dirty they were always perfectly intact with no sign of teeth marks.  That always made me laugh.

Dion loved to play with the boys.  Beckett would always try to get him to do tricks, and was sometimes successful.  Dion would sometimes get the treat before the trick and that wasn't quite as motivating.  He loved to hang out and watch Asher shoot the basketball.  He'd lay to the side of the hoop, right in front of the name it.  He just wanted to be near him.  He'd also lay in the sandbox while the boys played in there...his paws would be propped up on the edge of the box, head resting happily on top.  He just loved to be with my boys!

Dion, we all miss seeing that mound of black fur sleeping by the back door, but we know that you're in a better place, without pain, eating well and happily chewing on anything you choose.  We love you and miss you buddy.