I spent the night up with Elway. It wasn’t as if I needed some sleep anyways. We watched some late night movies and he threw up all over me. It wasn’t good. He would take a drink, whine and then go to the bathroom outside. I was tired I fell asleep on the kitchen linoleum with a bag of Iams as my pillow. I don’t remember making my bed of dog food but I woke up a short time later wondering, what I was thinking? Can you tell I have had 13 of 14 nights with no sleep? Late in the morning he started shaking so I took him upstairs and wrapped him in covers on our bed. He seemed to do a little better this morning but @ about 4:00 a.m. I didn’t think he was going to make it. We are taking him to the vet this afternoon.
I got about 3 hours of sleep last night but I just had a long walk and am hoping I can fake the pain out long enough to get a nap while Mark is at his Halloween party at the school. For all you fundamentalists out there, I do let Mark go trick or treating. This year he is going as Rocky from Rescue Heroes (which despite being really popular do not have a website). Condemn me in the comments below. The only bad thing is that I can’t have any left over candy.
Back to Elway, we had to put down a couple of dogs. My first dog was Tigger. I think we got him before I went to kindergarten. He was a black poodle that I wanted to name Brownie after a horse in one my story books. My mom later joked that it was her first clue that I wasn’t going to be a child prodigy. A couple of years later, Lloyd decided to teach him to ride in the back of the truck (we lived in Calgary, everyone in Calgary has a truck). Anyways, he fell out of the truck and suffered brain damage (that’s my dad, never has been able to foresee the consequences of his actions) and had to be put down.
I still remember the night I got Misty (actually Misty II as she was named after my grandfather and mom’s favorite dog). We had just moved from Calgary to Saskatoon and I was having a hard time adjusting to a new school, a new city, and new life. I was at hockey that night and the family down the block whose son was my team mate and friend often would take me to the game. After almost every game, he would phone my mom and tell her that he was taking “the boys” (there were a couple of us he would jam into his car) out for “drinks” which meant some sodas and pizza after our hard fought game. This time he came back to me and said, “Your mom isn’t home” but he had phoned his wife and Mom hadn’t left a phone message so he assured me that she would be able to figure out where I was. I got home that night and Mom said that she had a surprise for me. I didn’t have any high expectations because we were broke at the time. The next thing I know is that she pulled this little Lab/Cocker Spaniel pup out of a box and gave her to me.
That night we had set up a box for Misty to sleep in. Blankets, a ticking clock because we heard that comforts puppies, and a little stuff lamb. Every time I put the dog in the box, Misty cried. When I put her on the bed, she slept. Box cried, bed slept. Box cried, bed slept. Box cried, bed slept. Box cried, bed slept. Box cried, bed slept. Box cried, bed slept. Box cried, bed slept. Box cried, bed slept. Box cried, bed slept. Box cried, bed slept. I was in grade five. I just wanted to sleep. From that night on, that dog slept somewhere on the bed for 15 years. Misty wasn’t supposed to be allowed upstairs. That dog crept step by step, inch by inch over a decade so she would be able to be in the formal family room. Later she would lay in the middle of it when we weren’t there and if we would catch Misty off guard, we would come in and see a dog with it’s head under the sofa and her entire body in plain view with her tail slightly wagging as if to say, “I can’t see them, they can’t see me. All is good”.
Misty never seemed to age but one day she cried and couldn’t get off my bed. I was in college and took Misty to the vet. They said it wasn’t a problem but $900 later, she had to be put down.
Wendy and I lived in an apartment when we were first married. The day we moved into our house, December 15th, there were boxes everywhere and I said to her, “Let’s go to the SPCA and look at a dog”. We didn’t see any but on the way out, they said, “What about this dog?” It was Elway and he was too big for a small house. They mentioned that he had been there for a long time and was going to be put down. I don’t know if that was true but Wendy started to cry and $100 later, Elway was riding in the back of our car into the city. I was pretty cranky and really felt manipulated. I was thinking of taking him back in the morning but that night Elway placed his pay in Wendy’s hand as she slept and by morning, there was no way I could have taken Elway back. Since then he realized who the big dog was and has become my constant sidekick. I love driving to Spiritwood with him. He doesn’t sleep but manages to put himself in a position where I can pet him while I drive.
His greatest moment came just after Mark was born. A large drunk man barged into the house while Wendy was feeding Mark. She hadn’t locked the door (we live in Saskatchewan, no one ever locks their doors) but Elway barked and snarled and held is ground until the drunk guy decided he didn’t want to mess with him and Wendy could call 9-1-1).
Elway is only 8 and I hope has a lot of years left in him. If he just hang on for a couple more days.