Oscar (L) & Sherman (R)

Oscar (L) & Sherman (R)
The boys, happy and healthy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Saying Goodbye to a Friend, Part I

 On Tuesday, May 6th 2008 I lost a friend.  My dog, Sherman, who had been living with my parents, had deteriorated to a point where he might have been in pain and was, most definitely, no longer mobile.  I know very little of the details of his passing as that is a blog for another day.

I know, I know, everyone's dog is the best dog there ever was, but Sherman really was a gem.

I didn't want a dog.  I really didn't.  In the fall of 1998 I was married, working part-time and going to school full-time.  My husband, John, and I had only recently purchased the condo we were living in and I was at my maximum capacity for additions to my already packed schedule.  As was typical of my husband, he decided that he wanted a dog and there would be no turning back.  Dog books were purchased, painstakingly poured over looking for the perfect breed for our (his?) lifestyle.  And then he decided:  A Boxer.

Before long, there was an advertisement in the newspaper for a litter of Boxer puppies and off we went to see them.  The puppies had been born on Thanksgiving we were told by the immaculate, effeminate breeder who had been kicking his Christmas decorating into high gear when we arrived.  The house was bedazzled with miniature Christmas scenes and he had been preparing some sort of dough, probably a batch of cookies.  His voice was shrill over the Christmas music, telling us that the dogs would be available by mid-January after they were weaned ( I have always thought that Sherman could have used two more weeks with his mother than he got).

The breeder brought us into the room with the puppies and they were all in a box piled on one another sleeping peacefully.  Brindle and fawns in equal proportions, they sort of looked like hamsters.  And then they woke up.  It was chaos:  biting and playing/creeping around in a tiny puppy fashion.  And then, there he was.  A little fawn plowed his way through the masses curled up and went back to sleep, his brothers following suit until they all had settled back down.  For me, that was it.  I already didn't want a dog, but since I didn't have that choice at least I would pick the dog out of the pile.  And I wanted the one who liked to sleep.  His name was evident to me:  Sherman.  Like the tank.  It fit him perfectly.  My husband let me name him too, maybe it was his idea of a peace offering, I still don't know.

Despite the fact that I didn't want him, I don't have a hardened heart by any means and the little guy had won me over very quickly.  I had zero time to devote to the training of a dog, but it had to be done.  My husband was just terrible at dog training.  I am thankful that we never raised a child together.  Dogs require the ultimate in consistency and everything for them is black and white, my husband didn't understand this.  In the springtime, John was washing his car and playfully spraying Sherman.  Sherman loved this!  He barked and chomped at the spray of water in total delight.  When John resumed his car washing, Sherman continued to bark and bite at the hose wanting to continue the fun.  I heard from inside the house John yelling and scolding Sherman.  I broke up the fight, tried to explain to John that the dog does not have the reasoning ability to know that it's okay to play with the hose sometimes and sometimes not.  Consistency is the key!

1 comment:

sparky said...

sherman. what a great name

the details of my, 'the most handsomest dobie on the planet' passing are peculiarly wonderful, and i'm gearing-up for #2 son's passing soon?, so, i understand your 'space' right now. they really are wonderful companions, in-that, they're much more consistant than humans

Sherman at Christmas 2007

Sherman at Christmas 2007
Feeling the love with Auntie Donna

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