Friday, 1 February 2013

In Memoriam

Fifteen years ago a family friend's dog had puppies. A fairly common event to be sure but from this litter came our Sabre. As a mix of what we believe to be pit bull terrier, red cattle dog and probably a polar bear you'd be forgiven for thinking she'd grow to be a vicious killing machine with wild eyes and pointy teeth. To the contrary, she was so loving I've had worse nips from guinea pigs. 
Her brown eyes exuded such benevolence. They reminded me of a cow, slightly sleepy and almost motherly. But at the hint of play they'd light up like she was 7 months old again.

As a puppy she would sleep in the clothes basket and chase carrots that we'd roll along the ground. At one point we gave her one of our old kids toys, a yellow rubber elephant, which went everywhere with her up to the day another dog broke it. 

She had a few strange habits. For one she loved walking under things like tablecloths and low shrubs. She'd do this very slowly with her tail sticking straight out behind her. Once the tip of her tail had been scratched she give a vigorous shake and trot off with it wagging behind her. She also loved soft drink bottles. It would impossible to count the hours she spent chasing them around the house. When she finally tired she chewed the cap off in victory. Her hearing was amazing. You could open a packet of chips in the kitchen and she'd come screaming in from wherever she happened to be sleeping to beg a treat from you. She loved sleeping in the sun so much her pink belly would turn red.
For my 10th birthday I got a cat. Chloe is her name. She has a story all her own. But once again you can take your expectations and put it in a pile labeled "Disregarded". Sabre was as much Chloe's dog as ours. She'd curl up in the dog bed, sometimes with Sabre, sometimes kicking Sabre out. Sabre would let the cat eat her dinner. If she was hungry enough she'd put her nose in the bowl too.

Not once did she show aggression to anything that wasn't in her bowl. 
As she got older and slower she also got fatter. Her neck melded with her back and her jowls sagged. When she trotted through the house the fish tank shook. Like most who live to old age she got arthritis. Eventually she needed to be carried up stairs. She also got a large tumor on her chest. But nothing would keep her from greeting you at the door when you came home. Tail wagging and tongue out ready to lick your shins.

On the 30th of January she passed. In Memoriam of the dog who loved all unconditionally.

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