Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Timber : More than a Dog

Losing a pet is never easy. Especially when that pet has been a member of the family for a decade. Timber started out as a dog Leanne and Mom impulsively bought when Dad was away on a fishing trip with Connor and Ryan and I was off at college. Dad was not pleased, to say the least, when he arrived home to see a white German shepherd standing on the couch filling up the living room picture window. He always joked that on seeing Timber when he drove into the driveway, he made the comment, "there's my boat." He went on to get a boat, but with mom and Leanne's purchase, he gained a friend. Leanne's ongoing complaint of Timber was that he was her dog but he liked Dad better than her. With Leanne being away at college for 4 years and Mom never very appreciative about the hair Timber left all over everything he came in contact with, Timber, perhaps instinctively, gravitated toward Dad. They kept the same hours, with Dad waking up before the ass crack of dawn and Timber there with him when he went out to get the paper. Dad also had the tendency to give Timber his leftovers. So of course the dog made the right choice.

Anyway, it is with a heavy heart, but one filled with fond memories, that I make a top ten list of moments shared with Timber, our family dog. (Family members were consulted for their thoughts)

10. The first time I met Timber. I came home from college for a long weekend and in the family room I waited for Timber to come in. When he did, he was a wild man on crack in the body of a dog. He ran so many laps around the room that not only was I dizzy from watching him, I was also exhausted. I have never, til this day, seen a dog with more energy.

9. If Timber was a human, he would have made a fantastic landscaper. In the second half of his life, Timber was so attached to Dad that he had to be outside if Dad was outside. And when Dad mowed the lawn, Timber followed him. Right behind him. When Dad reached the end of the yard and turned around, Timber did the same. He kept pace with Dad for the entire mowing session.

8. Timber kissing a coyote. Amazing things happen on good old Amaryllis Ave. One being that a coyote was roaming the street for a day. The coyote was in our backyard and Timber wanted to get outside to say hi. When he was mistakenly let out, the coyote jumped the fence, only to turn and attempt to stare Timber down. Timber, never one to be bashful, ran up to the fence and got nose to nose with the coyote. It was like he was meeting a long lost relative.

7. Timber, as scary and intimidating as he appeared when he was barking like a rabid mutt on the other side of the living room picture window, was a sweet heart and anxiety stricken. Much like babies have security blankets, Timber had his security bowl. Whenever he was nervous about a visitor, his bowl would be in his mouth. And nothing was funnier than Timber trying to be all intimidating by barking while holding the bowl in his mouth.

6. Timber had a nervous bladder. When he was young, he would lose control and pee whenever I would come home. He did this for a number of people. Mostly men. However, throughout his life, Timber held on to this tradition with Aunt Nancy. Even though this habit stopped for me and mostly everyone else, Aunt Nancy still tickled his sphincter muscle because he peed to years each time she came over. So much so that when she came in she would have to run straight to the back door and let him out.

5. Timber destroyed two of his cages. He loved his freedom. More than (insert racial joke). He loved his freedom so much that he figured out a way to break out of his second cage. When we tried to outsmart him with bungee cords, he outsmarted us and broke out with his revenge being pouring Liquid Tide all over the family room. Finally, we resorted to pad locking his cage. This only resulted in him pushing the bottom tray out of the cage which allowed him to walk around the house with the cage on his back. Eventually we gave up on locking him up.

4. Timber and I used to play ball in the backyard when he was younger. He would not stop running after the ball until I gave up or until I felt sorry for him because he was on the verge of throwing up. Anyway, on one such occasion of playing ball, Timber, somehow, stumbled upon a rabbit hole. Only because he couldn't catch the stupid ball and was pouncing all around the entrance of the rabbit hole while struggling to get it in his mouth. One baby bolted out of the nest. It got Timber's attention. The second little bunny wasn't as lucky. Timber just happened to be in the right place at the right time. He caught the little guy in his mouth. And it started screaming in bunny-speak. I freaked out. I tried to pry his mouth open to no avail. I yelled at him with no result. He ran up onto the deck and wanted to go inside while he had this creature in his mouth. I said, "No! Not until you get that out of your mouth!" He understood exactly what I said. So, he swallowed the little bunny whole. I was scarred for life (more like a week) and he was allowed in the house.

3. As a puppy, Timber got into a lot of trouble. He once stole a bottle of Wesson Oil from the kitchen and spilled it in the family room. Then, he thought it tasted so good that he ate the portion of the carpet that was soaked in Wesson. We covered that spot with a chair until we got new carpeting.

2. Leanne scared the poop out of him. Arriving home from a Bar Mitzvah with a crazy sombrero, Leanne ran into the family room. Timber was so frightened that he retreated backwards until he backed into Connor where he proceeded to poop. On Connor. I think he just used to sombrero as an excuse to poop on Connor. He always loved to mess with Connor.

1. Timber loved us. As rough as we played with him he knew his limitations. He would play extremely rough with us. No matter who was playing. But, each time he would go to bite our arms or legs, he would make like he was all ferocious and rabid, but it would be the most gentle bite ever. His teeth would be primed for the biting except he wouldn't bite. It felt more like he was gumming us. And then he would lick our arm or leg and then our faces. We could terrorize him and he would take it. He would lick us, kiss us, jump up on us, and that was it. He knew he was the stronger one in the fight, but he never tried to win the fight. He cared for all of us too much. He loved us so much. He knew when we were sick, or sad. He would be sad whenever any of us was leaving for an extended period of time. But he was never happier when we came home. If I could have one wish right now, it would be that when we get home from vacation, I'd get to see my doggy happy one more time.

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