Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Farewell, Faithful Hound
Sebastian's all-too-short life ended today, unexpectedly, unfairly, inexplicably. He had to be put to sleep after a week of illness: we and the vet thought it was gastroenteritis, that he had eaten something that disagreed with him, and that in a few days he'd be back to his hungry happy old self. Unfortunately we were wrong. His kidneys just stopped functioning. And now he's gone.
He was John my son-in-law's dog. When John would have nightmares of battlefields and wake disoriented, Sebastian was there on the bed beside him to lick his face; if John thought he heard something odd in the night, Sebastian was his key to what was real and what was dream-farts. When the pain from John's back sent him to lie in bed, Sebastian was always glad to climb onto the bed and snuggle against his daddy. And watch him, waiting for John to open his eyes so that he could sneak a lick on John's eyeballs.
He was Lillian's dog. He was her first puppy, her playmate in the pool (for hours at a time), her warm pet to share a couch with while she listened to music or watched videos on her tablet. He was her trainer on how to be a dog owner, how to walk with a dog on a leash.
He was Alex's dog. All the dogs she had in her life before were my dogs, Bernie's dogs. Sebastian was her first doggy clay to train, and what a perfect gentleman she made of him. She taught him to heel, to sit, to lie down; she taught him to fetch and release a toy, to pick up any object and put it in John's hand so that he wouldn't have to bend as often. He was her Good Little Dog.
He was our dog, too. From the time he was a puppy, one of his favorite things was to shove himself between people's legs. I'd tickle him in the ribs when he did that, and he would stomp and huff with pleasure. He would climb into Bernie's lap for close-up cuddling. He was once even a Peek of the Week on the Piker Press, and later I used his eyes for part of the illustration for Kimberly Zeidner's story, "Paradoxica."
Sebastian, you've left a big hole in our household, and we will miss you so much.