This past week we tearfully said goodbye to our 12 year old golden retriever, Ole. As I write this blog, I can still hear his panting, and if I looked down from my desk, I’m sure to see his soulful eyes looking up at me, smiling with his big wet tongue hanging out of his mouth. He was a gorgeous retriever with a spirited personality which was at once endearing and annoying.
We dubbed him ‘The Most annoying Dog’ when he was a puppy, thinking that he’d out grow this mischievous stage. He never did. I once asked our Vet if a dog could have ADD. Watching him careen around the exam room with a box of dog treats stolen from the shelf in his mouth, she suggested a drug called Coma Calm. My husband refused to put him on any sort of drug. The next Saturday, I awoke to the sound of my husband hollering. I jumped out of bed, following the shouts to the garage. My husband looked like a madman standing in front of his sports car with Ole at his feet, panting happily. At some point in the night, Ole had decided to climb up the hood of the car to sleep on the canvas roof. His nails had made deep gouges across the hood where he struggled to pull himself up onto the canvas top where a nest of his light golden fur attested to his success. My husband turned to me and said, “Get the Coma Calm.”
Ole was on the drug for only a week. The change in his personality was something like Woody Allen in the movie, Sleeper. We wanted Ole back. I could write a book about his antics; I don’t know how many ‘chew proof’ dog beds we bought over the years but every one ended up destroyed. He once chowed down an entire bottle of Tylenol and then proceeded to vomit all over the living room. There was the roast turkey resting on the kitchen counter which ended up on the floor half eaten by Ole by the time I returned to the kitchen. And then there was the time he ravenously consumed 5 pounds of grapes. We forced a turkey baster filled with hydrogen peroxide down his throat to make him vomit the grapes since they are toxic to dogs.
After all this, year after year, you would think we’d be relieved that Ole was gone. We are heartbroken. I’d give anything to look out the back door to see our beautiful dog ripping up a pair of my gloves, flashing his mischievous grin and then playfully run from me while I chased him. Then, of course, he’d ply me with wet kisses while I picked up the remains of my gloves strewn across the yard. One more time I wish I could run my fingers through his luxuriant fur. One more time I’d like to kiss the top of his head that smelled like carmel corn. One more time…