Saturday, January 29, 2011

In Memory Of Our Tex

A year and a day ago we made the difficult decision to put to rest our beloved, Siberian Husky x Lab, Tex. He would have been 9 years old on February 21, 2010.

He became ill shortly after Christmas. It was discovered that he had a ruptured stomach tumor. Our Vet knew and came to love him as much as we did and let us know that he would do all he could but the outcome would be "He will no longer be Tex".  Need I say more on our decision.

I'll never forget the day I picked him up from the SPCA. I was on their website and saw a dog that appealed to me so I headed over there, a 45 minute drive.  As I got out of the truck, a little boy comes out the door with the hugest smile on his face, holding a leash.  On the end of that leash was the dog I had come to look at.  I sighed but also smiled at how much joy that little dog was going to give the young fellow.  I went in, in the hopes they had a similar small dog.  Turns out, they didn't.  I was looking for a small dog, perhaps not more than 20 pounds. As I walked through the kennel, every other dog was barking except for Tex.  There he sat, quiet as a mouse, looking up at me with his big brown eyes as if to say, "Please, get me out of here." I asked to see him and they put us in a private room.  I asked him all the basic commands and he knew them well.  I must have called my husband 4 times with, he's a really big dog, about 70 pounds more then what I came for.....and another million things. I must admit, I was hooked instantly. As I filled out the forms he sat there with his head on my lap looking up at me.  I'm thinking, I'm getting you out of here and he's probably thinking "what's taking so long, let's go already".  He was 9 months old at the time.

He had many favorite things some of which were:

Watching TV. Especially dog shows. One time a dog went off screen and Tex got up very quickly to go behind the TV thinking it was there. It was so funny.

He LOVED Popsicles and somehow always knew when there were some in the freezer.  This is my favorite picture of my husband giving him one on a very rare occasion that he got to have one. The sugarless kind I might add.

His best friend was David, the little boy of some friends of ours. The first time they met David whacked him a good one in the face for no apparent reason. We had only had Tex for a month by then and I froze terrified at what Tex might do. He sat down and tilted his head as if to say "what'd you do that for?".  All was well and I knew that he would be extremely gentle with children. These two were inseparable.  As soon as we would walk into their house, David would grab Tex by the collar and take him to his room and close the door. You could hear David chat away to him and Tex was always very attentive. This picture was taken on the morning of David's first ever sleep over, which happen to be at our house.  A big event in this little boy's life.  Tex was trained to sleep in his own bed. For that night only when I put David to bed I let Tex sleep at the foot of the bed. I whispered in his ear "You keep David safe. He's a little nervous without his Mom and Dad." That dog did not move all night.  The next morning I caught them "reading".  A true Kodak moment.

He was also very affectionate towards the little girl next door by the name of Amanda. They were only a few months apart and it was rather neat watching them grown up together. Once Amanda, she was maybe 3 years old, came over on her own to play with Tex. Good thing I was home when she rang the bell. After that, her parents made sure the door was locked at all times. One Christmas we made her a photo album of pictures of her and Tex.  She would sleep with it under her pillow.

He was a hit with the seniors too.  Grandma needed 24 hour care and we visited her 3-4 days a week. Once we got on the ward I felt secure letting Tex roam the ward and the residents looked forward to it. The minute he was let loose he would head into a woman's room and you would hear "You're here". You see, she saved her toast for him.  We have a friend who is on oxygen and walks with a walker. Tex went for a walk with him, without a leash, and never left his knee. He just knew.

We use to have a lake lot and he loved laying in the sun. He could hardly wait to get out there. One night a drunk man tried to break into our trailer. Tex and I were there by ourselves and there was no way, no how that man was getting near me. Tex let him know who the boss was and it was quite intimidating when he was in protective mode. Quite a few people thought he was a German Shepherd because of his coloring. That was fine by me. A contractor came to our home once and when he saw Tex he asked me to tie him up in the backyard.  Tex was letting me know this fellow was not safe to be around. I told him "Sorry mister if you can't be around my dog in his own house I guess you can't do the work".

Here's Tex looking after Frankii on the day that we move to our new house. Frankii is barely 5 months old here and Tex is 6 years old. Tex would show him the ropes and made sure he followed the rules. He was extremely protective over him.  We grate trained Frankii and when he would cry Tex would lay by the door to keep him calm.  Every once in awhile Tex would have to put Frankii in his place but not very often. He was very tolerate of all the things that Frankii would do to him like grab at his ears and paws like young pups do.

It took them awhile to get use to all the new sounds in the country.  We would often catch them together at the window.

Frankii actually sat at this very window for two weeks straight wondering when Tex was coming back. It was heartbreaking and hard to distract him. We've lived through it and come out just fine. Maybe one day we'll get Frankii another friend, we tried that for 3 months and it just didn't work out.  The other dog was just too aggressive towards Frankii. For now Frankii is very happy chasing that squirrely squirrel and "dating" Dolly.


Regina Andari said...

If Tex could read, he would be so proud that you have honored his memory so sweetly AND that you totally understood him and saw all of his goodness. I think what he was really communicating with you that day you found him was, "Please . . . I must get out of here. There are humans in that world that need to know my love and those who will fall in love with me." You definitely found the PERFECT companion that day. And so did Tex. ;-) Thanks for sharing so much about him!

Anonymous said...

Very Very well said Julie. I too have lost a dog & when you realize that perfect dog you had can never be replaced, its best to keep the memories of Tex alive in your hearts. Somehow I think Frankii knows there is only 1 brother for him & hes gone so I think Frankii is best being a only dog. After all hes got Dolly. Sorry about Tex & I understand just what you & Evan are going through. Take Care & Keep smiling


Lindy said...

I lost my beloved Chance this year, four months ago. what a sweet tribute to Tex. Thank you for sharing.
Lindy aka Linda from MGC yahoo group

kel said...

i was captivated by this story! what a great dog. and the pictures were worth a thousand words.

Patrice H said...

I am so happy you wrote this story. You made me have such fond memories of out Smoky dog. Frankie will be in my heart forever!