January 20th, 2018



I buried Mesa this morning just on the other side of the wall at the foot of his namesake. I found a place with nice deep sand where I could dig a proper grave. Kitty helped me carry him up there and put him in his final resting place. It was fortunately below freezing last night so I was able to just keep him on the patio wrapped in his blanket which became his shroud. We have been reminiscing about him all day, thinking about his unique qualities which made his time with us so special.

He had an odd relationship with our cats. He and Diva essentially ignored one another. Yoink never liked him until the past year or so, then he warmed up to him. In the mornings I would somehow end up petting them both with one hand as I laid in bed. Yoink would give Mesa headbutts. Fling was definitely "his cat." She loved him. They would sometimes chase each other around the yard. Usually, though, she would just like to rub against his legs. He would then give her a big lick across her head. This morning she walked aimlessly around the kitchen meowing for her dog. It was so sad.

Over the years we developed a lot of nicknames for him. His "official" nickname was "90 pounds of love." He had many others. We called him "Emo Dog" because he was so empathetic. He would always sense if I was in a bad mood and slink off to hide. He would usually end up in the loft which then got the name of "Zoloft." So the phrase was usually, "Where's Emo Dog?" "Up in Zoloft." He was also so emo that he seemed to always think we were mad at him. He never outgrew his submissive peeing. If he thought we were mad at him he would roll over and dribble urine. Even when we were happy to see him, perhaps he had done something he thought was naughty and peed.

I went for walkies alone today and thought about things we frequently did. One of his names was "Dooker Dog." Whenever he took a dump I would usually sing a little ditty that went, "Dooker Dog! He's a dog that makes dooker...on the mesa...stinky dog!" He would always seem to uncannily go upwind of me when he dropped a load.

The neighbors gave him the nickname "Tramp" from "Lady and the Tramp." He frequently jumped over the wall and roamed the neighborhood, jumping over other walls to play with the dogs found behind. The neighbors didn't seem to mind since their dogs had a great time playing with him.

He was also known as "TV Junkie Dog." He loved to watch TV with us especially if there were other canines or horses on the screen. He was a big fan of "Game of Thrones." He would plop himself down and watch the show and then attack the screen when horses appeared. Several years ago when we were visiting Mom, he almost knocked her TV off the stand while we were watching a documentary about wolves.

Of course I can't forget the nickname my Mom gave him. To her he was the "The Big Galoot." Oh. And his Jewish name was "Mesavitz."

Over the years we also developed our own vocabulary between us. Of course his favorite word was "walkies." He would come flying down the stairs as soon as I started the phrase, "Do you want to go for walkies?" I usually never got past "Do" before he was heading for the door. That usually lead to another phrase, "Bounce! Spin!" He would get so excited that he would leap in the air and do a 360 turn. On walkies if I yelled "Yotie-O!," that would mean that I had spotted a coyote, and the chase would be on. He was definitely fearless against his wild cousins. Once when he was a pup he actually did a flying tackle on one. Less dangerous was the call of "Mr Bun Bun!" That would start the chase of a cottontail or a jackrabbit. The cottontails always double-backed on him while the jacks always left him in a cloud of dust. More recently I had developed "Qwark!" which was the signal for him to chase after ravens. For some reason he developed a real hatred toward those big black birds.

Other phrases used with him were "Lean!" since he would frequently lean his entire weight into your legs in order for you to give him pets. It was funny when you would suddenly move and he would fall over since he was pressed so hard against you. His release word for food was "goldfish." He was taught to only take food from someone only if they said that word first. It was supposed to be a unique word that only he would know so that a person couldn't give him poison. I'm not sure how effective the technique was, but we always said the word when we gave him food. And I would frequently spoil him by drizzling beef or bacon fat over his food. He knew it was always something special whenever I told him "Check your bowl. Good stuff!" And of course..."goldfish."

We also recalled some of his traits that went by the wayside. When he was a puppy, he had an underwear fetish. He loved to take dirty underwear out of the laundry basket. Once on walkies I turned around and saw him with a pair of underwear in his mouth. He had found a pair up on the mesa, obviously from someone who had been up there having sex. He also had a shoe fetish. I found several shoes buried in the yard. They had come from the neighbors. On his "Tramping" excursions he would sometimes grab a shoe that was sitting on a patio and bring it back to his yard. Fortunately the neighbors found the episodes funny as well.

At least the grass and garden will be spared now that he's gone. He was definitely a digger. He had his own "puppy bunker" in the lawn. It would be cute if I hadn't spent hundreds of dollars on landscaping. My pepper and tomato crop was also destroyed last year by him wanting a nice cool spot in the garden. Ah. The joys of pet ownership. Of course it's a double-edged sword. They bring problems and cost money, but they bring us so much joy and love. It's a weird feeling not having a dog in the house. There has been one since I moved in almost 19 years ago. Both Kitty and I agree that we want to take a break of having a dog. We want to travel and cats are a little less maintenance. We can now get new carpet without the fear of it being shit or pissed on which Mesa did on occasion. Cats just barf (which Mesa did too). So we'll just see how things go. I've now watched 2 dogs die and I really don't want to have to do that again.