He entered our lives in the Fall of 1997, a reddish furball of Collie and Australian Shepherd mix. We had just lost our 12 year old Beagle not long before. “No, let’s wait a while I said…it’s too soon.” But hubby had other ideas! And….who could say no to that face! That’s when Dodge entered our home.
Carmen, our first grandchild, was just over 18 months in this picture. It started Dodge on a long road to LOVING kids! He lived through 9 grandkids tugging on him…#10, almost 6mos old, won’t remember the big dog…but Dodge knows he’s another family member!
Dodge grew into a big dog, the size of a Collie, and to some probably looked like he’d take your arm off at the elbow! But he was as gentle as they came. Everybody was a friend and came to visit him not us! He had a way of talking when people came in the house, not barking, but talking. I guess letting us and them know someone was here and how happy he was to see them. Some people even talked back in “Dodge talk”!
I’m going to miss that… as he got older and started losing his hearing, he did that less and less…. one day he stopped doing it altogether.
Fall of 99
If you were outside, so was he! He loved the outdoors and sometimes it was hard to get him inside!
Our road was his road, the neighbors his neighbors and he’d visit often. He’d even escort walkers and joggers for a short distance down his road.
He lived through being hit once, chasing a rabbit across the road.
Funny thing with him…I don’t know that I remember him ever killing a rabbit. But always in the summer, he’d find a bunny nest, bring a baby or two up in the yard…. put them down in front of him and wait.
Have you ever heard a rabbit squeal? Well, they do! Kind of like a squeaker toy.
He’d paw at them to make them ‘squeak’! When they’d stop he’d paw again!! As long as they kept squeaking he stayed there! Usually someone rescued the poor thing or it died from the trauma. Silly dog!
The mail carrier, UPS, Fed-ex drivers all knew him and he knew they had treats! It was always funny if we had a sub and to watch Dodge greet them! They were sure they were his next meal!
From 2012…with his buds, Bandit and Jack
He started slowing down the last year or so, his jaunts not lasting quite so long, not wanting to stay outside as long and finally his hearing. CLAP CLAP to get his attention, often startling him. Poor guy.
It was hard for him to get down and up the back steps, something he'd done for almost 17 years. So, we started letting him out the front door, only 2 steps. Let me tell you, old dogs DO NOT learn new tricks. He’d come to the back door every time to be let in! One of us would have to go out, CLAP CLAP, C’MON DODGE… and slowly he’d amble to the front door where he’d need a little help getting up those 2 steps.
He had no strength in his legs and on the vinyl flooring it was like walking on ice! We put scatter rugs down to help him make it through the house.
Sleeping more and more… it was time to have “the talk”… we knew it needed to be done, but it’s so hard!
One of his favorite places… by the front door, sound asleep.
Saying goodbye… his pals were with him until the end. He even got to say goodbye to the littlest one, Daniel.
It was a beautiful evening when the vet came, even then he was happy somebody came to see him! He enjoyed some last scratches…
No more suffering now, he’s at rest. Probably running chasing those baby bunnies so he can make them SQUEAK!
Goodbye, Dodge… till we see you again.