Deuce (1997 - 8/13/2010)
It was another one of those, "We're-having-a-new-baby-and-we- don't-want-the-old-dog" calls, that caused Jerry and me to drive to Southern California to pick up "Zeus" in San Luis Obispo. He was 10.5 years old at the time- just about three years ago.
It was "Deuce", who arrived in our home that summer, and after his very first meal in my office with the door closed for a newcomer's first meal, he ate the whole thing in a few gulps (everybody loves Jerry's cooking), pushed the door handle up with his nose, and enthusiastically trailed Jerry back to the kitchen. With handles instead of knobs on all our doors, we learned quickly that Deuce could not be confined just by closing a door (or kept out of the pantry). Thankfully, he never needed to be confined- as long as he got the first meal, he was a happy camper.
We did have to install baby latches on lower cabinets and the treat drawer - the guy was Houdini incarnated! He was Stu's best friend in that respect- Deuce would open the drawer and Stu would haul out all the bags of treats to share. When the plastic baby thingies broke, double bar stools blocked the drawer.
The Dude was also Stu's watchdog- he watched everything Stu did and regularly tattled and complained. Fortunately, Stu is a mild-mannered guy and never complained back- even when Deuce stood guarding the dog door, refusing to let Stu come in. Strangely, the girls could get away with anything at all- it was only Stu who required rescuing on occasion.
With Lumbrosacral Stenosis for almost the last year, and wearing an assistance harness for 6 months, if Deuce saw Stu head for the kitchen, he would struggle to get up and lumber after him growling and grumbling all the way. Deuce was noisy, but he was harmless.
Our home is awfully quiet now without our watchdog, and even with six more greyhounds, Jerry is downright lonesome - nobody sticks to his knees as Brynn and Deuce did. Will someone take over that vigilance for them? We'll see. Some holes just remain a void forever. Most of them, actually.
The Dude was a force. The void he leaves feels enormous right now. We wouldn't have missed three years of Deuce for anything in the world - but now, we must content ourselves with the fact that he's no longer lumbering- and falling - and struggling.
Run with the big dogs, Dude. Look for all your housemates at the Bridge, and save a space for Jerry and me!