On The Other Side of The Rainbow Bridge Now

On a bright and sunny day in April of 2010, we drove to the local dog pound. After touring the inside, we walked up to an outside cage. There sat a dog with floppy brown basset ears and a heeler body, poised at the front wall, right paw extended to greet us. Our first-grader shook his hand, and that was it. We took Tonto home.

Throughout years of trying and failing to give our son a sibling, pregnancies and miscarriages, Tonto was always there as his best buddy, to scamper up his playscape and run in the sprinkler with all the energy of youth. When we took him to the dog park, other dogs would run off leash like banshees terrorizing a village. But Tonto would walk up to the first human, sit and extend his right paw to shake. Once shaken, he would move to the next human and spend the entire hour greeting folks. Through two eye removal surgeries, he never lost his sweetness, learning to take life as it comes, with all of its challenges.

The day after Christmas, his breathing became labored, and we rushed him to ER on that same road where we had adopted him 12 years prior. Within minutes, the doctor came in and said a tumor had ruptured on his spleen, and his belly was full of blood. He didn’t have long. Tears spilled on the floor tiles as the three of us stroked his fur for the last time and told him how much we loved him. We were there with him as the doctor let him gently go.

I imagine he greeted Saint Peter at the pearly gates with a right paw shake, and then proceeded into heaven, making new friends. He really was a good boy.

Open Wide

Roxie, shown here, is our youngest pound dog. Tonto is our 13-year-old pound dog, now blind and sometimes incontinent if made to hold his bladder overnight. As such, he sleeps in a kennel now to prevent him from messing on a carpet, which though rare, has happened. Roxie has the run of the house each night, as she is master of her bladder. However, the past couple of months have seen her venture over to his kennel, a place she had never before visited. She began spending a few minutes in there each night. Was she marking it with her scent? Didn’t she realize she was the lucky one, free to roam about, not jailed?

Now she spends most of the entire night in his kennel, while he snuggles into a dog bed near the coffee table, the more sociable of the two. We’re not sure why the change in her behavior, as she used to enjoy being stroked and scratched in the living room. The kennel has been there for years, and she has only just now decided to make it her evening resting spot, though Tonto sleeps in it overnight. This shot took her unawares as I stopped mid-cooking dinner to venture over to the kennel. Perhaps of all the five dog beds, this one is just the floofiest.

The Downlow “Love It Or List It” Plant Shot

If y’all are big HGTV “Love It Or List It” watchers like we are, you’re familiar with this shot, the sneaky “eavesdropping on the couple as they chat” shot, taken either behind a kitchen plant or a neighborhood tree. As for this couple, I’m pretty sure they’ll love it.

Proper Pawmenship

Among my granddad’s endless child-of-the-Depression-era keepsakes (honestly, I should start a blog just called THAT, since it could last into the next century), was this signed (pawmenship, not penmanship) image of Rin Tin Tin himself. Does he look focused or forlorn? They really should have posed him looking up. In any event, he died the next year in 1932. Other RTT’s succeeded him, but he was the legit and only German Shepherd rescued from a World War I battlefield.

Far be it for KenL-Ration not to send advertising and pimp their products to young kids (like my gramps) who sent off for them. After all, it’s what Rin Tin Tin ate.

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