Monday, December 22, 2008
Indiana is the name of our sweet golden retriever. We went to the breeder before he was born and chose the mom & dad of the litter & then specified the sex. He was born on Dec. 27, 1999, & at five weeks old, we went and picked him out of the litter. We had to wait to get him until he was eight weeks old. Our three children were gone that weekend and we had him waiting when they got home; he was such a beautiful puppy. Since that time, he has brought us tremendous joy & love. Even though he's a big dog, we wanted him to be indoors with us so we could really have him as part of our lives.
This is the dog that loved everyone & knew no stranger. We used to say that if anyone ever came in the house to rob us, he'd say - Come on in! Party's here!!. My daughter came up with the idea of introducing him as - This is Indiana.....Indiana Bones. Pretty cute, huh, especially since we were all Indiana Jones fans. My DH used to take him out in the truck with him sitting on the console watching it all. Of course, that seat didn't last too long as he grew.
He loved to escape from the outside door & comb the entire neighborhood, as we're attempting to catch him. Of course, all it took was for someone besides the family to call him or be outside. Our neighor's son became the pro at going to get him, for which we are eternally grateful!
Indiana became afraid of the dark or thunderstorms after several years, though we never knew which one exactly started it. Sort of a vicious cycle. Then he'd park himself right by your side or under your feet if he could. He would have given anything to be a lap dog, but he just didn't fit.
His breath would absolutely knock you over, but he loved you! I used to say, who needs men when you have Indiana. He'd burp, snore, poot, roll around, and whimper while he slept. Mooching or scarfing food was one of his favorite pastimes & he was good, really good at it. It all started when my son had made this really great sandwich he'd been looking forward to. He went to answer the phone and left it on the counter. Well, you guessed it. When he turned around, no sandwich & innocent Indiana is licking his chops! We learned to never leave food in his range or hold something in your hand by your side. He could beg with the best of them by simply looking at you and edging closer. I don't think he ever got full in his life. Food was always something to bargain for, especially peanut butter.
He was always waiting for you at the door with his tail wagging 60 mph. Indiana loved for you to pet him and would sit perfectly still or lean so hard against you, because he relaxed so much, that he would just about knock you over.
He used to be terrorized by our seven pound demon cat (he was 70 pounds), but he figured it out after awhile. She'd whip up on him and he'd just sit there and take it. She'd sail on him and attack his jowls and bite the mess out of him, until he finally got tired of it and trapped her with his paw. Too funny and you'd think he'd have killed her to hear her screech. But then she'd go back again.
Indiana's favorite thing in the world to do besides eat, was to play with DH & DS. They'd get on the floor and wrestle, roll, and heaven knows what else. You'd have thought he was eating them to listen to him growl and bark, but it was all play. He slept in DS' room whenever DS was home and it was always his "safe" room. If there were a thunderstorm or power outage and we weren't around, he'd head up there to stay. Later, when DD was home, he'd sleep in there, too.
This Sun., early in the morning, we unexpectedly lost our sweet dog. His last act at home was trying once again to mooch some food off someone when he collapsed. After the trip to the emergency vet, we learned how bad things really were. There was little warning, and he'd been fine and running around as he always had. At least we know that he was happy and had no suffering. We had to make the decision to let him go and at 5:30 AM Dec. 21, six days shy of his 9th BD, we said good-bye to Indiana.
Strangely now, our house seems so quiet. I didn't realize how often I heard him moving around if I were in another room. He'd shake his head & I'd hear the collar and tags. Funny the things you don't think about beforehand. While we are all really sad about our loss, I know how privileged we were to have him for the time that we did. He was one of the best examples of unconditional love I think I've ever seen. My DH used to tell people jokingly that one of his goals in life was to get his wife and kids to love him the way his dog did. :)
Even though we've had dogs in the past and may do so again in the future, I don't know if there will ever be one quite like him. So I feel blessed to have had him as part of our family. He will never be forgotten.