Never have I written about the dog I grew up with. His name was Tux. He was a beautiful red and white Cocker Spaniel with a creamy white strip of fur on the top of his head down thru the sides of his jowls. There were small tan speckles near his nose. His entire underside was the same creamy white as the strip continuing from his head and going between his eyes on down beyond his nose. One paw was a speckled creamy white. All the rest of his fur was a splendorous rusty red. He was my love growing up.
We lived very near a park in a nice residential area with a fairly nice-sized yard in a craftsman-style home with a basement where we played ping pong on a table our Dad made. It also had a great covered front porch. But we did not have a fenced area.
We had plenty of neighbors with dogs also. The next door neighbor’s dog was a big guy and he and my Tux just ‘put up’ with one another…they were not great friends by any means. Maybe they both went after the same females…I’m guessing…or they were just making sure the other didn’t trespass into their respective territories.
We walked all over the nearby area, especially the park. It had a great pond for all the ducks and lots of fun walking trails. Tux and I knew them all and loved strolling there quite often. We were definitely best pals.
One late afternoon, as we were starting to walk back home, a man literally stepped out of the bushes and asked me to accompany him back into the bushes. I guess he missed seeing Tux. Tux was a great protector. He growled and snarled ferociously. I could barely keep hold of him on leash. But he did the job. The man quickly disappeared back to wherever he came from. I was only about 10 years old at that time. Tux got a great dinner that night and quite a few well-deserved treats afterwards.
My best friend, Tux. He liked to wander. Probably about the time the females normally went into heat . Either that or he had a secret ‘love’ somewhere in town, cause he would disappear sometimes for several days. As I mentioned earlier, we had no fence.
I was about 12 years old when Tux, after one of his wandering sprees, came back home to us. This time he had developed a horrible skin disease and he was suffering. After having our local vet examine him, it was decided we needed to put him down. I could see the sorrow and agony in his eyes. It is so hard to lose a beloved pet, your best friend as a kid, and part of your family. And making that decision is a total heartbreaker.
I believe it is one of our growing moments in life…grieving, feeling the loss, remembering, and continuing on…sadly but savoring our very fond memories.
A note about a recent cat food recall in Pet Age: https://www.petage.com/j-m-smucker-recalls-2-lots-of-meow-mix-dry-cat-food-for-potential-salmonella/?utm_term=J.%20M.%20Smucker%20Recalls%202.
And one last note about a great article in The Bark for Earth Day/Week on ways to go Green: https://thebark.com/content/go-green?mc_cid=863e644431&mc_eid=8e9b96f40b.
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