I’ve never been accused of being a pet person. When he came to live with us, I was the least enthused, there’s no question. I do know that he ended up being the sweetest, gentlest dog we ever could have had around our little boys.
He could not handle the sound of a broom sweeping anything. His eyes would wheel and roll around in his head when we dared clear the patio or sweep off the trampoline.
He had a long and checkered history with lawncare machinery.
At our old house, he would occasionally get out of the yard and take us on a chasing adventure through the neighborhood.
He was the master of killing small rodents that entered his backyard domain. His opossum kill count stands at 16. That number doesn’t include the cicadas, birds, occasional mouse, and even medium size turtle he managed to corner one day.
When we first got him as a puppy, he couldn’t drink out of a bowl of water. He kept seeing his reflection and he would attack it and spill all of the water immediately. We ended up buying a spigot adapter for him where he could just walk up to it and lick it to get water, like a hamster.
Once, when I was home alone at our previous house I looked out the dining room window to the strangest sight I’d ever seen. He had both front paws up on the handle bars of the boys’ tricycle and one leg over the seat. He used his other hind leg to scoot it forward. I stared, with my mouth open in shock until he noticed me looking and ran off. I don’t think anyone ever believed me when I told them it happened.
As Jude started to get old enough to toddle out there, I would see him play fetch with Poncho. It wasn’t regular fetch though. Poncho would grab the item in question (usually his favorite metal bucket) and deposit it about 10 feet away and come back. Jude would run over there and fetch the item and bring it back to him.
He was the other brother.
Despite our rocky beginning, in the last six months he had become my good buddy and devoted pal. He was an excellent listener who never judged me, and I’m quite sure he always took my side in whatever we discussed.
Our sweet Poncho had his last night with our family last evening, and passed away quietly in his sleep. We already miss him like crazy.