Letting go

Everyone deserves to have one truly outstanding dog sometime in their lives. For us this dog was Beau – our 100lb yellow lab. Beau was a truly sweet dog.  It’s hard to describe what this really means to those who never met him, but Beau was gentle despite his size and sweet in a way that sets him apart from all of the other dogs we’ve known.  His favorite pastime was to present people with a series of toys (typically stuffed bones and animals) when they walked into the house while vigorously wagging the entire back half of his body – just before making several laps between their legs.  Much to our amusement and unlike most labs, Beau didn’t enjoythings like swimming (which he never learned to do), hanging out outside (when we would leave the door to the back open, he would sit just inside the house – choosing to be inside rather than out) or fetching a ball (he preferred to watch as you retrieved the ball yourself, jumping up and down upon your return in an attempt to egg you on to once again throw the ball so he could watch you retrieve it). His   great pleasures were the hikes we all took together and sleeping(preferably on a sofa or futon).  He was a good companion to our other dog, Rosie, and the two would sleep together on the same doggie bed – spooning each other through the night.  He had this funny habit of cocking his head  to the side when you would talk to him – turning almost completely sideways the more you raised the pitch of your voice.  My wife used to joke that if he could talk, he would have a Barry White voice – very deep, but kind and soft.  We would often talk in this voice for him around the house (as in “I could not possibly eat another piece of hamburger . . . well, on second thought maybe I could”).  She gave him an appropriate Barry White-esque theme song in St. Germain’s Sure Thing– and would joke about the things he would do in his music video to that song. Beau had endless patience wit  children. First with our next door neighbor’s daughter (who would sometimes fall asleep when we were watching her using Beau’s stomach as a pillow) and then with our daughter, who would use Beau as a jungle gym – climbing over him, pulling his ears and tail, pretending to ride him like a horse, or kissing him on the head. Beau loved the attention and would lie with his tail wagging, tongue out, smiling doggie-style.
Beau died yesterday at the age of 14.  He was a good boy . . .

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