Sunday, May 1, 2011

Our Sarge

Back in May of 2000, Tom and I went home to his mom's house in Hillje. The dog they had who roamed around this country area was the puppy (and named: Puppy) of another dog they had once won/bought at the church auction. Well, Puppy was a mutt and mated with the mutt down the street and when we arrived that day, we saw several brand new puppies. They were a few weeks old at the time, and seriously...who can resist a puppy?? There was one puppy in particular who was so ridiculously cute. He was brown with a white patch on the lower part of his neck, and a bit on his toes. The thing about this dog is he wouldn't leave my feet alone. He kept trying to nip at them and of course those puppy teeth did nothing more than tickle the heck out of me. I somehow convinced Tom we should take this one "home". By home, I mean College Station where I was living in an apartment, and Tom in the notoriously famous trailer. On the way to College Station, we decided his name would be Sarge. For all you Aggies out there, we named him for Ol' Sarge.
Sarge started off much like a child with divorced parents. He spent some time with me at my apartment, and with Tom at his trailer. He was the good ol' college puppy who tried beer at a very young age and ate all sorts of goodies from a rookie mom & dad and all their college friends. In 2001, I moved to San Antonio while Tom finished up school at A&M. Sarge would again spend a week San Antonio, then a week in College Station.
I think Sarge was very happy when Mom and Dad FINALLY tied the knot so he had one place to call home!
Sarge was spoiled from day one, and it didn't stop anytime soon.
He always slept on the bed with one or both of us, despite having many dog beds in his lifetime. As a puppy, he would fall asleep chewing on Tom's hair. (weird...I know) When it was cold, he would spend the night curled up under the covers by your feet.
He was always an inside dog. He would whine nonstop if left outside for any amount of time. He would also run, run, run if he ever managed to escape.
He was a picky eater when it came to table food. No chip without dip, please. He loved stealing food from the table, counter, anywhere he could find it. (Don't ask Tom about the steaks that mysteriously vanished from the countertop...not his finest moment.) I recall one time though I had NyQuill sitting on the coffee table. I wouldn't drink it without having water or something to chase it with. Well, sneaky Sarge went in for a taste...I laughed so hard as he quickly backed off and began messing with his mouth to escape the taste!
We took him to obedience school once. We thought he would get kicked out, but he made it through successfully. Now, if only we had kept up with the obedience. Little did we know they were training US, not him.
Sarge lived the life of a luxury dog. Well, for at least 5 years. In 2005 Brock arrived. I don't think Sarge ever forgave us. I had no idea how he would do with a baby. Sarge was never really a calm dog. I was shocked. He instinctively knew this was not a toy. He would watch over Brock, alert us anytime he needed a diaper change, and would howl (seriously...HOWL) if Brock was crying or whining. He would still sleep with Tom & I. He liked Brock but was still OUR dog. As Brock grew, he simply ADORED Sarge. They were a good pair and generally seemed to know when each other wanted to play, and when they wanted to rest.
In 2008, Sarge didn't understand why we would do this again. Aubree entered the world and if Sarge could talk, I think we would have laughed at his reaction. Really?? Sarge liked Aubree and for the most part she liked him. Although, they never quite had the relationship Sarge and Brock had.

Well, in 2011 Sarge started getting sick. He really got thin, wouldn't eat much, and was generally just lazy. We monitored him for a while, but it wasn't long until we were constantly cleaning carpets because Sarge couldn't keep anything in. We came home from work one day and the very thin dog had a bloated up like a pot-belly pig. We took him into the vet knowing it may very well be a hard trip. We were right. The vet said he either had heart disease or liver disease. We could do more tests to pinpoint the illness, but either way it was terminal and the poor dog was at a point where he could hardly move. He couldn't jump up on the bed. He couldn't even jump up on the couch. Looking in his eyes you saw pain. The hyper, sometimes obnoxious, lovable Sarge was not there. We put him down on Thursday, April 14. Three days before my 32nd birthday. I was 21 when we got Sarge. At my age, 11 years is nearly one-third of my life. I miss him so much. It's been a little over two weeks and I still catch myself thinking of him when I come home each day. I still glance in his dog bed direction when I got to bed in the evenings.

Sarge, you really were a good dog. Not the best behaved. Not a pure breed with papers. But a good dog who saw us through most of our milestones in life. College graduations, Engagement, Marriage, New Homes, Babies and more. I love you Sarge.

By the way...I didn't realize until he was gone what a good housekeeper he was!! It wasn't but two days after he left us that we noticed how DIRTY the kitchen floor was! We've vacuumed it more in the past two weeks than we probably did in the past 4 months. He was quite the vacuum himself!