My dumb dogBy
Amie, our family dog since I was 16, must be the dumbest dog on the face of the planet. She’s dumb in an adorable “aint that special” kind of way, but there’s no denying that she is D-U-M-B. Thanks to her Habsburgian underbite and her massively oversized tongue, she always has a bit of her tongue sticking out of her mouth. She licks the couch regularly, trying in vein to extract some sort of taste out of a piece of fabric she’s licked countless times before. Sometimes mid-lick she’ll seem to forget she’s licking anything and rest her head on the couch, tongue still draped over the couch cushion.
Thanks to my sister’s unnatural holding of the dog like a baby, She will sit not like a normal dog, but like a human — she’ll work her way into the corner of a couch, leaning against the backrest with her paws just hanging there and her legs spread apart. I’ll come into the room to see her sitting like a human with her tongue sticking out. “What?” her expression seems to ask me.
She has no idea how to share a bed. Before Amie we had Charlie, another boxer dog that I trained to sleep curled up in a ball at the bottom of my twin bed. Now when I go home I sleep in a double bed, yet somehow more space doesn’t mean more sleeping room. If I let Amie sleep on the bed I invariably wake up in the middle of the night grasping the sheets as I fall off the bed, pushed by a three-foot (one metre)-high dog that somehow finds the twin bed not big enough for the both of us.
She has the giddy excitement of a kid in a candy shop everytime I go to let her in from outside. She’ll run up to the door and spin in circle at an alarming pace. She’ll look at me, look and the door, then jump in a circle two or three times and repeat. It never fails to crack me up. Even at nine years old, she has the energy of a puppy, running around exploring everything she can. Last year I strapped my camera to her back and captured this hilarious dogs-eye-view of her exploring.
Last week while talking with my parents I got the news: Amie died on Friday. The news came as abruptly to me as it appears in this blog. Apprently she had been having seizures and the vet recommended putting her down, which my parents had to do while my sister was as summer camp (working as a camp councillor) and I was in Athens (working as a tour guide).
Getting the news has thrown me into a headspin. When we got that dog my family was all living under the same roof. When I went to college, got my first job and later began traveling through Europe, I would always return to a few familiar things. My house. My parents. My sister. My dog. While my life has been ridiculously dynamic the home life has remained comfortingly static. But as much as I’d like time back home to pause while I go on my big adventure, it doesn’t. My parents get older, retire. My friends get promotions, wives and babies. The more I’m over here the most I’m missing over there. The next time I go home (whenever that is), it will be with one less familiar thing. I’ll miss having that dumb dog jumping around in circles to greet me. Here’s to you, Amie.