Friday, August 6, 2010

Howie 2004-2010

CNJ here. It is with a heavy heart that I type this. Howie slipped away quietly in the back yard yesterday morning. We have no idea what happened or why, he was just gone. He was a young dog, only about 6 or 7 years old. He too was another rescue, but came to join the pack in an odd way at a time, I wasn't so sure was exactly the right one, but when do rescues ever come at a good time or happen as planned?

Mid December of 2004, JR had just lost his dog Sassie of 15 years. Those two had been everywhere, done everything- together. She went with him on every trip when he was hauling. From here to Washington, several trips to Wisconsin, back to Virginia, she was with us when we went up to Sweetgrass, Montana to pick up a horse from Canada...

Losing her was a tough blow to take. Only a couple days later one of our friends called to ask if we wanted another dog? Yeah, it was kinda sudden. But a couple she knew had found a Husky wandering the streets of their neighborhood and taken him in. They had run ads in the paper, put fliers up all over the place, took him to the vet to have him checked out and scanned for a chip, took him to the pound to see if they had any "Missing Dog" notices, posted on Pet Finder -----> Nothing. Nobody was looking for him. As much as I dislike people like that, I'm glad in this case. Otherwise we never would have gotten to have such a wonderful dog.

This couple would have kept him if they didn't already have 6 dogs of their own and a few of their in-laws dogs as well. So I went to look at him one night after work. Rough guesses- he was around a year old. His paws were HUGE and he was gorgeous! His nails had been done, he had the sweetest temperament and no real manners to speak of. How could I possibly say no? More importantly- How could JR?

Turns out the couple that found him lived on the corner of the next street over and three or four houses down from my sister. We were all supposed to get together at her place for Christmas morning, opening presents and breakfast. So arrangements were made to pick him up Christmas morning around 9am.

JR and I had agreed not to get each other anything. We have this agreement every year, and every year one of us breaks it. Since the giant, goofy puppy was mainly black, I told JR he was getting a lump of coal, about an 80 lb lump, for Christmas. He is Mr. Rotten and he was very likely deserving of such so he didn't really question it much.

Christmas morning we went to my sisters place. Just before 9am I told JR I had to go get his present. I drove around the corner to pick up the puppy who was sporting a giant, sparkly, gold bow around his neck. He jumped in the truck for the short drive back and at one point was in my lap. It's amazing we didn't hit anything on the way! Since the truck is a diesel, we were announced as soon as we pulled in the driveway.

JR came out the front door to get his giant lump of 'coal'... He kept shaking his head at me and hugging the dog. Figures. *grins* About the only question he kept asking me is "What did you do now?"

We tried a few different names before settling on "Howie". Dutch, for Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Dalton- Dalton, Colorado. We already had a Timber and his brother Kodiak. We decided on Howie, because it just seemed to fit. He was just a goofy dog that way and needed a goofy name. He liked to howl too. Howie Wowie fit as well.

Remember the part about him having no manners? Well JR let him in the house one night and he came up to the coffee table. First the front paws were on the table. "Howie Off. Then all four paws were on the table. Howie, OFF. Then his front paws were in my lap on the couch. Howie OFF! Then all four paws were in my lap. HOWIE, OFF! Dammit, you big doof. And there he sat. Pinning me on the couch and licking my face. How can you be mad at a dog like that?

A few strange things happened yesterday morning. JR's watch, the one that needs no winding, has a 48 hour back up if you don't wear it and all that good stuff... It stopped. It was an hour off when he figured it out.

When JR dropped off the girls, my brother & SIL have cd's and bells hanging in their tree over the driveway to keep the birds out and from crapping all over the drive and the cars. No breezes to be felt, yet as he was getting the girls out of the car, the bells directly above him started ringing like crazy. None of the rest of them in the tree made a sound.

Whatcha got there? I wanna see.

Howie will be missed.
He already is.