This is the last Crash post, for this year. Well, I can't promise I won't mention him again for another year (LOL), but this is the last of this series.
I want to thank deeply those who have read and responded with such kind thoughts and words, and also those who read but didn't respond. It means a great deal to me, more than you can know, to share his story with people.
These are some notes I made after he passed. The first month that he was gone was spent furiously writing anything and everything I could remember. I would be sitting on the couch and something would occur to me, and I would dash to the computer to get it down. I have page after page of memories of him. What you have read is only a very small part, mostly the things that I thought made good stories.
There are tons of other little snippets. This is a section that represents the everyday Crash, all the little sweet, funny, quirky things that he did that I was missing.
I think these may give you a better idea than anything of what it was like to share our lives with him.
Thank you all again for reading.
Things I will miss:
His feet on the floor when I would let him in every night, and how he would dance excitedly for a few minutes, in celebration of being with us again. His whole body would twist in uncensored joy. He would lift his paws up high and let them down heavily, twisting his back end left and right, like he wasn’t sure which direction he wanted to go in, the excitement was just too much and his body could not contain it. Then he would lean against my leg to have his behind scratched, and he would lean heavier and heavier until we would both lose our balance.
When I would have a treat or a scrap I thought he might enjoy and he would be in another room, I would say, in conversational tone and volume, “Hey Crash, come here.” And in he would come. With great gusto when he was young, a little more slowly when he was older, but with the occasional burst of characteristic enthusiasm.
Cooking and meal time are hard for me, because he was such a part of that. Even if he was napping, he would wake up at the end of mealtime and come in the kitchen for the people food “garnish” on his dog food.
The thick, reddish-brown fur and skin around his neck. This was my favorite place to pet him. He was so thick and beefy and soft there. I would love to bury my fingers in it again. Kevin used to scratch his neck. I remember Crash tilting his head back and stretching his neck up as far as he could so that Kevin could have full access to that area. He absolutely loved that.
His little eye peeping through the slats of the gate at you. There was an angle he could position his head at so just one little eye showed. Whenever we were outside the gate, you would often look up and see Crash’s eye, quietly watching you.
The way he would kind of yelp when we were in the front yard and he wasn’t. Or when he wanted to be let in. It was a kind high-pitched, expressive bark, not the same bark at all he used to defend his territory from cats or other dogs. He had a very expressive range with his voice, come to think of it. Many barks for different functions.
He also used to love to give me his butt. Kevin says I need to reword this but I don’t think so, because that’s what I always called it. I’m not sure why he never did this with Kevin, only me. But he would let me pet his head for only a second, then he would turn around and present his butt for petting. Well, to be perfectly clear, it wasn’t really his butt, but the area at the base of his tail. As I scratched this area he would lean on me harder and harder, until I would almost fall over.
Oh, one I miss terribly: The way his tail would thump when he knew we were talking about him. We would think he was not paying attention to us in the least, but when we would start talking about how cute he was or about how much we loved him or something he had done that day, and he would just know he was being talked about, and his tail would start to thump, thump, thump.
I miss that huge tail. It was so big that it would wag his whole body when he was happy. It could give your legs quite a beating if you were caught in its path. What a great feeling that was.
I miss talking to him. And him talking to me.
I miss the way he would put his head down. He would come up when I was typing on the computer, as I am now, and lay his head on the arm of the chair until I noticed him. Or when I was sitting on the couch and he would lie his head on my knee. He would never leave it there while you petted him, though. It was more of a way to just get you to notice him, and then he would jerk his head away and insist you pet him somewhere else. Then you would say again, “Put your head down,” and he would, only to jerk it away again as soon as you touched it. He was infuriatingly stubborn about not wanting the top of his head stroked. We would play this game for quite some time.
We terribly miss his face at the French doors. He would run up on the deck and stand at the glass doors, looking in. That was our cue to get up and let him in. There was a similar cue to let him out. He would stand in the kitchen looking in at me on the couch until I got up and let him out. If I didn’t get up right away, sometimes he would have to resort to going to the back door and stomping. Just a couple of stomps usually did it. The last year or so, we were doing this several times a night. I was never impatient about it and did it as many times as he wanted.
Dinnertime was very hard for many months. When we finish eating, it was automatic to take inventory of what was on our plates, trying to decide what we should give to Crash.
I miss even when I was upstairs being able to hear when he came in. The whole house would shake, it seemed, under his heavy footsteps. I could hear them from anywhere in the house.
I miss that heavy sigh he used to heave, when he would lie down sometimes, or when he would place his head on your knee.
I miss the way he would roll around in the grass on his back, feet waving wildly in the air. He usually did this when we took him out front to keep us company while we gardened. I would always go over and rub his belly when he would do this, but you had to be very careful to keep an arm’s length between your face and those wild feet.
Connie and "The Boys":
Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD
Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever
I've read every one of your posts about Crash ............. I can just feel your love for him and his love for you. He was a very, very special dog and those loving memories are how he lives on in your heart and now in all of ours. Thank you, Connie, for sharing him with us.
"In moments of joy all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag." W. H. Auden
Linda, Kona and Bo
Connie, I too, have read each one of these chapters. Crash was very special and IS still very special in your heart. You have a beautiful way of telling a story. And these have been most precious.
Penny from Sunny Southern California
///sniff/// I thought you said Ch7 wasn't going to be sad! :-[
God loveya, Crash. You were a magnificent dog who had THE best parents ever. We all hope you're enjoying your time at the bridge....
I normally don't post a lot, but I just had to respond to this post. I just finished reading the entire Crash story...I would copy and paste them into a Word document to read the story in its entirety...what a beautiful way you have of capturing him!! I too can also feel how much Crash was loved! Thank you for sharing him with us!
Connie, I've read each chapter and enjoyed them all immensely. What a wonderful dog Crash was. This last one especially brought tears to my eyes. I think it's because my Sam is "that dog" for me, we have such a connection, but since he and Bodie are my first dogs I haven't had to experience the loss and heartbreak that you have gone through. Reading your posts has helped me realize that when that day does come, I'll lose a little piece of my heart but the wonderful memories will last my lifetime. Thank you.
Brenda, Sam & Bodie
Thank you for the wonderful stories about Crash. It's so easy to sense the love and bond you two had. He was a very special dog and it's obvious he won't be forgotten soon.
Thank you for sharing Crash with us. I have read all your chapters and now feel a bit sad that they are over for the year. The loving bond you shared was truly special.
Thank you again for shring him with us.
Chapter 7 was a good one...makes me miss my childhood GSD. Anyway, I don't post much either, but thanks for sharing your memories. Crash was a beautiful dog.
Thank you Connie, for sharing your wonderful recollections about Crash with us. I've looked forward to each and every one. So many of Crash's characteristics remind me of my *Freckles, and how I still dearly miss her.
Pat from S.E. Pa
Abby - CGC
Jack - OCP (official couch potato)