I had an okay day a few days ago. I started to think about all the wonderful things I will remember about Beeno. Let me share them with you:
-His happy dance. Whenever we would return home or whenever he was particularly excited, he would wag his tail, stick his tongue out, and lift his front paws. Because his tail was wagging and he was on his hind legs, his front legs would appear to do a dance, of sorts. He also seemed to be smiling. His mouth would be open to accommodate his panting tongue. We dubbed this the happy dance. I miss it. I look for it when I arrive home. I peek into the window and I see his friend, Cocoa (our remaining dog), jumping up and down, but I don't see him doing his happy dance.
-His smell. I have memorized his smell. I would often just stick my face in the scruff of his neck to inhale the scent of him. It wasn't always pretty. If he had spent too much time in the pond, he would need a bath before I would inhale the scent of him. Or it was like doggy napalm. Nasty stuff.
-His smile. I know it sounds odd for a dog to have a smile, but Beeno was truly the happiest dog. His tongue would be out, his tail would be wagging, and he would bare his teeth as you might when you smile. Non-menacing, of course. I remember that.
-His retriever skills, or lack thereof. He had some retriever in him, that was evident, but sometimes he was the worst retriever. Sometimes, if he didn't see exactly where you threw something, he would wander around looking for it until you retrieved it. I used to call him the world's worst retriever, because sometimes he was. It was especially funny when he was in the pond. If you threw a stick or ball and he didn't see exactly where it was, you better find another fast because he would stay in the water until he found it. Or you would have to do that fake throw - you have nothing in your hand but it looks as though you threw the stick, ball, toy in the general vicinity of the original throw.
-Playfulness with Cocoa - Cocoa is about the size of an appetizer for Beeno. He could eat her. But he never did. In fact, she abused him. And I think he secretly liked it. I knew they were getting ready to play when Cocoa would walk over to him and lift her hind leg so that he could smell her ....... Then she would run around like a child after having eaten a pixie stick and he would wait. Then he would scrunch down to her level and play with her.
-Peeing on Cocoa. Every time Cocoa would pee in the backyard, Beeno would be waiting to pee in the same spot. Well, once, Cocoa (not being the brightest dog in the litter), ran right through the stream. So Beeno had pissed right down her back. She promptly got a bath.
-Telling on Cocoa. Often I would be working in a different room. Whenever Beeno would come into the room from a favorite spot, I knew Cocoa had gotten into something. It was almost a warning sign. Either that or an "I want to make sure you know I was with you when the mayhem was going down so I am going to lay right next to you until you realize what has happened." He was good like that. And he was always right.
-His nudging. Beeno had a way of cozying up to you. He wasn't a lap dog, as has been said, but he did like attention and affection. He would come over to you and either touch you with his paw (if he was sitting next to you on the ground or on the sofa) or nudge you with his snout. I used to wait for the nudge. Often in the morning, I would lay in bed with my arm at the edge or dangling off waiting for him to nudge me. I was awake but didn't let him know that. Then he would nudge you with his nose as if to say "get up and feed me and let me out to pee and poop," and rub himself against the bed or against the sofa. Once I came home from work to find the sofa pushed up against the stairs. Cocoa was behind the couch and couldn't get out. Was there a message there?
-Treat stealer. I was living in my other home in West Seneca when we noticed this. My brother was visiting and he witnessed it too. I had given both dogs treats. Beeno would eat his immediately as if there was a doggie famine on the way. Cocoa would wait until Beeno had eaten his and then traipse into the room with her treat as if to tease him. Beeno must have remembered that if he started to bark, she would immediately jump up and bark as if to be the barking leader. He laid next to the couch and then barked just once. She jumped up to see what was going on and he stood, snagged her treat, and laid back down to eat it. We laughed and thought it was a fluke so I got another treat. And he did it again. He hadn't done it since, but once was enough to warrant mentioning.
-Running and swimming. I remember calling his name after a day of running and swimming at my mom's. Seeing his face in the wind with his eyes, tongue and jowls pulled back in that awkward way when the wind blows hard made it worthwhile. He would be running so fast it was as if he missed the heck out of you and couldn't wait to see you again.
-His footsteps on my hard wood floors. He would lumber into the house and I would hear his steady clip clop as he walked across the floor, his claws tapping as he moved. He usually moved quite deliberately. And then he would lay down with a thud. Or he would jump onto his couch (which was all of them, actually) and exhale as if it was so much effort.
-Grapes. He loved grapes. I know that you aren't supposed to feed dogs grapes, but I read that they shouldn't eat seeded grapes. I always bought seedless. And if someone would suffer it would be Cocoa. She is the proverbial canary in the coal mine. He would sit on the couch next to me, looking at me with his ears perked up. If I pretended to ignore him (one could never actually ignore Beeno), he would touch me with his front paw as if to say, "hey, what about me?" And he always got the treat.
-Swimming. We never really knew what he would run around the pond looking for, but he would be so intent, and then he would jump in only to come right back out. He would do this for hours. When we first got him, he would swim for hours chasing sticks. He would stop because we would get tired of throwing things. Then he started to get older and he would tell us when to stop. Once, my brother said, he was throwing a stick for Beeno and he had had enough when he came out of the water, dropped the stick and ran up to the house. He had never done that. My brother thought, hmm, guess he's finished.
I am sure I will think of other things. Everything he did I am trying to remember. I have a need to remember it all. I am sure there will be other blog posts in which I recount some other things that he did or some other things that I miss. Right now I miss having him in my house. I miss having him lay next to me on the couch. I miss looking over and seeing him watching me. I miss running my fingers through the tuft of his neck or down his back. I miss scratching his belly and finding the tickle spot. I miss scratching his ass because that seemed to be his favorite. How can you resist scratching a dog's ass?
While I had a good day thinking about the good things, I am still sad that he is not longer with me.