Friday, February 22, 2013

a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy

Last Monday this awesome little dog shed his mortal coil.  Pedro was a chihuahua and he was one of those little dogs who knew he had a very big dog on the inside always trying to get out.  He was always king of the house, even when he was the smallest.

We got him as a baby back in the summer of 1999.  G already had "her" dog, the cocker spaniel and Pedro was to be "my" dog.  This was back when the dogs were our starter kids.  They were our training wheels before the biped kids came along.  G tried to be a good dog purchaser and did her research to find a lady who raised them and was not a puppy mill.  We drove a couple of hours to her house and I remember this tiny shaking dog riding in my lap as I drove home.  

He stumbled into the house ruled by the bigger dog and within a week the power structure had changed.  This little bugger would zip across the floor and bite the cocker spaniel on his floppy ear and take off running in the opposite direction.  They used to chase in laps around the house until the big dog couldn't run anymore.  

Pedro got to travel with us to the beach a lot over the years and there was nothing he loved more than running full speed on the beach while vaguely threatening anything and everything that moved around him.  Pit bulls, labs, great danes, none were too big for him to bare his teeth and make noises that are normally only associated with horror films.  

Now that I think of it, there may have been one thing he loved more.  He was really fond of my food.  He used to climb up into my lap when I'd try to eat and each time my hand went toward my mouth, he'd stretch as far as he could to try to intercept the delivery.  One of the highlights of his life was during a Superbowl several years ago.  I had a box of chicken wings on the coffee table and Pedro watched every move I made just waiting for a drop of bbq sauce to fall so he could snatch it up.  When he tired of waiting, he backed up a few steps and watched as I reached for another wing.  As I held the wing to my mouth, he took a few steps, jumped up like an Olympian and grabbed the wing from my hand.  He retreated under the table and swallowed the entire chicken wing - bones and all - in two giant gulps.  Then he returned to his spot hoping for seconds.

He was such a little legend that back in grad school I did a whole series of graphite drawings using him as my primary model.  

"The New Life"

detail from "Playing Dead"

At almost 14 years old he was in his mid 90s in dog years.  He spent all that time making us laugh and occasionally peeing on our carpets.  Walt Disney said that all dogs go to heaven.  If that's true I bet Pedro's up there shifting the power structure right this minute.

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