Goodbye to Rey the Dog
Yesterday morning we said goodbye to Rey the dog. I’ve been keeping you updated from time to time, so most of you know she got diagnosed with cancer in April and spent most of the year getting treated for it. The good news is that for most of the year it worked and we got what I called “Bonus Rey” time. Time to play ball in the backyard. Time to go for walks and say hi to friends. And time to just hang out.
But that time finally ended this week. We adopted Rey in March 2017. She was about two years old and had been through rough times. She was skinny and skittish. You could just get her to let you pet her head. With patience and coaxing though, she eventually learned to love a good belly rub. In fact, she became a little shameless about rolling over for them.
I have great memories from those early days. Lamarr Wilson met her while she was still stoned from getting fixed. She always loved Lamarr more than most other people who visited adn I think that may be why. I also fondly remember Brian Brushwood playing fetch with her in our living room while I fretted that Sawyer (our other dog) might butt in and cause a fight. He didn’t. That time.
We’ll never know what Rey went through before she came to us but it must have been hard. While she never hurt Sawyer, she got in plenty of fights with him over the years and I got a few scratches with ill-advised methods of breaking them up. In our old place she would also bust through the lattice fence to get at the nighbors dog. Which she would then promptly stop and sit next to once she got there. We paid to fix a lot of fences.
She was really hard to walk on leash. I was the only person who could do it. But with patience and training she learned not to fear every dog. And in the neighborhood we moved to in 2018 even made friends with Pikachu, Milo and Dexter. Huge thanks to their people for being patient with Rey too.
She was a smart dog. And eventually we were able to do whole walks, seeing dogs we didn’t know, and Rey would just look at me to see if maybe she would get a treat for being good. She did.
When you put that much work into a relationship you get A LOT of love back. Rey was my constant companion. Every podcast I recorded, she was in the room. And if I ever started without her, she would go make Eileen open the door and let her in. If I left the house for any reason, even just to go to the grocery store, she would lay by the door and wait. When I got home if I asked what they did while I was gone, Eileen would tell me that Rey “just waited by the door for Daddy.”
With the exception of a couple nights in April when she was first diagnosed, I haven’t been at home without her in more than 6 and a half years. My day generally started with a trip into the backyard, some play in the living room, feeding her and Sawyer breakfast then taking her for a walk, I’d giver her a little of my mid-morning fig bar snack, a bit of my apple at lunch, regular ball in the backyard in the afternoon and dinner and a request for back scratches and some playing in the evening. When I went to bed she might go with me or she might stay out and watch TV with Eileen. But even if she stayed up, she eventually would come in and lay down at the foot of our bed on her own little bed and spend all night there. That’s where she’d be when I woke up, unless of course she came over to nudge me awake.
It goes without so many of these damn words I’ve written, that I’m going to miss her very much. So if you hear a catch in my throat on a show here and there or an unusual pause as if I’ve noticed something missing in my studio. That’s why.
I know a lot of you knew of Rey through my stories about her and have expressed your thoughts for her. Thank you very much for that. It really meant a lot to hear.
I’ll be fine. I’ve lost dogs before. Our dog Jango died in January 2017. Just two months before we got Rey. I like to think maybe somewhere somehow they’re meeting for the first time and gossiping about Sawyer, Eileen and me.
Meanwhile I’m going to go hang out with the old man. (Sawyer is 14)
Have a great new year everybody.
Yep, I have always thought that we get the better end of the deal with dogs. We give them a warm bed, good food, and belly rubs, and in return, they give us their entire heart and soul.
Thank you for sharing this moving celebration of Rey’s life. I’m so sorry for your loss.