Friday morning we laid my beloved German Shepherd Marshall T-Rex (Teddy Bear Rex) to rest. Marshall provided many stories for nearly 12 years to all family, friends, and students. How many dogs respond to the question "What do you WANT?" by going to the refrigerator, opening the door, and pointing to the meat drawer where his hot dogs were waiting?
In Marshall’s early years his ears still touched on the top of his head, he helped me "hear" before and after my ear surgeries, he tattled on our boys when they were doing the wrong thing, when the boys walked out to the car one day, he decided to enter a steakhouse and went straight to my feet where he waited for me to pick up the take-out, and he heard #2 son’s distress call from deep in the woods so he came to get me and forced me to follow him to the son who had fallen.
Marshall knew he was smarter than most people and had a strong sense of right and wrong. If he thought I needed to wake up, he’d come slide his nose under my shoulder and lift me off the bed. Marshall loved riding in commercial vans and especially loved the Schwan’s man (who visited just to pet Marshall long after I stopped purchasing). The UPS and Fed Ex workers who delivered often ran for their trucks because Marshall thought the open doors were invitations. He’d hang his head out the front door and bark, begging to go with them. Even my mail lady would laugh at him. I heard her say, "If you got in my truck, it’d be so lop-sided, it’d tip over."
110 pounds of sheer love and adoration. My very dear friend who sat beside me on the sofa during my very painful divorce period (coinciding with 2 boys joining the army) and let me cry into his doggy shoulder.
In the end, the torn ACL, constant pain, and doggy version of MS were just too much to bear for Marshall and his family that loved him. As I type, Marshall’s companion, Lucy Girl, sits sadly on my lap and sighs with me.
I’ll try to pull myself together and send you something cheerful tomorrow. I’m off to finish reading the meaningful young reader’s version of Three Cups of Tea. I need some substance and empowering in my reading tonight.