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I fought the lawn… and the lawn won

Casey Dog

Filed under: and More, Little Critters on Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Picture of Casey Dog grown up

Mojo can’t stop sniffing me. He sniffs, runs around the room, and then comes back to sniff me again. He runs his nose up and down my jeans, as if I’ve hidden Casey Dog in them somewhere.

I haven’t written much about my Casey Dog for various reasons, but mostly because he wasn’t the kind of goofy dog who lent himself to slapstick. Even when he was a puppy he’d never do anything so crass as to jump on you, or chew on your hand, or sing when you played on the piano. He was a true gentleman, polite and respectful.

Picture of Casey Dog as a puppy

He was also extremely clever. When Sissy brought him home to us—a tiny bundle of black fur—we saw right away that he had a thing for tennis balls. He picked one up and dropped it into my lap, and then moved back a few steps, as if he wanted me to throw it.

I threw it, thinking that would be the end of it, but he brought it back to me and dropped it in my lap. Then he moved back a few steps, as if he wanted me to throw it again.

He was the first dog I ever had who taught me how to play fetch, rather than the other way around.

Picture of Casey Dog with boys

The boys were very small when Casey came to live with us but he was so good with kids. Even when we moved to the cul-de-sac, where 12 new kids made themselves at home in our house—shrieking and planting their handprints on the walls—Casey took it all in stride.

One of the cul-de-sac kids was named “K.C.” which made things kind of confusing because both names sound alike when spoken. So we started calling our dog “Casey Dog” and the neighbor kid “K.C. Boy”.

Poor kid. Even if he becomes the CEO of a major company, or a burly Harley biker, or even a star in the World Wrestling Foundation, we’ll still call him “K.C. Boy.”

Picture of Bonnie grooming Casey Dog

Poodles don’t shed but you do have to clip them. The first couple of years I groomed Casey Dog myself to save money. Once I gave him a Mohawk just for the fun of it, but Casey Dog looked so hurt that I had to shave it off immediately.

We never gave him a foo-foo poodle cut, either, because Hubby said all the other dogs in the neighborhood would laugh at him. So he usually got a lamb cut or a kennel clip.

Picture of Mojo, Casey Dog and Tiger

When we brought Mojo home, Casey Dog was as polite as he was to other dogs, but he did seem a little grouchier than before. We thought it was because he was finally getting old and crotchety. Once Mojo stopped piddling in Casey Dog’s bed, though, Casey Dog seemed more open to living with the bulldog usurper.

At one point Casey Dog took it upon himself to teach the new pup how to play tug-of-war. He’d hold the rings at the right height for Mojo to grab on, and then he’d growl and pull just like he’d do with any other dog.

When Mojo lost his grip, Casey Dog would stop growling, hold still and lower the rings again so Mojo could latch on, and then they’d resume their tug-of-war.

Casey Dog had strict rules, though. If Mojo reached up with a paw to pull down the rings, Casey Dog would give them a good, hard shake and Mojo would fall off.

Picture of Mojo and Casey Dog playing tug-of-war

In September I took Casey Dog in for a senior checkup. He’d developed a cough I was going to ask about, but on that day he also seemed sluggish.

The vet found a heart murmur and after some tests, she told me he had canine hemangiosarcoma. He could go at any time, she said, possibly live as long as three months, but that this was a fatal prognosis and there was no hope for him, especially considering his age.

I found it difficult to write anything at all about Casey Dog after that.

Picture of Casey Dog, smiling

Mojo’s finally given up looking for Casey Dog. I let him sniff the bit of Casey Dog’s fur that the vet clipped for me as a keepsake this morning. Mojo seemed satisfied with that and now he’s snoring in his dog bed. I wonder if he understands.

I know we all have to die sometime, and I know we were lucky to have three months more with him than the vet predicted, but losing Casey Dog seems especially hard.

Maybe it’s because my boys are growing up, and Casey Dog was a part of their childhood, or maybe it’s because we’ve been through so much together. And maybe it’s just because he was my sweet, sweet Casey Dog.

I don’t know. I don’t know anything, except that it hurts.

  1. Sorry guys……..I loved Casey dog too. He was an awesome dog. So clever so sweet. Love, T

    Comment by TJ — 4/5/2006 @ 7:29 am

  2. HUGS!!! I am so sorry you’ve lost such a loyal, lovable friend. God bless and comfort you.

    Comment by April Redmon — 4/5/2006 @ 8:34 am

  3. I’m sorry for you & your family’s loss, Bonnie. Animals are such gifts. And no matter how we lose them, it hurts.

    Comment by Lachlan — 4/5/2006 @ 10:05 am

  4. Dogs (and cats) are as big a part of a family as anyone else – it’s hard, I know!

    (((HUGS))) Bon!

    Comment by Dennie — 4/5/2006 @ 10:32 am

  5. So sorry to hear about your loss. We suffered the loss of our Baby Girl (Kitty) in October, and are bracing ourselves for the inevitable loss of Chet, our almost Airdale. Another heartbreak waiting to happen.

    Regards,

    N. L. V.

    Comment by nlvaller — 4/5/2006 @ 11:55 am

  6. (((Hugs))) Bonnie.

    Grabs another kleenex. My heart is saddened that you’ve lost such a sweetheart.

    What a beautiful face. What a grand like he had with you and your family.

    May his memories help the hurt and eventually bring a smile with his name.

    K.
    Still missing Pip and Sassy after three years.

    Comment by Kait — 4/5/2006 @ 12:36 pm

  7. What an amazing face.

    Comment by Buffy — 4/5/2006 @ 12:58 pm

  8. oh bonnie. i’m gonna cry. this is very sad. i’m sorry for you, your family and for casey dog.

    Comment by susan — 4/5/2006 @ 4:26 pm

  9. im so sorry, im sitting here with tears in my eyes :( i wish there was something i could say or something i could do to make it better. nothing hurts worse than losing a beloved family member. but from all the comments before me there is a ton of love, and good thoughts, heading your way. Mine included. all the best to the whole family

    Comment by Laurie — 4/5/2006 @ 6:30 pm

  10. Oh Bonnie you poor darling. It hurts bad when our precious animals go. What a beautfiul dog Casey Dog was, and what a beautiful tribute to him. I loved the rings story! Sending you big hugs and kisses from across the pond to your family :o)

    Comment by Michelle — 4/5/2006 @ 7:05 pm

  11. Thank you, everybody for your kind thoughts—it means a lot to us.

    Casey Dog was over 13; that’s pretty old for a standard poodle. The vet said it was very unusual for a dog to live so long after that diagnosis, too, so we know we were very lucky to have him those extra months.

    It’s still hard, though. He wasn’t just a dog, he was a good friend.

    Comment by Bonnie Wren — 4/5/2006 @ 10:09 pm

  12. I know, Wren, I know.

    Comment by Bernita — 4/6/2006 @ 1:37 am

  13. Bonnie, I’m so sorry! I lost my golden three years ago, and I still cry every time I see one! And, Ed, the cat-who-thinks-he’s-a-dog, left us last year. I still see his funny white face face with his orange mustache and goatee out of the corner of my eye from time to time. They become such a huge part of your life, and their only job is to just be themselves and make their family happy. Small wonder we are all at such a loss!

    Casey was precious and will always be with you in spirit. Besides, it wouldn’t be heaven without our pets, so I’m sure you’ll see him again!

    Best to you!

    Comment by Elizabeth — 4/6/2006 @ 5:46 am

  14. I’m writing through tears, so don’t mind if ai misspell.

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I love both dogs and cats, and in the last three years, I’ve had to bury two dogs and a cat (old age) I cry worse than loosing a relative, because my animals are so special to me.

    I’ve only got one dog and one cat left and the dog is twelve…I truly feel your pain, my friend.

    ((((Hugs))))

    Comment by Bonnie Calhoun — 4/6/2006 @ 8:00 pm

  15. she told me he had canine hemangiosarcoma

    Oh, crap…just oh, crap. We lost our second greyhound to that.

    I’m so very sorry. Casey looks like a once in a lifetime dog.

    Hugs.

    Comment by pat kirby — 4/7/2006 @ 7:28 am

  16. Condolences. American English rightfully gave us the phrase “Companion Animal” for that is what pets are: companions. I can tell you will miss him terribly. Thank you for the “bio”, he sounds he was like a prince amongst dogs.

    Hugs from me too.

    MarkMcL

    Comment by Mark McLellan — 4/8/2006 @ 5:52 am

  17. Oh, Bonnie! I’m so sorry. What a good looking boy. I hope squeezing Mojo will bring you some comfort on tough days. (((Bonnie and family)))

    Comment by Meg — 4/8/2006 @ 3:35 pm

  18. Dear Bonnie, Those photos are a walk through time… such a good and elegant being Casey Dog was. You were lucky to have each other. He is sorely missed.

    Comment by Waldo Rupert — 4/10/2006 @ 5:51 pm

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