Rascal Brown will sure be missed...By PAT BROWN,
U s guys have a tendency to be tough and think it’s not a good thing to show emotions. However, Thursday of last week I lost it when I had to put down my pup of almost 18 years.
Rascal had been getting more feeble over the last month so I read the writing on the wall and knew the end was near. Then last week Rascal had not been able to eat anything since Monday. Nancy had been doing anything she could to get him to eat and he just lost interest in food. His once robust self was diminishing to skin and bones. I told Nancy while sitting in the vet’s office that he looked like a holocaust survivor.
To be as old as he was he would still have good days occasionally, but those were becoming fewer and farther apart.
Last summer was the last time he and I swam in the river. If I was in the water he was going to come in. He still enjoyed swimming in the current with Pop even at 17 years old. Once he got out he would fly across the sand bar and roll in the sand, much to Nancy’s dismay. He and our younger dog Ranger would be filthy and have to have a bath every time they got home. I always had something else to do and Nancy would bathe them.
Recently Rascal had gotten to where he could no longer jump. He used to jump up in the chair and stay in it the better part of the day.
As he aged his jumping stopped and he would sit on the floor and bark until someone walked over and lifted him into the chair or set him down on the floor, and he would do it every 30 seconds. I told Nancy he was cussin’ in dog talk. But that was fine because he had earned the status of Senior Canine of the family, which just meant we had to cater to his every beck and call, and we did.
Rascal had great character. He used to go fishing with me and would stand on the front of the boat like a hood ornament as we puttered around the lake. He was not much into guns, and if he heard a shot he would cower under the commode or just plain hide. But the one thing you could always count on--he was always happy to see you no matter what kind of day you had. You could tell him something and he was not one to run and tell it either.
So last week I was concerned and decided to call Lisa Ainsworth, a fine person as well as a great veterinarian. I had not heard from her so I decided to take Rascal over to let her see him. I knew he was not well, but I was not prepared for what Lisa told me. She did some tests to check his sugar and a few other functions.
The results showed that he had a strong heart and his sugar was not bad, but he was going to die from starvation if his appetite did not come back. Nancy had cooked everything for him from bacon to eggs and hamburger, but he was not hungry and had no desire to eat. Fortunately, he was drinking water.
Lisa told us if things did not improve he would only have a few days left. Our original plans were to make sure he was okay and see what we needed to do to keep him comfortable. But at this point there wasn’t much left to be done for him.
At this time it struck my heart that my little friend needed to be put down. I was much more emotional about it than Nancy. About this time Lisa handed me a box of Kleenex. I was trying to make a joke out of it but I could not get the words to come.
Finally, I muttered to Lisa that it was time to put him down. She told us what to expect and asked if we wanted to be in the room. When she told Nancy that he might whimper or moan, Nancy was out, and I thought, I can’t remember him that way. I said I was out also.
Editors Note: I am writing this Friday and have to go to get some more tissues.
So Lisa gave us a few minutes to visit with Ras. Mom took a couple of pictures. Rascal slept with us and had been Anna Lauren’s Puppy Brother since she was 12. It was hard to let him go. Lisa came back in to get him. I walked outside and said “Nope, he will not go by himself.”
I walked through Lisa’s office and they told me where they were. I said I wanted to hold him. She gave him a shot and he went to sleep in my arms. (The tears are flowing again.)
When we got home with him, Ranger, our Jack Russel, knew what was up. He followed me out and sat by Rascal while I dug his grave beside Ditty Dot, the Bassett we had gotten when Rascal was a pup. I remember how he would bite her and swing on her jowls when we first got him.
Rascal and his brother Spanky came from Puckett. I am pretty sure those folks on Bain Circle are not still raising dogs so we will not be going back.
I’ll have to be content with the special memories and fun times Rascal had with our family.
Rascal Pierre Brown
July 2001-May 2019