Today I had to put to sleep one of the sweetest dogs ever made. He was a bucket of love in a fur wrapper (not too different from most dogs of my acquaintance), and he was my beloved baby boy.
Stormy was half Black Lab and half Passing Stranger. In later years I began to think the stranger was a Beagle because of his cute beagly face. My ex and I got him as a puppy when he was rescued from the side of the road by one of the guys where we worked, but rejected by the dog and wife this guy already had. So he came to live with us, where he settled to live with us and our other dog.
Stormy was an excellent cuddler and couch companion. You could even pose knitting on him for photography.
A couple of years ago he stopped being able to jump on the bed on his own, so for six months or so I hoisted him up there. After I threw my back out, I trained him to put his front feet up on the bed. I would then put my arm under his hips and sort of lever him up, which worked much better. He would stay all night most of the time, and if it was cold in the bedroom he would cuddle up closer and closer to my back. Sometimes I would wake up clinging to the side of the mattress!
By the way, when you throw your back out, they tell you to lie down on the floor with your behind up against a sofa and your legs up on the seat. When people with dogs lie down on the floor, the dogs are fascinated. "What's she doing down there? Does she have food? Maybe if we sniff really hard with our nose touching her face we can figure this out. If she's down there, she must have stopped knitting. That means she can pet us!"
Stormy started going gray early in life, at first just around his lips. A friend once called him the "Got Milk? dog.
He was a bit of a velcro dog. Not the really annoying kind who has to be touching you all the time, but whatever room I was in, Stormy wanted to be there too. If we were sitting on the sofa and I needed something from upstairs, I had to be really quick about it, because if I took more than sixty seconds Stormy would be halfway up the stairs when I was on my way down. Even when he got very old, he would still rather climb a staircase than let me be up there by myself. It's really flattering to have a creature just want to be near you that way! Makes me think of the joke about God creating Dog.
He was sweet and funny, and I miss him a lot. Fortunately, I still have Buster!