I am very sad to report that our dog, Elwood is no longer with us. He died peacefully yesterday lunchtime so as you can imagine yesterday was a difficult day all round. I just thought I'd pop a few thoughts down about the old boy and what he meant to us.
My two boys were 4 and 8 years old when we got Elwood 7 years ago and they were the reason we got a dog in the first place as they had both developed 'the fear' around dogs - that fear quickly disappeared with Elwood as a constant companion. My wife reminded me yesterday that when we brought him home the rescue centre had actually named him Tucker but as our youngest kept getting his T's and F's mixed up we thought a quick name change was in order and thus Tucker became Elwood.
We had him for a few months before we ever heard him bark, until then we just assumed that he couldn't bark but if you got him overly excited with a tennis ball he would occasionally get vocal but it really was a very rare occurrence - this often led to him getting locked out in the back garden after I fed him his tea. I'd put his tea out, close the door and often remember later on that he was outside! I was always forgetting he was there and when I would go to let him in he'd just be standing by the back door with a daft look on his face.
When he was younger he really loved to run and boy could he move, you had to be careful where you let him off the lead though. If he knew he was somewhere near a food source he'd sometimes bolt hoping to be fed. He once helped himself to a family's picnic and another time he shot off from the promenade behind Knotts Flats and I found him later being fed chips by someone parked in Spanish Battery Car Park.
In the past couple of years he started to slow down and began to develop arthritis in his back legs making it difficult for him to be as mobile as he used to be and in the past 6 months his walks were becoming more and more reduced and lately he never made it past the park at the bottom of our street. He always seemed to manage to get up if there was a small chance of food though as his next meal was always on his mind.
His constant pursuit of food led him into the life of a petty criminal. Leave the kitchen door ajar and he'd be straight in. If he got in without being seen you'd often go in later and the evidence of his crimes would be laid out before you...empty wrappers that previously contained tortilla wraps would give him away every time. As careful as we were (an we got much better as the years went by) he'd still occasionally accomplish his mission and sneak in for a pilfered snack. He nicked all sorts over the years....whole hams, a whole block of cheese, countless loaves of bread and then there was the time he ate loads of packets of mints....this had a tremendous effect on his bowels overnight and the result the next morning was simply horrendous.
His lifelong pursuit of food was just his way and telling him off did no good. As soon as his next chance came he'd be in like Flynn and damn the consequences.
He had a lovely nature an was a very gentle boy, everyone that met him immediately fell for him. He was laid back dog and never really got up to any mischief when left alone at home through they day (unless of course the kitchen door was left open).
Rest well Elwood. Hope you find a nice warm spot by the fire.
Coastal Dog Walkers
Welcome to the occasional ramblings of a North Shields dog walker.