Things I'll always remember about Devo

In no particular order:

A very late entry that popped into my mind July 2009;
After Devo was diagnosed with cancer, my vet prescribed Prednisone to help him through the tough times. Right after Labor Day, 6 weeks before he died as he was pumped up with steroids, Devo and I walked up to the elementary school. He was strong enough to make it and we had the whole place to ourselves. There I chipped his beloved golf balls for him to retrieve, just like the old days. This was the last time we ever enjoyed that particular activity together. He was sooo happy, and I was ecstatic. I often think about this borrowed time; the financial and emotional expense that just can't be measured with a simple, feeble, yard stick of value. Oh wait, yes it can. It WAS a bargain.

To make him produce a huge smile, run the tips of the finger from both hands along his muzzle. Works best when I returned from being gone for a few day. “Snickers” (half smiles) were everyday occurrences that only needed a light finger tip rub along the full length of his muzzle, especially sensitive on the right side of his muzzle.

The guttural crying sound he would make when I greeted him after being gone for several days, usually following a good affectionate ear rubbing immediately upon my return.

The regal trance he would enter as he contently lay with a ball or toy in his mouth, gazing out at the world. It was all he needed to enter a blissful world of his own. He could stay that way for an hour or more. Probably thinking about how much he loved being right were he was at that moment.

I have always talked to my dogs. No response was ever necessary, but Devo on occasion would give me “the look”, like he knew what I was trying to point out along our walk, while he lounged under my desk or just before I was going to hit that perfect 7 iron over the fence in our Idaho back yard. He was quite OK with just about everything that ended with “whadoyou think about that my pal?”.

Calling Andi at home while on the road, Devo and Cosmo hearing my voice and launching into “jujitsu”. Jujitsu=the two dogs wrestling and emitting noises that could only be described as fighting noises from the tackiest kung-fu movies. It is of course, all in fun, but boy was it loud and rough sounding, kind of like WWF fake wrestling. I've also heard it aptly described as "bitey face".

Young Devo was quite the rough house. One of his favorite games was chasing his toy (usually a rope) which I would pull along the floor around my body (as I sat cross legged on the living room floor in Idaho) keeping it just out of his reach. I would switch hands as he went round and round, growling with delight.

Devo always wanted a job to do. Carrying the mail in from the mailbox in Idaho was something he never tired of doing. When we moved to Seattle he would go down to the entry way and pick up the newspaper and bring it up to the kitchen every morning while I made coffee.

Learning at 7 years old how to “potty” on command after growing up never having to perform this. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it sure made life in the city and traveling much more pleasant for all of us (him included). Devo never failed to learn or adjust to anything his pack leader needed him to do.

Monkey noises: This one is difficult to describe for the minds eye (and ear!). As a working dog, Devo was always at his best when he had a job to do. Most of the time, work and play were exactly the same. Later in his life as he slowed down a little, he would emit a series of squeaks, cries and/or jungle noises as he began to retrieve or work. At the same time his tail would twirl in a circle as he happily frolicked after the Frisbee, ball or whatever he happened to be doing at the time. This was a very odd, but unforgettable noise that was uniquely his. Once the excitement of the game was replaced with pure joy of interacting with whomever was directing him, the noise disappeared and he just went about the business of play.

The Happy Dance. The only dog we’ve ever had who had a distinctive method of telling everyone exactly when and why he was happy.

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