I Will Always Be Down With Brown
I did not want the dog. We had gone to a cat show and were considering getting a dog but that day the only thing on the agenda was a cat show. Somehow that day we ended out at the Norfolk city pound. I really did not think we would find a dog at the pound. I found a dog alright. I found a classic hound puppy but when I turned around to tell my wife, Shannon, about the hound she was in possession of the scruffiest, dirtiest little brown dog I had ever seen. She was a mess and I was unimpressed but Shan was in love. I put up no fight and the paperwork with Norfolk was filed. A couple days later Shan brought the puppy to see me at a warehouse I was working at after picking her up to bring home. I was not there but my friend Wayne was. Wayne had good things to say about the puppy we would name Abbey.
Abbey was a multi generational feral dog and was full of behavioral issues. None of them were concerning at the time but she was nervous and would often hide. Abbey would get under our bed and we would have to get something to poke at her to coax her out from under the bed. The first week we had her I received a frantic call from Shan. We had some people over working on the house and she could not find Abbey. Shan was in a mess thinking that the pup somehow escaped while the workers were in and out of the house. I came back to the house with the guy I was looking with and we could not find her at first. We eventually found her standing perfectly still in the middle of the living room under a table. Abbey would eventually reach 75 to 80 pounds but could stay so still you would not notice her. I gave my wife a hard time afterwards. I told her they were going to make a movie about her called “How To Lose a Puppy In Seven Days”.
Abbey would not take long to earn her place in the home. Shan was involved in a horrible car wreck. She lost several weeks of memory and to this day does not remember the accident. The accident happened the day before Hurricane Isabel smashed into Virginia Beach. My wife was rushed to the hospital but they basically evacuated the hospital and sent her home. I got Shan on the couch and she was incoherent. It was only a half hour before the pharmacy closed and I had to rush out and get her meds. I asked my neighbors to check on her after I left. When I got back the neighbors said they could not get in the house. A little brown puppy growled and snarled and snapped and had herself firmly entrenched between my passed out wife and the neighbors she did not know. A couple years later we would have a tropical storm hit. During the storm I went outside and accidentally locked myself out. When I broke in through the window Abbey bit me on the hand before she knew it was me. As soon as she knew it was me she kept trying to make up to me. Abbey was fiercely protective.
We got Abbeys a buddy. We adopted an Aussie named Lily. To this day I don’t think Abbey cared if Lily was there but when it was time to be on guard they worked in tandem. They were a good pair. Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber!! On a couple occasions they got into fights. At least twice blood was drawn and it scared us. The vet said it was normal but when our daughter was born it would make us nervous. We had a party once and I convinced Shan that everyone loved pimento cheese sandwiches. I bought a couple trays of sandwiches including one with the pink sandwiches. The party went well and I did something I rarely do I got drunk. Not really drunk, more like snockered. The next morning when I made it downstairs I inventoried the pink sandwiches and they were almost all gone. Through a foggy head I bragged to Shan that I was right and people loved pink cheese sandwiches. Later that afternoon I was talking to a neighbor that had been at the party and he said that dog of yours loves pimento. I gave her almost the entire tray. She pooped pink for days.
Abbey was a great dog. She would hold her potty for a day if she needed to. She always knew when you were sad and was relentless with kisses and head butts until you smiled. She was goofy and knew how to please. She was strong-minded. When she was a puppy I walked her a mile and a half to my wife’s uncles house. She decided she was not walking back and I had to carry her home. When Abbeys was done she sat down and nothing could move her. Abbey was a family member. She was loyal and I never met a person that did not like her. We humanize our pets. I certainly humanized her and I will never apologize for it. They make your bad days tolerable.
Abbey recently developed cancer. The vet originally thought it could be cut out but during the x-rays it was so bad they could not see her lungs. My wife and I rushed to her side before she was euthanized. My wife was a mess and when Abbey saw me she inched toward me. It was heartbreaking. In true Abbey style she even went to her death on her terms. The tech could not get her up on the table and I had to carry her to the table. Like when she was done with her walks Abbey decided that if she was going there I was taking her there. My wife was amazing and held her to the end. Abbey’s ashes will make it to our new home later this month. Abbey was proof positive that the things you do not look for in life can make the biggest difference and impact. I love you Big Brown and I will never, ever forget you. You loved barking at squirrels and there is no doubt in my mind that even after we move to our new home I will hear you from time to time barking at the wubbies.