Podunk has lost a great citizen. Actually, Podunk is now minus one especially naughty dog. My evil yet charming Romeo has moved on to the Happy Hunting Grounds. For him, that most likely involves Every Day is Trash Day. He wasn’t really much of a hunter, and recently struck a deal with a cottontail, allowing her to sublease my lettuce patch for free.
Romeo had a knack with the ladies — somehow conveying an Antonio Banderas accent with his doggie face. A friend once admitted after keeping Romeo for a weekend that she would promptly leave her husband for Romeo if he wasn’t, well, a dog. He had a crush on my sidekick Lucy. Tracking her voice throughout the neighborhood and downtown establishments seemed to be the only practical skill he possessed. Besides being able to hold my feet while I did sit ups. There went my sit up career.
Romeo was not a brave dog. He was afraid of other dogs, most cats, thunder, fireworks, deer, and cottontail rabbits.
Despite being cloaked in a border collie body, Romeo has the on-leash instincts of a lead sled dog and the swimming prowess of a lab. The water, in the end, proved to be his demise.
Romeo had the unfortunate habit of barking at his own splashes while paddling in rivers, lakes, or the neighbors’ drinking water reservoir. This summer, he became obsessed with this fun and dispatched himself to the Salmon River several times a day. Lucy diagnosed him as having gone “bat shit crazy” and I cannot disagree.
People commonly mistook his frantic barking and solo swimming style as distress, and rescued him to the pound, posted his mug on Facebook, etc. I was in the process of making him a lifejacket that read, “Leave me alone, I’m on my way to the Pacific Ocean.”
I’m saddest that I never got to see him ride that first wave on the Pacific, smiling his eerie Antonio Banderas smile. Paddle on, sweet Romeo.