The Calm After The Storm
Yesterday morning, breakfast time was calm and quiet, very sedate. The dogs were all lying around in various parts of the house waiting for Sally to finish preparing the various dishes. Missing was the customary cheerleading and yodeling that accompanied the waiting. The element that reduced the typical cacophonous event of meal preparation to a silent vigil was the absence of Storm.
Monday afternoon Sally arrived home from work, she gave the crew their usual round of dog treats to hold them over until dinner, just another routine afternoon. She then went out to run a few errands. When she returned home, she found Storm standing in the middle of the kitchen, looking a very disoriented with his head held down. After a quick call to the vet, Storm followed Sally out to the van and he jumped into the back as he always did. Along the way, he was standing with his head between the two front seats, occasionally offering driving tips. After a while, Sally noticed that he was beginning to lean down, eventually lying down on the beds in the back. When she looked back again, he had passed away quietly.
Storm was the leader of the pack among the Florida 14 rescues. He was an amazing resilient and forgiving dog, recovering from the situation that he had been in and thoroughly enjoying his new life. Among the things that he truly relished, besides eating and the raucous cheerleading for meal preparation, was the freedom to move around and do what he wanted when he wanted. He could be seen cantering up the hill through the yard, watching the deer and squirrels outside the fence, or just sunning himself. One of his typical behaviors was stretching out in a play bow, flopping over onto his side, and rubbing his head in the tall green grass in sheer delight.
Storm was always concerned with keeping “his pack” together, including scanning nervously when Sally and I would walk down different aisles on trips to PetSmart. He was happiest when everyone was present and accounted for.
It was quite a transition that he made over the last year and a half, from being a feeble old dog, to a strong elder dog, one of the more ebullient door greeters when we came home. One of the last memories that I have of him was on Sunday night when we came back from dinner. Sally had gone ahead of me and received the typical bouncy Storm greeting. He then pushed past her, out the front door, and came over to greet me and give me a very enthusiastic “head hug”.
There is a void left in the pack that will slowly close. Storm is gone but he will not be forgotten.
Storm at ~1 year
Storm with the Florida 14 year
Storm at 11 years
Kumasan Indigo Storm O’Laika
March 20, 2000 – June 6, 2011
* * *