It has probably been over a year since I shared stories about Sukros, one of our two dogs. At the time I meant to follow up by writing about our other dog, Roscoe, but never have done it. So I would like to share him with you now.
Roscoe, Roscaroonie, The Roscinator, Big Dog, My Buddy, My Pal, My Shadow. They say that dogs are a man's best friend. There is no doubt that Roscoe is my best friend. Both dogs were my fiance's before I came along. While both love me, Roscoe claimed me as his human. He was so happy to have another male in the household. We bonded.
He lays outside the bathroom door waiting for me to finish showering, and when I do he loves to lick my legs. If he is not around I simply have to call out "legs" and he comes bounding up the steps. He is with me most of the day, laying on the floor by my desk. It works out for us both. He gets to lick the egg off my plate and gets plenty of petting, and I get to have his calming presence nearby. I think he actually helps me work better. At night he goes upstairs with me, hops into bed, and curls up behind my legs. Roscoe is a snorer. It is really cute, a soothing, kind of funny sound that always makes us smile. At times he will dream and bark in his sleep, one of only three times when he does.
Another time he barks - yipes, really, is when he does not want us to do something. Usually this means a brushing. His hair tends to tangle and the brush can sometimes pull at it. Of course he makes it seem much worse than it is. One time we took him to the vet and he just started screaming like they were torturing him. He cracked up the ladies who work there.
A few years ago we discovered that Roscoe loves tummy rubs. When he sees me coming his tail will begin to wag. If I get down on the floor next to him he will often roll over, pawing and squirming when I stop in the hopes that I will continue. Especially at night when we go to bed I will lie next to him and cuddle as I rub his tummy. He loves that.
When we come home or anyone comes over he has to have a toy in his mouth. He will search one out and come on over with his tail and his whole rear end wagging. He is very fond of a rawhide and of stuffed animals. He seems to have some favorites, including a lobster we picked up in Maine a couple years ago. My office is a depository for many of these toys as he carries them in when he spends time with me.
One of our favorite games is when I hold a toy just out of his reach. At first I used to hold it up and run around with it as he chased me, jumping up on the couch to get closer. Then I also started dragging it along the floor as he chased, grabbing at it with his paws. He is so happy once he catches it. I call him my lightning bolt and say how fast he is. He wags his tail. Lately he has added a new dimension to this play. When I try to get the toy back, he keeps it from me, moving just out of my reach as I grab for it.
He is an extremely intelligent dog, and the first to learn new things, like how to eat off a fork, how to crawl across the floor, and how to get the peanut butter out of a pong. He sniffed the treats we left for them under the Christmas tree and it was so cute to watch him tear at the tissue until he got them out. We put more under the tree for a couple days.
Roscoe loves to chase the squirrel. If we see one we will say "squirrel!" - we could whisper it - and both dogs will come running, Roscoe yipping madly. A little before lunch today I saw a squirrel in our bird feeder. Both dogs came running when I called, and Roscoe tore out the door, ran across the patio and leapt over the piles of snow up to the fence.
As he got back to the patio he suddenly stumbled, then collapsed onto his side, whimpering just a couple times as I ran over and picked him up.
My best friend died in my arms this morning.