by J.D. Cook
Dozer was not man’s best friend
He was my best friend.
I picked him out the day after he was born because, out of his litter, he was the adventurous one who climbed all over me while I sat down with them.
He was the offspring of two pure bred huskies making him akin to dog royalty in my book.
My Mother told me her only criteria for picking one of the huskies was that it had blue eyes. Dozer was the only one of the litter to have one blue eye and one brown eye.
As he grew from a puppy to a dog, I faced the challenges of adolescence.
There were many rough times but I never faced them alone because I always had Dozer to confide in or spend time with.
Sometimes in life we just need someone or some dog to listen to us.
We spent time wrestling when we were wound up but Dozer never came close to hurting me as he playfully put his jaws around my arm.
It was in this developmental period that Dozer committed his only sin when he devoured my much loved Wolverine action figure.
If anything could be said about Dozer it would be that he was one of the friendliest dogs alive. We joked that instead of scaring off intruders he would help them because being angry wasn’t in his DNA.
Although a strong argument could be made that Dozer was in fact the next step in dog evolution as he both learned to communicate with vocalizations that mimicked conversation and open doors.
Unfortunately one of the times he attempted to open our backdoor he managed to put his paw through the glass door.
When he came home from the vet’s the next day he climbed on top of me and fell asleep from the mental exhaustion of staying awake all night in a kennel missing his home.
He always carried a happy grin as he trotted through the large snow piles of winter in Hazleton.
My childhood home won’t be the same without him running to the door to greet me.
Somehow he always found a way to rest his head on a pillow and pull a blanket over him re-enforcing my belief that he was actually the dog equivalent of an X-Man…which may also explain why he choose a Wolverine action figure to devour out of my vast toy collection.
Bringing Dozer for walks gave me a chance to think during tumultuous moments and allowed him the opportunity to explore and mark his territory.
The most magical of these walks occurred late in his life on a Christmas Eve in which the town had been covered by the perfect amount of snow. It was enough for him to be in heaven and for me to be able to marvel at its majesty. Together we traversed the bright Christmas lit evening in pure silence. Most families had stayed in on that wonderful evening but I chose to go for a walk with mine.
Although he wasn’t always a friend to the Christmas season, having knocked over our Christmas tree more then once while being overzealous in his sniffing of it!
His health declined suddenly as he changed from being an overgrown puppy to a dog crippled by age.
I can’t really put into words how much he’s meant to me over the past eleven years but I will say that with his death, so t0o dies the last remnant of my long childhood.
See ya on the other side bud.