Fifteen years ago, our family rescued a black lab pup from a humane society. Only six months old at the time, we took Bullet home and were excited to have a new addition to the family.
It didn’t take longer than a day to fall in love with this dog. He was ready for anything!
He was always up for a run or a swim, and could keep up with any biker who challenged him to a race, even if a stick was tossed in the opposite direction to start out. He was speedy – even when his paws hit the linoleum. When the parents weren’t around, we’d flick mini-marshmallows off the counter and watch him slide from one side of the kitchen to the other, trying to consume the marshmallows at the rate we were giving them. After eating the entire bag, we’d smother a dab of peanut butter on the tip his nose and laugh endlessly as he tried to lick it off.
All along, Bullet was a good sport. He was an awesome listener, too. We’d sit on top of his dog house and he would listen to me pout about my fifth grade Science homework. He was patient enough to endure my “dress up” parties, which resulted in him struggling to walk around in a bubble gum pink 80’s-style prom dress.
Sometimes, as Bullet was clad in an evening gown, we’d bring out the golf balls. He had an infatuation with golf balls. He never got tired of chasing them around the basement, even though we would purposely toss them to ricochet off the floor and walls of our basement to test his reaction time, as if running around in a dress wasn’t a big enough challenge for a dog. Still, he loved it and chewed a good collection of the golf balls down to the core in his spare time.
Fearful of thunderstorms and guns, Bullet was worthless to any hunter. Despite being gun shy, however, he loved tracking stuff down. He caught a rabbit that our family ended up nursing back to health and releasing back into the wild. He could sniff out a golf ball or tennis ball from a mile away, even if we hid it in the bushes or under the couch.
The dog did everything with gusto – especially when it came to eating. Sadly, we had previously named a dog Hoover, and while Kirby would have been a legitimate name, we had already named him?Bullet before we took note to his eating habits. Bullet cut eating time in half by skipping chewing and just swallowing. You’d toss him a mouthful and it was gone – no matter what it was. On one occasion, when I had left a tray of molasses cookies on the coffee table, I returned less than a minute later to discover an empty tray. ?He had consumed over 20 cookies in less than a minute. Talk about fast food!
Despite his terrible manners, he was a best friend to everyone in the family as well as a few of the neighbors. On the contrary, he scared any and all unknown visitors from leaving the safety of their vehicles until a family member came out and calmed him down. Sure, he was a little over protective, but it was obvious he desired to protect his family.
Bullet thoroughly enjoyed life until a few years ago. Sadly, after 16 years of a long, good life, he had slowed down quite a bit. He no longer would buck like a riled-up bull when he sensed he was going for a walk. He would still beg for food and try to sneak into the house, but he didn’t get excited by much else – not even golf balls.
Our family has never known a dog to be such a sweetheart – so obedient and loyal. You really can’t get much better than ‘The Bull Dog.’ It was a sad day, but last week, after knowing it was coming for over two years, our family made a tough decision. After all the years spent together in fun and happiness, the family favorite got put down. Now buried beneath a heart-shaped stone near our home, Bullet will be missed but never forgotten.
Shootin’ the Wit is a weekly column about everyday life that should never, ever be taken too seriously.