also known as
Zorro-thustra (my favorite of his nicknames)
Janaki’s special names for him – Boo, Mr. B, Booger
When he smiled at the ladies – Smiler
I have no idea why I occsionally called him – Dork, Dorkas or Dor-qua
and in later years – Grumpus
when he woke up the morning, hair all mussed – Mr. Rumpleface
after a particularly rough vet appointment where he came home drugged and disheveled – Hobo-dog
and once, after licking my loaf of gluten-free bread – Rudey. He had never gone after human food before, so it was rather shocking but to his mind, I’d imagine, “Judd, I’m going to see eternity soon, so if I want bread, I’m licking the bread.”
We chased deer together and sat on the couch with his head on my leg. He ate food that I dropped and knew me well enough to know that between me and Janaki, the safer bet was on me dropping some tidbit from my plate, not because I wanted to give him human food but because I am the sloppier eater.
He let Janaki’s parents know that I was a nice guy who loves their daughter. He really did, no joke or mourning hyperbole there.
His deterioration seemed so slow when we were going through it with him but looking back, he got old in a frightening hurry. Eventually, he didn’t herd us to keep safe from wolves, didn’t enjoy being pet and didn’t enjoy running in the yard or even walking through prickly bushes so Janaki had to brush them out of his long, Kip Winger-like feathered hair.
This past weekend, Janaki made the decision after many phone calls to her sister and e-mails to her parents in India. She took care of him since he was a pup and when he became an old man, she did right by him and did everything she could for as long as she could. Her efforts astounded everyone who witnessed them.
He died in her living room, with his head on his paws, sleeping soundly, relaxed in a way that he had not been in months. We were petting him and crying when he shuddered and left.
We miss him.