OUR FURBABIES BECOME A MEMBER OF THE FAMILY
(a memorial to our beloved Davis Miles)
The day that we picked up Davis from Kim, his breeder, was one of the happiest days of our lives. He was so insistent that we should pick him, even when a female sister kept pushing him out of the way to come and crawl up to Steve. Davis was right there as if to say to him that he was the one for us. And he was so right. He was not aggressive, just a gentle giant. Maybe not so much at 8 weeks but that is what he grew in to. Always such a sweet loving dog with a side thrown in of laughable mischievousness, such a jokester! Davis and Steve were such a perfect match and I can assure you that he was just as perfect for me. Those soulful, loving eyes looking straight into my eyes! No one could resist him. Turns out that he was just so smart. Easy to train, received an A+ in Puppy Obedience School and house trained with 'Tinkle Bells.' They are jingle bells hooked on a long ribbon that hangs on the door leading outside. Every time we took him out we would ring the bells and say to him, "Good boy, time to go out." Within 3 days he had the routine down and rang the bells on his own. (That little jokester, as he grew older loved to ring them just to go outside and chase the sun's reflections, not only to do his business. Even that was funny most of the time. Now I would give anything to have him ring those bells again.)
He came home with his own blanket from Kim and oh how he loved that blanket. Even as a 6 year old he carried his blanket around in his mouth all the time. He reminded us of having one of our children in their toddler stages carrying around their own blankets. He loved to lay it in your lap and have you toss it to him. Davis did that game quite often, with his blanket and with some of his favorite toys. Another little trick he learned was to greet whoever came in the house with a toy from his toy box. These are his own made up games, nothing that we taught him to do.
Davis used to fit on the love seat, even with big pillows on each side, sometimes taking a little rest from chewing his bully stick.
Steve and I found out about the Puppy Day Care at the Animal Hospital that we took him to for his veterinarian care with Dr. Taylor and grooming from Amber. It was so special in that all of the dogs could socialize. He had all of his shots, what he still needed was to be neutered. So we scheduled that for him when it was appropriate timing. It was so sad to see our poor puppy in such a state as in the picture below.
In fact, after one night, he had chewed through it and we had to return for a new one. Luckily, he did not get to his stitches. Poor baby had trouble even getting through the doorways, much less his crate so one of us slept out with him in the study. It was so pitiful. We all celebrated when he finally got that big ole ugly plastic cone off. Since that time, I have learned that most vets will try a different kind of collar that works much better and is not so cumbersome. We lived through this thank goodness, then he was able to go to Doggie Day Care and this is how we found him one day when we picked him up.
The other dogs feet were muddy and had to be cleaned before getting in their owners' cars. Not another dog there decided to go for a swim, except our Davis. Needless to say, they had to hose him off totally and then dry him enough before he could come with us in the car. I am sure that had a lot to do with the Day Care installing Astro Turf for the dogs to romp and play. We then could take Davis after a week of rain and no mudpuddles for him to find. It was so wonderful that we sectioned off a place in our own backyard for the very same thing. No more muddy paws. The Day Care even set up baby pools for the dogs to get in. Wet is not a problem. Muddy and wet was not so good. And we learned early as we looked through the pictures that they took throughout the day that the baby pool was his favorite place to be.
At home, he would love to go on the steps of our inground pool but he never went in the pool actually...only to stand on the steps in the water or to lay on the steps with his head above the water. Davis checking out the pool and obviously thinking this is a little too deep for me. Although, I am sure that he would have had no problem doggie paddling to the steps. He always kept his distance.
Even when drying off around the patio table he had a kingly look. The bow tie helped the stylish look but his pose always had strangers commenting to us about how handsome he was. And oh my, yes he was a definite show dog. We loved how his tail always looked like a question mark. His head held high so proudly.
Davis also thought at home his job was to guard us. One of his favorite places to be was to lay down at the front door. No one was going to get in that door without him knowing about it. He always started out with a deep bark but it always turned into a howl. The kind where he held his nose up to the sky and just let loose.
If you notice through the pictures he continued to grow and grow. He did get to about 86 pounds. Actually, he was a little smaller than some of his siblings. (and that was a good thing in our eyes - although, we would have loved him no matter what size he grew to)
As I mentioned before he was such a gentle giant. Here are some pictures of him thinking he is that same size when we picked him up at 8 weeks old.
After grooming, Davis looked so majestic. Even if he was sitting with both back legs out and looked like a frog. He was proud of the way that he looked. Amber always put on a colorful bandana that made him look adorable.
Another favorite thing that he loved was to go out in the snow. Here in Memphis, we do not get that much but one winter he saw the white stuff and did not quite know what to do until Steve picked up some and made a snowball to toss at him. He tried to catch it and ended up eating it instead.
All of the things that Davis did makes me wish I could see and hear them one more time. Knowing that I can't, I know that instead of learning to live without him, I just remember of how much love he left behind. That is the same way that I feel about Steve. The other happy thought is that the two of them are now together, happily playing... my two jokesters; loves of my life!