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Saturday, August 03, 2019

Schaub The Dog

Nine years ago, my youngest son, just recently separated from The Marines and having moved back home to go to school, called us while we were out and asked if he could have a dog. I told him he'd have to ask his step-father, who had said "no more animals" in his dad voice, so we knew he was serious.

He listened to Clint and then laid down some serious rules about taking care of HIS dog, paying for HIS dog's care, and cleaning up HIS dog's messes. That's when I was told that his dog was going to be a Beagle that he'd gotten a line on in a town an hour away. Arrangements were made and I came home to this face.
He was just over six weeks old and the cutest puppy I think I'd ever seen. I was immediately smitten and loved my little grandpuppy with everything in me.

Clint was dealing with some demons when he got out. No one comes home from war whole and Schaub helped him a lot. He was a very big part of Clint's life. He was a big part of our lives, but for both of them, it was really about the other.

He went away shortly when Clint moved to Corpus for a while and then he came back. I insisted he be fixed, because he was already a Beagle, who very much followed his nose wherever it led and because the new ordinances mandated that he be fixed. I paid for it myself. I figured we'd have him longer if he wasn't being hit by a car chasing a rabbit or a fecund female. He grew large, even though he was constantly on a diet. Beagles don't react well to being neutered from what I've since found out.

We got Apollo a few years later and Schaub and Zeus fitted him into the pack very nicely. Apollo loved nothing more than playing with Schaub.

 He injured a ligament in his leg and Clint could not afford the surgery, but Schaub was a trouper and he soldiered on, still playing and still catching squirrels up to his final weeks. Our backyard will probably now be overrun with rabbits and squirrels without his diligent pursuit of them. However, even with the diets, his weight came back and he began to slow down in his last year.

I seriously missed him getting out and having to chase him down through the neighborhood and his nose scenting something only he could discern. I hated that he was getting older, and I could see pain in his eyes sometimes, especially in winter. We made sure he had warm, soft places to lay down.

Wednesday and Thursday night he didn't look good when he went home. Clint called asking if our other dogs were OK. Thursday night he was rushed to the local Animal Emergency Clinic and he was hydrated and a ton of lab and imaging was done. He was taken to the recommended vet who had their hand out before they even bothered to print out his patient information to see what had already been done. We had just spent over $1200 for the previous night and they wanted $600 just to hook his IV back up.

Clint called around and got another vet to take a look at him that morning. He found out that his precious boon companion was far more ill that the other vets had let on and it would be best if he were put down as he was suffering a lot. He went over the Rainbow Bridge at noon, August 2, 1019.

Every single person in our family loved Schaub, fiercely. I'm very happy that my son now has his beautiful wife to help him through this. I can only say that it's very much like losing a child. I can say that as I've lost both. I couldn't sleep last night as the cat kept waking me up making a sound that was much like Schaub crawling under our bed to get to Apollo's bed in the corner. I'd wake up and for just a moment, think it was Schaub, who still spent the night with us sometimes. Then I'd cry myself back to sleep.

We all loved Schaub. Even Apollo is a little morose, still. He was that way after Sam died as well. Dogs know.

I'm going to think of Schaub in happy days, chasing scents around the yard when he wasn't catching  squirrels or chasing rabbits. I will miss his baying and his pathetic howl. I will miss him.

This is one of my favorite pictures of him.
I will no longer look down and see that precious face staring up at me, begging me for just one more treat he shouldn't have.

You were loved Schaub the Dog. You will be missed.

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