Dogs have always been a part of my life. Carl bought our first dog for Adyn when she was 2 years old. Barkley, named after Charles Barkley (Nathan’s pick) was a yellow lab. He was a beautiful yellow lab who jumped right into the family mix.
Soon he was ruling the backyard. Unfortunately, he was stolen shortly after we had him fixed. And while we sent out the search parties we knew after a few weeks he was gone. The hurt you feel when you lose a pet is horrible.
Soon after I set out to find a replacement. I saw an article for chocolate labs in the paper, so I called them up to schedule a visit. I picked Nathan up from school and we set off to see these pups. As soon as we drove up, we saw a run a way! Nathan ran after and grabbed the puppy only to stumble upon more who had escaped. I rang the doorbell and a nice young man answered, I pointed to the escaped puppies and he ran out of the house yelling at them. “Hey stop!” After grabbing all the pups and securing them back into the backyard, we walked into the house. There we saw not one but 2 huge chocolate labs; mom standing right in the room with dad around the corner. I mean they were HUGE!
The 2 guys selling them were medical students and this was one way they could earn extra income. The puppies with a band were already claimed. So, Nathan walked in the back and started to look around. Most of the puppies were back at the edge of the fence trying to get out, but there was one sitting in the shade almost saying, “let me know when you get that hole dug up, until then I’m here chilling in the shade. Nathan pointed toward the shade…”That’s the one!”
We wrote a check and left. This puppy was shaking in Nathan’s arms on our way to get Adyn from daycare. Cesar would be the first dog to save me and be a good partner and friend.
He blazed the trail for the rest of our family pets from his jumping through windows to be inside with us to yanking a pan of pinto beans down off the stove onto the floor and out to the backyard, to running out for hours finally walking back in at 3am pushing the front door open like he owned the place. He tore up the town wherever he went. Neighbors would call he was swimming in their pool, another neighbor chased him out of their house with bacon and another neighbor drove their minivan to chase him down with a team of kids. He was the true trailblazer and everyone was a part of Cesar’s family.
Carl would have Cesar pull him on rollerblades and only once came home with a scraped knee. “He saw a cat” Carl said. I just cracked up. He was loyal and loving and all of 115 pounds. Cesar was part of our family for 13 years. He taught us so much about unconditional love. The love we gave and received from Cesar set the bar pretty high for all of our other dogs that would come after him. The day Adyn and I took Cesar to the vet for a “wellness check” was the day the vet looked at us and said, “Are you ready to say goodbye? because he is” and we bawled. He was such a loved family pet.
And in the quiet moments we shared with Carl at the end of his life in hospice, Adyn and Nathan said, “listen for Cesar’s bark dad, he is coming to get you. Go be with Cesar.”