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Thinking Out Loud: Man’s Best Friend

I have been thinking a lot about how influential our pets are in our lives. Their needs allow us to remember that some things are simple, some things are routine, some things remain normal. They allow us to breathe and if we emulate them, we can enjoy the simple things in life. My wife and I have been blessed to have a 170lb St. Bernard in our life since 2012.

Bruce Heberle
Bruce Heberle

I admit looking back, over our 43 years of marriage, we were not the best pet owners. Our first dog was Trampas; then Teddy; Rosie and Bosley together, and finally Ginger. They loved us. Truth be known, they were treated like dogs and were simply in the home and life happened around them. We were busy raising kids and building careers. We never really stopped and appreciated them for their unique personalities.

After Ginger died, we waited for a while before deciding it was time for another dog in the house. We decided we wanted a male and we were going to name him Larry. As she does with everything, my wife researched every breed and decided we were getting a St. Bernard. He was our first giant breed dog. Great decision.

We found Larry, along with 10 littermates, about 30 miles away from our home. Knowing we wanted a male, and he would be named Larry, we only looked at the males of the litter. When I saw a backward, horizontal “L” on his side, I told Ruthann, there is Larry. From that moment, he was going to be ours.

Lucky for us, Larry turned out to be a “dry mouth,” “short hair” St. Bernard. (Less slobbering and shedding.) He was beautiful, sweet, and expressive. Through Larry, we learned dog language. He could give us a look and we could understand what he was trying to tell us. What a gift that was!

During the recent Covid lockdown, Larry sent out a daily PSA (Public Service Announcement,) about how he was dealing with the lockdown. Sometimes he was serious, sometimes he was funny, depending on his mood. He once put a roll of toilet paper around his neck and announced on face book: “Have toilet paper will deliver.” He seemed to be a good sport about it. He did daily PSA announcements until Florida lifted its restrictions. It was his last hurrah.

We lost Larry in early August. At 8 ½ his time on earth was complete. He waits for us to cross that bridge down the line. We really miss him. After his death, we received a card with his remains. I don’t know who wrote the verse, but it sums up perfectly what I believe Larry was telling us at the end:

“We may not be together in the way we used to be. We are still connected by a cord no eye can see. So, whenever you need to find me, we’re never far apart. If you look beyond the horizon and listen to your heart.”

Larry was the best dog I ever had. He was MY dog. He wanted to be with me. He never questioned my leadership. He counted on me. He was a member of our pack and loved by everyone in our family. We miss him so. Rest in peace Larry, job well done.

 

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