I had never met a dog like Snoopy. Technically he was a Rottweiler- Giant Schnauzer mix. What he really looked like was Grover from Sesame Street--big round head, long skinny legs, huge floppy ears.
He had had a rough first year of life before my mother-in-law got him. He was timid with a coat so thin you could see his skin through the fur. He was supposed to be a watch dog, but he was too frightened to bark at anything. When Snoopy first met our uber-friendly Elkhound-Shelty he was terrified. He whizzed all over the floor and cowered behind my 80-year old mother-in-law.
That soon changed. The dogs quickly became fast friends. He could handle almost anything--vet visits, stays at the kennel, thunderstorms or blizzards--as long as Belle was nearby. He learned about barking and watching and the eternal war against all things feline.
It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by Chesterton:
Through all this ordeal his root horror had been isolation, and there are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one
The Man Who Was Thursday
He took his new found courage back home with him when the visit ended. He became a real watchdog. He grew into a strong and amazingly agile mutt with incredible jumping ability.
He was a fierce protector of my mother-in-law and actually prevented a break-in when someone once tried to force their way into her house in the middle of the night.
When my mother-in-law died, he became a permanent member of our household. As goofy as he looked and acted, I slept better knowing he was watching the house. No one came into our yard or driveway without Snoopy alerting the whole neighborhood.
Last Monday morning he became terribly sick. By noon he could barely stand, We had to carry him to the car in a blanket for that forlorn trip to the vet. This was one trip he would have to take alone, without Belle.
It’s been a week and the house seems terribly empty.