I know he's in a better place, but I can't pet him, I can't stroke his fur, he can't give me a doggy kiss. He can't comfort me with his presence. So...I try to think of the fun times we had, the good times:
When I got ready to leave to go somewhere, Xaros would run into the living room and watch me. If I headed towards the door (or just put on my jacket), he would grab either Little Baby or a tennis ball (he would actually leave them around the house together) and stand near the door, with the "Well, let's go" look on his face. We'd go out for a few minutes, then he'd decide it was time to go back in. I'd let him in, then I'd say "I'm leaving now, be back in a little bit, you be a good boy while I'm gone." And he always was.
When I put on my uniform, Xaros (like Meik used to) would get all excited. He'd run straight to the K-9 car door as soon as I opened the front door. He loved his car. If I was working outside, I could just open the K-9 car doors and he'd lay down inside or on the grass right by the back car door. Sometimes we'd go for a ride to the mailbox and back; he liked it.
I'd be sitting watching TV, Xaros would lay by the couch where he could see out the front glass door. He'd spot an animal in his yard, and let out a series of barks that would definitely surprise you. Sometimes make you jump out of your skin.
At night, when I got ready to climb into bed, I'd turn off the den lights and TV and Xaros would trot into the bedroom and stand at the door. I gave him a "jerky stick" which he would carry over by the bed, drop it, then wait for his two biscuits. He'd then eat the biscuits, then the jerky stick. I don't know whether he liked the biscuits best so he ate them first or saved the jerky stick for last.
I'd get up at night and have to turn a light on. You don't want to trip over a German Shepherd!
25 degrees outside, ice storm, I hear the Doggie Door, and look outside to see that Xaros is asleep on the ice on the back porch (his pen). Maybe it reminded him of Germany. Guess that thick fur (that he shed constantly) was good for something. I'd open the door and say "Get in here you silly puppy" and he'd look at me like "Why?"
If we couldn't play chase the ball outside (because of weather), Xaros liked to play indoor tag. Of course, I was always "It" and even when I tagged him, he never had to be "It". He did have to give up the ball if I could hold him, but I'd bounce it for him, he'd jump and grab it, and I was "It" again.
We worked Security at a Dance Hall, and someone asked me if Xaros could dance. I gave him the "Up" command and he stood up on his hind legs, placed his paws on my shoulders, and we danced a few steps. We were the hit of the evening.
When we'd enter the Sheriff's Office, I'd tell Xaros "Go to Dispatch" and he'd run down the hall and wait at the dispatch door. One day, the door was open, so he entered and went up to the Communications Officer and nuzzled her arm. She screamed (not having a clue that Xaros had entered), Xaros ignored it and everyone else thought it was pretty funny.
I was telling a friend a joke where the punch-line involves screaming. I screamed, and Xaros ran up ready to attack whomever was causing me distress. I quickly called him down; my friend thought he was about to become doggie dinner.
Xaros loved carrots, peas, and green beans. I would buy him Del Monte mixed vegetables. He'd eat them alone or on his regular food.
Sitting on the couch watching TV, I'd say "You want up here?" and he'd jump up on the couch and lay his head in my lap. He'd watch TV for a minute or so, then take a short nap.
After he ate his night-time go-to-bed biscuits, I'd say "You want to get up here with me?" and he'd jump up on the bed next to me and lay his head on the pillow. He'd nap for a while, then jump down. He'd take up 3/4 of the bed, and sometimes almost force me out!
I have pictures of him and Meik everywhere. Hanging on the walls, on tables, everywhere. My screen-savers, backgrounds, avatars, have always been Xaros. I have German Shepherds and Scooby-Doo knick-knacks everywhere. Xaros would always perk his ears when he heard Scooby laugh.
Xaros had an ID card that made him a peace officer and he had a badge. I'll make a shadow-box with his mementoes.
Xaros never bit anyone we arrested. They always surrendered. Xaros was imposing.
I'd come home at night and I would immediately fix his dinner, give it to him, and walk off to change clothes, check email, finish bringing stuff in from the car, etc. He'd take a bite or two then go looking for me. He'd find me and I'd say "You haven't finished your dinner. Go eat your dinner." and he'd run back and eat some more. He was just making sure I wasn't leaving.
As soon as I got home and would walk up onto the porch, I could hear Xaros running in the living room. I'd open the door and he'd be there, sometimes holding Little Baby. I'd say "Hello Little Boy" and he'd give me a little bark. If he didn't have Little Baby, he many times would have left him outside. When I'd leave, he'd carry Little Baby outside with him and I could hear him in his back pen. He'd listen for me to leave and then do whatever dogs do when their buddy is gone. I'd look outside and say "Who is that?" and he'd run out and grab him, then come back. Then it was time for dinner.
Squeaking Little Baby would bring Xaros running from anywhere to rescue Little Baby from your clutches. Apparently, the rule was that only Xaros could squeak Little Baby. Sometimes, I'd hear him in another room and suddenly hear "Squeak squeak squeak" knowing he was playing with his Little Baby. Every so often, he'd get going about 3 or 4 in the morning. Thank goodness, not often (though I didn't really mind it at all).
When I got back from the grocery store, I could simply hold up a quart bottle of milk where Xaros could see it and he'd come running into the kitchen. I'd give him a small bowl of milk and he'd lap it up. I rarely drank milk; I only bought it for him. Same with eggs. He liked eggs, I didn't.
I still do not understand why a sweet, innocent, loving animal such as Xaros had to get cancer.
I'd come home from SCUBA diving and have to clean my gear. Xaros would sit or lay at the door of the "SCUBA" bathroom where I cleaned and stored my gear, watching my every move. If I went to the truck, he had to go too. He just liked to keep on eye on me at all times. He never would lay down anywhere that he couldn't see me.
Xaros would jump up on the bed and bring Little Baby. Invariably, Little Baby would fall off the bed and Xaros would give me a look like "Oh no! Get him for me!!". Sometimes he would jump down and retrieve Little Baby, other times I would.
Xaros would sometimes carry Little Baby in by his food bowls, set him down, and leave him there for a while. I guess he wanted him to eat something.
I'd leave the house. Little Baby and Xaros's two tennis balls would be scattered over the house and back yard. Many times, I'd come home and they would all be next to each other in the living room. I suppose this was his idea of "straightening up" while I was gone.
I stood at the door and watched the rain tonight. It made me think of when Xaros would stand with me and watch the rain. I'd open the door, he'd look at me like "I'm just watching, I'm not going out in that down-pour!"
We had to search a grocery store once for a burglar. We thought the burglar was gone, but Xaros and I were called to make sure. I gave Xaros the building search command, and we checked the store. No burglar. What impressed everyone was that Xaros never once wavered from his concentration for the search, even when going by the steak counter and all the other foods. Xaros knew he had a job to do and he did it.
I have a flagpole in the front yard, and normally Xaros wasn't allowed to go past it (it was about 100' from the porch). Xaros loved trash day! On trash day, I'd carry the trash to the street, and Xaros would go with me. He wasn't allowed into the street, but he loved checking out the yard "past the pole" once a week.
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