Thirteen years ago I made a big mistake. I walked into a puppy store. I now know never to buy a dog from a pet store and I’ve never done that again, but this one time I did. I asked to see a little yorkie who looked so scared hiding in the corner. I thought to myself who is going to buy this sad looking dog. So out he came into my arms. After cuddling him for a few minutes what did he do? He nose dived out of my arms. I felt awful. This poor dog was so traumatized. I put him back in his cage but all I could think about is how can I leave him there? I was still living with my parents at the time and pleaded with them to let me get him. They really weren’t happy about it because I already had Bijou, my maltese. But all I could think about was that sad little puppy that jumped out of my arms. I went back the very next day and got him.
Well that sad little dog, turns out he was an actor and a con artist. The moment he came home he transformed into a total maniac. That sad little puppy that eyed me down in the pet shop knew exactly what he was doing. He knew he could sucker me into buying him. I wanted to name him Benny because that was Bijou’s middle name, but when Kerry (my stepfather) saw him he said we are calling him Rex. Rex is Latin for king and a king he became (often more like a tyrant).
He didn’t stay my dog very long. I could see how hard it was for Bijou to bond with this wild little puppy and Bijou was my first love. I went to my Mom a few months later and said to her, “Mom, have you and Rex bonded yet?” And that was when he became my parents dog. He was never meant for me. Rex had my parents heart from the day I brought him home.
Rex was hands down one of the world’s most annoying, crazy dogs. This dog had so many issues. You couldn’t watch TV if the show had animals in it. He would bark. You couldn’t go swimming with him outside. He would bark. You couldn’t leave the house without throwing treats and literally running out the door. He would bark. You couldn’t put him in a cage ever. He would bark. You couldn’t have balloons or balls around. He would bark. My mom could never hold Summer when she was a baby if he was around. He would bark. And I’m not talking a ruff ruff here. I’m talking constant, loud, relentless barking.
Patience. You need a boatload of patience to handle a dog like this and my parents had a lot of it. My Mom and Kerry never had children of their own together but they had Rex. He was their baby. My mom walked that dog everyday, everywhere. He would sit for countless hours (when he wasn’t barking) and watch black and white movies with Kerry. As Summer got older he loved going for walks with her. He loved Halloween. He would wait for the trick or treaters. And he loved the snow. My Mom built him a snowman every year.
We never expected him to get sick so fast. Rex was diagnosed with liver disease this summer. My parents did everything they possibly could for him. He spent a few nights in the hospital last month for the vets to try to get his liver levels down. He came home and had a good few weeks. When they brought him back to the vet they saw that his levels starting to go back up and the vet told them there was nothing more they could do. They brought Rex home and enjoyed the time they had left with him. Summer spent last weekend with him. She walked him and he went to the park with her. When I pulled up to my parent’s house Sunday to pick her up I saw just Summer sitting on the front porch eating her lunch with Rex by her side. This is one those memories I will never get out of my head. On Monday my mom told me how she sat outside with him, watched his hair blow in the wind, knowing it was one of those memories she’ll never get out of her head. She told me how she danced in the kitchen with him holding his weak body, knowing the time to let him go was here.
My parents gave Rex his angel wings on a rainy Tuesday night.
I woke up to a sunny sky today and when I looked up I could see the clouds floating by knowing that Rex is at peace now. He lived a long, loved life.
That big mistake I made 13 years ago turned out to be the best gift I could ever have possibly given my parents. He was never meant for me. He was always meant to be their dog and what a life they both gave him.
Forever loved. Never forgotten. Always a king.
5/6/2004 to 8/29/2017