Wednesday, October 25, 2006


My brother almost named him Dammit. He thought it would be the perfect expletive to yell in a dog park during a lively game of fetch.

"Dammit, SIT."
"Get over here, Dammit."

I could see the good Catholic mothers shooting glances of disapproval as they raced to cover their children's ears.

However, common sense won out. Perhaps the first and only time.
Stephen eventually settled on the name Thurman. And Thurman was instantly weaved into the fabric of our family.

We had always grown up with dogs. Stupidity and large size were prerequisites. Clancy was a clinically retarded golden retriever with an overactive pituitary gland. Maggie was a black lab rescued from the shelter. She wasn't very bright, had an abnormal fear of cars and sewer grates, and could bark the happy birthday song. And then there was Thurman. He was completely entertained with games like... "Find your Tail!" and "Eat the Stick!". To be honest, I think Stephen was fascinated with these games, too.

And while it could be argued that he suffered from an extreme lack of intelligence, Thurman was fearless. He had no reservations about stepping in front of a freight train to rescue a tennis ball. What he lacked in smarts he made up for with personality. We always said that if Stephen was forced to make a life and death decision between the family or Thurman, our shit was toast.

As fate would have it, Stephen won't ever be faced with that. Thurmonster had a severe seizure on Friday that ended with a final visit to the vet. Aside from a few tears at his own wedding, I don't think I've ever heard my brother's voice waver so much. Stephen said he went peacefully, chomping on his tennis ball until the end.
When he called me to tell me the news, I couldn't say anything. I didn't know what to say. All I could do was look at our two golden retrievers and feel like I was on borrowed time.


Blogger robert said...

yes, we are on borrowed time

critical is our mission of seizing moments of joy and happiness

as fleeting moments they may be, joy is to be found;

that is our command; that we love one another and our joy may be full

2:13 AM  
Anonymous Jantzen said...

I'll miss Thurmie ... he was my favorite dumb dog ... :(

10:50 AM  
Blogger John said...

gus just turned's harder than ever to be the least bit mad at him. even his irrational fear of the doggie door.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Tay Hota said...

I know what you mean; well said...

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Timothy said...

Great post!!

9:48 PM  
Blogger Darin said...

That was a great post.

Now...write something funny!!!

2:27 AM  
Anonymous Swannie said...

Thurman was a great dog. My pups, just two of his many bitches, will miss him, as will my Wife and I. The Thurmanator and his droopy left ear will forever be in our memories.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thurman, to me, was everything wonderful about loving dogs..great post & tribute to Stevie & Thurmie...will miss that purty yellow sweetheart.

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is so sad to hear, I know Steven loved Thurman. --Kel in Jax

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew Thurman & Stephen from the beginning & I can honestly say I've never seen a bond between a boy & his dog as special as that one. Each one complimented the other and as time went by, they both seemed to pick up each other's best traits. There were times when I threw the ball to that dog & Steevie would wind up chasing it down before Thurman! I'll miss that dog but it's nice to know every time I sit & have a cocktail with Stephen, a piece of Thurman, with his droopy left ear, is looking right back at me...

3:08 PM  
Blogger Rey a.k.a. "Mr. Secret" said...

Aww, that was such a bittersweet post. My boy Fletcher just turned 11 months and already I can't even imagine what it'd be like without him.

11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are certain things I really hate doing, and one is crying in public. A complete sign of weakness in my opinion; but I totally lost it at work the other night reading this.

Where ever you are Thurmi – we love you!! My life is richer having played catch with you and your slobbery tennis balls. And yes I actually did grab one of those things with my bare hands. Something you would think might cause me to do one of my other least favorite things - puke!


3:36 PM  

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