Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The holiday weekend started and ended with a terrible shaking.
Saturday morning we were awakened by a 5.6 earthquake.
Sunday night, we said goodbye to our beloved Blu2.

I'll just briefly tell you what happened, then I hope you'll take a few moments and stroll down a very happy memory lane with me.

I sometimes post on Facebook pictures from our early morning walks at the park.

This year, it seemed like neither of us could tolerate the summer heat, even in the early mornings. Our route got a little shorter because in the past month, about 3/4 through, Blu would be lightly panting and he refused to jump into the back of the SUV.  Sometimes, Afghans can be stubborn and that's what I assumed here. In fact, last week after getting a pedicure, he was so happy to leave the groomer's he practically flew into the back of the car.  So I thought his slower gait was a normal combination of age and heat.

Sunday was a pleasant day. We shared our daily morning toast. We napped in the afternoon. He ate a full bowl of food and barked at the empty water bowl. He had me well trained. It wasn't really a bark, just a little "ruff" and I jumped up and filled it with cold, filtered water.

About 9:45 we went outside. It was a beautiful, clear night with a soft breeze. Hubby & I sat on the swing talking about the stars. Blu did his nightly obligations, then his routine check of the yard perimeters. All of a sudden, we heard him take off running. This wasn't unusual; we figured he'd spotted a bunny again. We looked towards the fence and saw a very big cat running the top. We called Blu to come in, full well knowing he would ignore us as long as he could smell that cat.

I started walking towards him to coax him inside but I couldn't see him. Hubby had a flashlight & turned it on. We saw Blu laying on his side. In those few seconds, he was gone. We were stunned with shock. I can only conclude that his heart gave out. It must have been bothering him the last couple months and I didn't realize it. His last checkup was Oct '15 and he was perfectly fine.

Afghan Hounds are known for being aloof and regal, yet clownish.

Blu was all that and more. He was sweet and smart, a wonderful companion, rather quiet until someone came to the door. It was an absolute joy to watch him run outside - poetry in motion. He was fast, graceful and so very elegant.

The three of us had developed a comfortable daily routine over the years. The evenings ended with him curled up in his own chair while I worked at my desk or craft table. It's very lonely in here tonight as I write this.

Blu was a great watchdog. There was a gate between the living room and family room. When he stood on his back legs, he was about 5' of head to toe fur. If he didn't know someone, a good barking at the gate let them know he was on duty.

When I got my puppy, I was trying to come up with some exotic sounding name, but drawing a blank. His dam was "Winnie the Blue" - Blue for short. My son's favorite band is U2. Either he or my husband suggested the name Blu2 and it stuck.

Blu absolutely hated being brushed. Eleven years and every time was a battle. This spring I finally gave up. We're both getting too old for this, I said, and gave him a boot camp buzz. He actually looked pretty cute. (Below is the last picture taken of Blu; hubby took it with his cell phone last week.)

Those rascally squirrels at the park would bring out the sight-hound in Blu. Not too long ago he tripped me in an attempt to bring one of them down. I was the one who went down.

This is called a "play bow." Afghans do this when they're having fun or they want to appear innocent of any wrong doing. Sometimes it's also just a good stretch.

Afghan hounds are notorious counter surfers and they start young! You can never break them of it, it's just part of who they are.

They are also excellent thieves! That long pointy nose can snatch a bit of food faster than you can blink. Last week, I merely watched as Blu stole a granola bar wrapper I had put down on my desk. He hadn't lost his touch. He seemed so delighted to have got something past me. I'm glad now I didn't scold him.

 Blu always seemed to pose at this fence corner.

The picture above made the local news when the station asked viewers to send their snow pix in.

Another sign of a content, happy, clownish Blu was the back roll. It was a hilarious sight, all legs and paws kicking in the air. Then he would sit up, shake his head and look at us as if to say, whaaat, can't a king let loose now & then? Blu did a happy back roll Sunday afternoon, then came over for special ear scratches from hubby. He loved hubby's hands and would often tuck his head under them or push his head in his lap, asking for a nice massage & ear scratch.

A good snow romp was always a sight to make you smile.

My beloved Blu2, thank you for bringing so much joy into our lives. You will be so missed.

The Elegant Blu2
 June 29, 2005 - September 4, 2016


Becky Arndt said...

Connie, what a beautiful tribute to your lovely Blu. I know he was an integral part of your life.

Jason Cook said...

Connie, I'm so sorry. This is beautiful.