Today is one of the saddest days I’ve lived. You see my dog Quinten passed away today. It wasn’t tragic. He lived a long sixteen and a half years. It wasn’t even unexpected. His health has been declining over the past year. It was sudden but peaceful.
Quinten was a very small puppy when I received him, small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. I remember my girlfriend at the time decided we need a dog. I told her we didn’t, because if she ever broke up with me i would be stuck with him. I lost the argument and wound up with the best damn dog I’ve ever owned.
He grew quickly, becoming a young pup with lanky legs,
able to bound over the backs of couches with ease. I remember his first friend was a potbelly pig named Princess that my roommate Ray was pig-sitting at the time. He would sit in front of her cage for hours sniffing and barking little high pitched yips and listening to her grind her teeth.
As he got a little older I moved into a place with a fenced in yard where I would have parties and cookouts. He was the life of the party, playing tug-o-war with guests and hanging out in the blow-up pools I would buy frequently. He would pop them with his nails. I remember a time before he was clipped when someone let him out the back door and he bounded over the fence. I searched the neighborhood for hours half drunk and in a panic. When I could no longer stay awake, grabbing a lawn chair and a heavy blanket, I set up post in the front yard. I didn’t want him to come home to a locked front door. I awoke at daybreak with Quinten laying at my feet on top of the comforter.
There was the time Dana and I took him for a walk through the neighborhood. Passing a group of teenagers, we noticed a younger child not much older than four trailing behind. He was of course entranced by the puppy and stopped for a quick pet. Quinten took this opportunity to take a quick lick of his novelty sized lollipop.
I remember when I first started seeing gray hairs in his black fur. They would start rushing in around his muzzle and the folds of his neck. he had extra skin from his sharpei heritage. Although he was just as much black lab as sharpei, he couldn’t deny the curl of his tail and the black spots on his tongue.
When my son Sam was born Quinten was not sure what to make of him. It seemed like the dynamics of the pack had shifted. With time it seems that they both had come to accept and love each other. Sam often hugging his dog and telling him goodnight just like the rest of the family.
Even after these stories, they are not what I will miss most. It’s the quiet times at night feeling him curled up beside me in bed. Petting his head and scratching him behind the ears while I watch a movie. The barking and manic tail wagging when walking in from a long day at work. These are the moments I will hold dear and reflect on.
I love you Quinten… and always will.
Best Friends Forever!
–Written by Christopher Scarborough