BFF gone with Grace

Sherman Tank Monster. Tank. Crank. Cranky. Chank. Chanky. Pottachank. Spank. Old Man – And suddenly – he’s gone.

I called him my special boy. He was quite a fellow! An ad reading free to good home, a little drive to a town up North, a 15 minute visit with the pure bred outcast who liked squeaky toys and an easy decision. We’ll take him!!

A registered Ancient Shar-Pei, dark chocolate in color, he had never ridden in the car and that first ride home with him proved to be one of countless memorable Tankumstances and Tankisms and Tales of Tanky. He was “our” first family pet and he did exactly what pets are supposed to do – he brought us joy.

Remember when:

He crawled under my feet on the highway and forced the brake pedal down so that we drifted slightly off the road, came to a complete stop and then got smashed from behind by a huge trailer truck? Thank God – no one was hurt. How could we explain to the insurance company that the dog did it?

Remember when:

He jumped out of the car at the gas station and ran for freedom across 6 lanes of traffic in the dark of night. How is it possible that he wasn’t struck by a car? How is it possible that we caught up with him on the other side of the road and wrangled  him back in the car? Amazing 5 minutes of panic and chase.

Remember how:

He used to sit at the back door and catch flies? CHOMP!…. bzzzzzz…., CHOMP! …… bzzzzzz, CHOMP, CHOMP, chew. (no more bzzzz). Funny dog was better than a venus fly trap!

Remember how:

He and Coco used to run through the house playing with each other? Jumping in mid-air towards each other like ninja’s, growling and snarling and then running in circles. So fun to watch!

Remember when:

He made his great escape from the hotel in Glenwood Springs? Only Tank could get the hotel door open, get out of the hotel, circle the parking lot alluding security… while on tranquilizers. That darn boy just couldn’t stand to be away from us.

Remember how:

He and Diamond and Coco used to get out of the fence at the house on Tuscon and run around the neighborhood? What a gang of misfits!

Remember how:

He used to stand on his hind legs and “dance”, and how he used to jump super high in the air for treats… remember?

Remember how:

He freaked out on the 4th of July and in his distress he chewed pieces out of the dog house, and how he would attack the chain link fence biting it until his teeth bled – and how he hated the sound of toy guns. Man, he HATED the sound of toy guns!

Remember how:

He wouldn’t go in water – not even to walk on a wet sidewalk… he was a land Rover for sure!

Remember how:

He stood constant faithful guard over any one of us that we was with. He would post up on the corner that overlooked the most distance from left to right and then he would “guard” – always alert to who was coming and who was going. Ask me and I’ll tell you no finer guard dog ever lived.

Remember – “who did it?”

Ah Tank. I suppose once the seizures started we should have realized the time was near. I thought maybe he ate something he was allergic to, or maybe some naughty neighborhood children put something bad in his water. It never occurred to me that the seizures were little strokes. I remember petting his funny bean head and scratching his tiny ears and thinking that one day he would be gone and I would have NO idea how to handle that. 

Saturday morning, March 23, 2012 I was cleaning the house. He laid on the rug by the back door, ever alert watchman. I swept close to him and he didn’t move at all. I had errands to run so I sent him out to the kennel and as usual, he walked slow, his head hung down, he was so disappointed that he had to wait in the kennel instead of going along for the ride. I closed the door to the kennel and he stood looking at me  – the same way he always did. I wonder though – this time, did he know something I didn’t?

I returned home a couple of hours later and he did not launch out of his dog house with joyful greeting. He did not stare intently, crying to be let out. Instead, he slept. I approached the kennel and there he lay – his head laid atop his crossed paws – he looked so peaceful and still as young as the day we got him. Tank had simply fallen asleep… forever.

 

 

Remember how:

 

We cried.

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