My family and I were blessed with a dog that we named Marshall (after Wilbur Marshall, ex-Chicago Bear LB), he came from some friends that had bred their dog. Marshall was a Black Lab and when we got him, he had the greatest personality. The dog pranced when he walked, he was always happy and he really loved us all (and we reciprocated that love). Marshall was still young when he had a serious accident, well it was more like an attack by another dog. That attack was so severe that we had no choice but to put him to sleep, we were all crushed. Where does this Lumpy come in you ask. Well....
A few months after Marshall was put to sleep, the breeders asked us if we would be interested in taking Marshall's brother in because the people that had him just couldn't keep him in their small home. With a small amount of trepidation I agreed with my family in taking in this pup and we would see how the pup would be with our other dog. I have learned one major point as a father and that would be once a new dog is brought into a house with small children you're keeping it.
The dog was named Lumpy and he had a personality similar to his brother but there really was something different. I worked 8 - 5 daily Monday thru Friday so the bonding with Lumpy happened with the family during that time. Lumpy really loved his kids and his Mom and he was the protector of all, kind of. Lumpy would bark whenever anyone came to the door (salesmen and Jehovah's Witnesses were terrified of his bark) but if you let him out to do his "business", he had to come in immediately because he was too prim and proper. Lumpy would preen himself almost like a cat after he ate, leaving wet, slobber puddles where he had preened his legs. On more than one occasion while running out the door on a night time ambulance call I stepped in one of those little treasures just before I put on my shoes.
Lumpy was always there waiting for you when we would come in the front door, he waited for you to sit down so he could sit at your feet. He loved his family and he was always a very happy dog, truly this was the type of dog any dog lover would want. Lumpy was part of our family for a little over ten years, and despite me teasing him all of the time I knew he loved everyone of us (yes I'm including myself). A few short weeks ago we learned that he had bone cancer and it was incredibly aggressive. We had no choice but to put Lumpy to sleep, I stayed with him the during the procedure and then I cried like a baby. My entire family was crushed, but he was no longer in pain and we all knew he loved us and I think he knew we all loved him.
We had learned about his illness after my wife and I attended Halfway Jam in which we heard tons of great music and met phenomenal people and I made promises to so many acts that I would write about them but this one dog changed all of that. Music has always meant so much to me so I dove headfirst into any music I could find in an attempt to help ease the pain. I started to look for new acts and music I hadn't listened to in quite awhile, but I was still numb. There was a chance to help my wife and I when we went to see Slash in concert (see the article on my blog) and after the show I met the members of the band and I made them promises too. I promised that within a day or two I would get the article done but it took nearly a month.
Time heals all wounds and I am slowly getting back to whatever is considered normal but to help, there is the music. I've explored punk, metal, country, R&B, '80's hair and everything in between and it is slowly helping me heal. I have so much to get caught up on but I can count on the music to help motivate me to get it done. Music is cathartic, and music is the sounds of the gods but for me its my medicine. The only difference from then and now is the fact that he isn't there to look at me oddly as some of the human screeching emanated from my ear buds.
We miss you and love you Lumpy.