Sunday, January 27, 2008

Tribute To Taz

Long before Pennie, and even long before Mollie joined their family, I met my neighbor friend's Catahoula Leopard, Taz, on Thanksgiving 2000 (along with Lady, their black Labrador, who passed away in 2004).

At first, I was intimidated by Taz's crazy and sometimes vicious temperament, but once he got used to me being over at their house at least once a week, we became good friends. He was known to bite somebody's hand once in a while, but not once ever showed his teeth or even growled at me.

Taz's dad nicknamed him "asshole", because of his hateful attitude - and not to mention every time when he saw another neighbor walking their dog(s) from the upstairs office room window, he'd take off flying downstairs, barking and bitching loud enough to wake the dead.

Last Halloween, Taz became ill, but he soon bounced back after a trip to the vet.

On the morning before Thanksgiving, I was to stop by their house, but hadn't yet read the emails from his owners: he was sick like he was on Halloween, once again. I knew something was strange when I arrived, because Taz hadn't answered the door, barking up a storm as usual, and Mollie hadn't ran to the door when I opened it, either. Mollie was upstairs, and I found Taz next to his dad's computer, dead.

I guess Taz got the last laugh for being called "asshole" all those years, because like most animals when they die, he left a mess - next to his dad's computer desk.

My neighbor had to leave work when I called him and told him the news, and once he got home, we called the vet to make arrangements for pet cremation. The office lady said to bring Taz's body to the back of the animal clinic, and they would take care of the rest....which meant WE had move his body to the vehicle.

Because Taz's stiff body was about 75 pounds of dead weight, it was impossible for his dad to carry him downstairs to the car by himself, and I wasn't about to try it. We ended up placing him (conveniently frozen in an awkward sitting position) in a standard sized cardboard moving box.

Making the task even more creepy, as we were carrying his heavy body in the box downstairs, Taz's eyes were open, and staring - almost directly at me. At one point, we almost dropped his body, because it kept moving in the box and making it difficult to hold onto.

Once we got downstairs, I pushed the box through the kitchen and towards the garage door, taking him on his last sorta joyride. We had no choice but to place Taz-in-the-box in the passenger seat of his owner's sports car - with his body leaning towards whoever would be driving. I'd be tripping balls on the way to the vet, with his body frozen stiff like that, and looking right at you. Imagine the look on somebody's face if they caught a glimpse of that driving past them!

His owner managed to get Taz to the vet safely, and his body was then cremated and returned the following week.

I wanted to wait until it was appropriate to write my little Taz tribute, and had told his owners tonight that I thought it was acceptable now. Miss ya, asshole Taz!

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