I've been missing Dutch a lot the past few weeks. I guess its cause Boone is gone so we are without a dog. Actually, I am without a pet for the first time in my entire life. We weren't dog people growing up but we always had a cat. You don't realize how much company they are for you, until after they are gone. I remember when Tj and I first started dating and I was warned that it was a precursor that I liked Dutch. I didn't like dogs but heard over and over how cool he was from Tj and his friends. I remember going to Tj's house right after we started dating and Tj was not home from work yet. I went in, made myself at home on the couch, and soon Dutch came and joined me. He kept me company until Tj got home and when Tj walked in and noticed Dutch sitting on my lap, he commented that it was good Dutch liked me. Apparently Dutch wasn't always so friendly to some of the girls Tj brought home.
It was always obvious that Dutch was most loyal to Tj. As the years went by, I slowly became #2. Tj lived with several guys the first 4-5 years of Dutch's life and they all ranked above me for quite some time. Anytime we had a party and people would occupy the spare bed, Dutch made his preference known and slept with them over us. Thankfully, they liked him snuggled up in the crooks of their knees as much as we did.
Dutch had lots of tricks but I guess a "friend-favorite" was that he would attack someones feet on Tj's command. Said friends above could also give the command but he would normally only stop when Tj called him off. All you had to say was "Pssst" and Dutch would bite, chew, and shake his head around on your toes until he was called off. It was always a fun game when someone new came to visit. Tj stuck him one me one day when we were wrestling and I tucked my feet up underneath me on the couch. We had forgotten all about it until about 30 minutes later when I got up to do something. We forgot, Dutch hadn't. I think Dutch loved his ball as much as any dog could love their ball. He would play ball with you until...well, until you quit throwing the ball. I can't think of a better way to put it but he would've went and got his ball for 8 hours straight if you would've sat there and thrown it for him.
What I loved most about Dutch was how well he behaved. He never jumped on people when they came over, you could go on walks without a leash and he wouldn't leave your side, if he got sick in the house - you knew the minute that you walked in because he would mope around until you told him it was okay, he never begged for food or even looked at your plate when you ate, and we could leave the house for a week and he was 100% self-sufficient. It is hard to train a dog that you trust with everything you have, but that was Dutch. (True story: you could lay a T-bone on the floor and walk outside and he wouldn't eat it.) I cannot imagine leaving Boone in the house for days on end and not worrying about what he may or may not tear up.
It is bittersweet that say that Tylee never asked what happened to him. I guess it was a blessing that it happened when it did vs. now because I couldn't have imagined her walking around the house asking, "Where's Dutch?" She knows who he is and likes looking at his pictures but has never once asked where he is or what happened. I guess that is a blessing in disguise.
We miss you ol' Buddy.