I remember the drive home that day, looking in the back of our Explorer at this massive dog staring back at me. Pi dog was 18 months old at the time. I prayed that he truly was the docile character he had presented himself to be for there was no doubt that if a battle were ever to ensue between us, he would win. I found out soon enough that this spectacular dog was, and would remain throughout his entire life, the perfect gentleman.|
From that day on, Pi Dog remained at my side through numerous life challenges which forced both of us into foreign ground along the way. He was the one consistent thing in my life for the better part of 6.5 years and I owe him a lot for that. It seemed that for Pi Dog the world was grand so long as he had me. He made me laugh when I wanted to cry, loved me when I felt unloveable, and brought smiles to the faces of everyone he met.
He learned numerous tricks which delighted people of all ages. Among them, playing "POW!". With a makeshift finger-gun pointing at him while saying that word, Pi Dog would whirl around on his back legs before falling to the ground with his feet in the air -- the end result looked like this:
(Oh, the things he would do for a measly piece of cheese)
On occasion, the shooting would result only in maiming him as he lowered his front end to the ground, tilted his head sideways, and stuck his hind-end in the air, like this (pardon the view):
He excelled at the "leave it" trick, standing motionless (save for the drool hanging from his mouth) until he was told it was okay to retrieve the treat sitting before him. "Speaking" and catching treats mid-air were a breeze.
He also "sat pretty" which required whomever was requesting that trick to be on solid ground. His size prohibited him from sitting on his haunches without support and so, inevitably, his two oversized front paws were thrust forward at the subject making the request for stabilization purposes. While cute to see, it wasn't always fun for the person on the receiving end.
Pi Dog was also a "carrier of cute-ness"; meaning, for some reason, he had to carry something in his mouth at all times for the sake of being cute. If he was unable to immediately locate one of his many toys, all other objects were game -- from area rugs to shoes, bras to boxer shorts -- anything went with him. Not once, however, did he ever destroy a single thing he carried.
He was always extremely gentle with my kids, their friends, neighbors and animals of all varieties and gender. Perhaps it was a defect in his personality for not having an ounce of aggression in him... but it was a Godsend to us. A guard dog he was not! Fortunately, his size was intimidating enough that he was seldom put to the test.
(Pi and a family friend, Timothy, enjoying special moments together)
When Pi Dog accompanied me on my daily errands, unexpecting motorists would bring their vehicles to a hault in the middle of the road, laughing at the huge Bullmastiff head sticking out through the sunroof of my car. I have to admit, having seen that view from the outside of my car, it was a sight to behold. I can't imagine how much funnier it must have been for others to see when the car was in motion and his lips were flapping in the wind :-)
We enjoyed numerous public appearances together while working in real estate sales, attending the kids' sporting events, or going for our walks. No matter where we went, he made even the leariest of folks fall in love with him soon enough. He never sniffed a hand at initial greetings because, to him, everyone was an instantaneous friend. Rather, they were greeted with a 140 lb. moose walking right between their legs. The look on the faces of unsuspecting guests when that occurred was priceless. "What the heck is this dog doing?" they would ask, while taking several steps back. Their attempts to avoid the greeting Pi Dog gave them was futile. He just kept coming at 'em until he successfully maneuvered himself half-way between their legs. Afterall, that was prime butt-scratching position for him... and who wouldn't want to stand there scratching a Bullmastiff's hind-end? *smile*
(Pi in his favorite "greeting" position - no legs were too short for him!)
As my mother, in her quirky attempt at humor recently told me: "When we pass on to eternity one day and look around to discover Pi Dog is not present, we will know in an instant that Heaven is NOT where WE ended up... for there would be no other place for a dog like him to be."
That alone is reason enough for me to live a good, honest life. I can't imagine eternity without him.
My condolences to all of you who have had to feel this pain, too. May you find peace in the love of the Bullmastiffs that follow.
(Kym Ann and Pi cherishing our friendship and love for one another)