Before I start to talk about about Gambit, I need to address how tremendously luck that Heather and I are to have Mary and David not only as our neighbors but also our friends. I do not know how I could have managed these past few months without their help and friendship. Mary has been such a blessing in helping to take care of the dogs. While I was working nights Mary volunteered to come over and feed the dogs dinner and let them out. Then as now while working days she comes over and lets them out for play and pottie time. Not once has Mary ever complained about coming over in bad weather and most of the time she leaves me a little "Mary" note letting me know the goings on of the day. (That is when I leave a working pen and paper for her.) David, how many neighbors will not only help you put your dog in a car but also ride with you and sit with you for three hours while decisions are made concerning fate of a valued and loved member of the family. I don't know what ever possessed them to but the house behind us but I will be forever greatful that they did. People like Dave and Mary just do not exist anymore.
Now about the Big Guy, my Big Buddy, Gambit.
Heather and I found Gambit in the spring of 2001 at a multi shelter adoption fair at Universal Ford. When we went our primary objesctive was to find an Irish Wolfhound for Heather who had had one by the name of Mel while living in Minnesota. We walked the lot, saw dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and snakes. We then came upon a small booth of a husband and wife small no kill shelter that had only two or three crates. In one we saw what appeared to be another black and tan coonhound curled up. Considering that we had aadopted Rogue the previous year we thought what the hell lets take a look.
As the husband went to open the crate and attach the leash to the collar out came the handsome dog who's coat shined like it had been finished with laquer. Out he came tall and proud and bouncy. He was not another black and tan but a brindled black and tan Greyhound/Doberman mix. We took the leash and he stayed by our side as we walked the lot never straying or pulling away. (OK how many of you are making the fishing motion right about now going "hook, line, and sinker") We went back to the booth, and talked to the husband and wife about his background.
At the time his name was "Trouble", they had him in their posession for about three years. He had been adopted out a few times only to be returned. He was also a court siezure, the couple had taken his original owner to court to gain custody due to neglect. See Gambit from the time he was a pup until taken was raised in a 10*10 pin without any contact with other dogs and rare human contact except for food and water. When put with larger dogs he would be bullied and did not defend himself, and subsequently the couple had to put him in with the smaller dogs. After a brief discussion and his sad story tugging at our hearts we decided to adopt "Trouble".
And for a while that's exactly what we thought we had done. "Trouble" was very exciteable and energetic. and did have a few bladder issues that put Heather and I at odds, and Heather to tears on more than one occasion. We too had a few time discussed returning him due to how he was in the house. But his soulful eyes, and uncontional love won out and we decided that we needed him.
We had decided that our dogs would be named after the X-Men, and the most appropriate name for him was Gambit. Energetic, mischievous, a thief and at times destructive. He loved to do things wrong and then bring them to your attention, like taking a sock out of the laundry basket and bringing it to you saying "see what I did". Almost like a child that would do something wrong and then sign their name to it (sound familiar mom?). He was also a very loving dog, needy of attention as those of you who know him and those who recently had the priveledge of meeting him know. He loved to get in the bed between us and "spoon". He would always find a way to have his paws on Heather's or my back, and tuck in close to the other. He loved to be cuddled in bed also. Wrapping your arms around the big guy was the best thing in his mind and he would find a way to whip his head around and give you a big wet one to tell you so. Gam was also the most outwardly empathetic of our dogs when one of us were sick or hurt. He would come up to which of us were under the weather and with big sad eyes look at you as if asking how can I make it better. When Heather was sick and staying home he stayed with her constantly snuggling her and giving her the non traditional gentle Gambi kisses. He was heartbroken, and depressed when Heather past always looking for her and wouldnt go on the bed.
Gambit was a rascal also to say the least. He was an expert thief, and take any unprotected food item from right in front of you in a blink of an eye. When David was building his shop in the back yard I was able to help him on Saturday afternoon. Mary was kind enough to go to subway and bring back sandwiches for us. As we sat their eating gambit came into the yard and stealthily came over to us, slowly circled behind us, and like a great white shark snatched the other half of dDavids footlong sub from between his legs and in two chomps and three strides a six inch Italian was gone before David or I could say let alone do anything. As in gambit style he then stood in front of us tail wagging with a huge grin on his face saying "that was tasty". I broke out laughing, David after the immediate shock and fighting through being upset laughed also. What else could we do? It was Gambit!
Gambit will also always be remembered for "his precious" strobing lit hard rubber balls that he would play and become obsessed with. He would either stand over or lie over them, watch them, "scold" them then pick them up and chew them then start the process all over again. He was notorius for "losing" his precious under the bed while he slept. When ever he would see either one of us with a broom upstairs, his tail would start to wag, he would bark, and position himself with his front paws under the bed, his butt in the air, and nose forward to where his ball was and wouldn't move until you got it for him. We fed the dogs in twelve hour intervals, and gambit knew exactly when time was up and would go and start to nose the can that the food was in as if saying "Hey I'm hungry here!"
I could go on foever to talk about the big guy like any proud parent would their kid but I think this is enough for now. I am sure that there will be a few more post that are dedicated to Gambit in the future, when I can write them a little more clear in the heart, mind, and eyes.
When I arrived home tonight on the table there was no "Mary" note but five pictures of our pooches, and a big heart drawn on paper that Mary had signed for her family including her three dogs. Mary thank you very much, while sad and causing the tears to run freely, at least I could see my Big Buddy when I got home.
GO GO GADGET GAMBI!!!!!!!!!!!!