From the Meth Lab
He walked in the house on March 28th, 2007 while Jeanne was cooking dinner, sat down and took his place in our house and hearts. He was funny looking at best, a cross between a lab and a corgi, low slung with pointy ears, and perhaps only the second dog I had been around that had palpable swag. If you can imagine an incarnate Rodrigue, Blue Dog, but black and white. We named a breed after him. The Great American Corgidor.
He came named. Shotgun. Who the hell names a dog Shotgun? My mother in law had picked him up at their long time vet's office and said that she thought he'd be good with our kids, then aged, 2.5 and 4.5, because he didn't seem to care about anything. Never could a truer statement been made.
His backstory was awesome. I mean for him, not his prior owners. Apparently they were an early 30's couple who had been cooking up meth in their garage in the vet's upscale neighborhood. One day the law came and arrested and took them away, social services took their kids, and the vet took Shotgun and another dog to his office. He lived there for 3 months or so until we got him.
The vet said he was around 3 when we got him, the next time we took him in for a checkup, he was 6. Who knows really. He was somehow mostly ageless.
The use of the descriptor "Zero F*%KS to give," is thrown around generously these days. Shotgun may have coined the term. He did what he wanted when he wanted. Upon his awakening he'd go sit by the front door and wait to be let out so he could walk around our cul-de-sac. Yes out the front door. We dubbed him the Mayor Of K-dub (Kenilworth). He would not chase kids, dogs, or other animals. Just walk calmly around, taking it all in, and sniffing the wind. People probably still sit in judgement of us letting him out the front. It was Shotgun's will. We couldn't fight it. Everyone that met him said the same thing. "That's one cool dog."
He was loving but not up in your face. It was on his terms. He'd position himself by your foot if you crossed your legs so you could rub his "belly" or rather his nether regions. He wasn't shy. Hell that feels good, rub there.
He was the kind of dog that the kids could manhandle and he wouldn't care. Ian would grab his ears and he'd just sit there looking up and smiling.
He learned to standup paddle board. No big deal.
What's funny is that there aren't a ton of stories about him. He existed on his terms and would not participate in your tomfoolery. He'd just hang out. Hanging out was his specialty. Want him to go fetch, tough, that's not his thing. Want him to walk on a leash. Ok, for a few, but when he was over it, sometimes he'd just sit down, and you'd be stuck carrying a 45 lb lunk all the way home.
One of his favorite past times was eating dead squirrels. Or rather eating the heads, hands, feet and tails off of them, and or dragging them into the house. Our neighbor shoots squirrels that get in his garden with a BB gun. Shotgun would go on his morning walkabout and find them, then sit in the monkey grass chewing the shit out them. I can hear Paige yelling nonchalantly, "DAD, SHOTGUN HAS A SQUIRREL! ANOTHER ONE!"
Over the past 6 months Shotgun aged rapidly. After taking him to the vet several times, we learned he had heart failure. Last week we had to put him to sleep because he was miserable. Still smiling, but hacking up fluid and he couldn't lay down due to fluid in his abdomen.
A lot of people would think Shotgun would be a prime candidate for some sort of social media "dog bucket list" stunt. But I know that's not his style. I can almost hear him say "Let me go, unassumingly and quietly. Make no fuss. The Mayor of K-dub doesn't need a bucket list."
I could re-write this 100 times and never get it right, but to not write something would be wrong.
Everyone has the best dog ever. I get it. But there will never be another one like Shotgun. Never.
Shotgun-Mar 28th, 2007-July 9th 2015 (plus however many years he was at the methlab- at least 3, possibly 6)