Tulip died tonight, and was buried at midnight, under a starry sky and a full moon. He would have liked that.
He was a good dog. A mixture of foxhound and pit bull, he came to us through rather irregular means, after having been badly abused (his collar was stapled to his neck). I suppose he was eighteen months old when he arrived, and nearly sixteen when he died. Not bad.
He had a bit of a red-zone personality, but the most outstanding thing about him was clownishness. He'd jump onto the vanity in a bathroom, and admire himself in the mirror, tilting his head this way and that, while sitting in the sink.
He participated in the great canine wine-tasting party with a couple of his friends...I dropped a bag full of wine bottles, and while I was trying to clean up the broken glass the dogs drank the wine. Tulip's pal Hallie backed herself into a corner and couldn't figure out how to get out, and she stood there, barking madly. Tulip himself jumped onto my desk, knocked everything onto the floor, and fell asleep.
And then there was the lizard game. One day he found a very dead alligator lizard (about a foot long, with bright blue innards exposed), and brought it to me - a gift, I suppose. I tried to throw it over the back fence, but it fell short, and he brought it back. A new game!
I threw it again, harder...only it slipped out of my hand and went over the side-fence, into the neighbor's yard. More precisely, into the neighbour's pool. During a pool party.
Tulip was horrified by the loss of his toy, and he leaped onto the board fence. He couldn't get over it, but he could see into the yard, and he let loose with a despairing howl.
I've been told that having me for a neighbor can be surreal. If that's so... I had help!
From my dear friend Tulip, whom I will miss. A lot.