Monday, July 7, 2014

Brisco County Jr.

Brisco and Maggie are reunited. Brisco the wonder dog died last night. We lost him last night very suddenly and without warning. At 16 he was old, very old, so we knew he didn't have a whole lot of time left; but he was begging for steak from the table one second and down the next. He had a seizure that lasted for the entire 20 minutes it took to digest what was happening, load him into the car and get him to the emergency vet. We knew it was grim and the vet confirmed that. The whole thing was over in less than an hour.

We sadly returned home and sat back down at the table and reminisced. I noted that the mailmen, raccoons and skunks of the Richmond district were going to sleep a little better now. Brisco County Jr.,  the great watch dog, always with one ear up and the other down, was off duty.

There are too many stories to share but the way Brisco was with Maggie was the most amazing thing. Maggie was 4 years old when we got Brisco and she spent a lot of time on the floor in those days. (It took a long time before she could tolerate being in the wheelchair for long stretches and this was before her skillful dynavox days.) She could sort of move around on the floor, propelling herself on her side using her legs. She was like a swimmer without water. If my purse was on the floor she would get to it and fling everything hither and yon. Newspapers left behind were quickly shredded to bits. This picture is from 2008.

We quickly learned to pick things up to avoid the mischief.  But Brisco was always there. And Maggie would get to him - or he would just lie next to her - and the ear, tail and fur pulling would commence. Brisco just sat there and let her do whatever she wanted. If the boys were nearby and tried the same thing, Brisco would have none of it, but Maggie had free reign. This picture is probably from about 2000 or 2001.

Brisco was very protective of Maggie. When someone new entered the house Brisco would casually stand between the visitor and Maggie. If they stayed, he would lay down next to Maggie. He wasn't threatening in a teeth baring or growling kind of way; he was more like the dad of a teenage girl and the visitor was the hapless date.

Brisco was the fastest dog in the park up until he was 10 or 11. Then he wasn't interested in chasing other dogs, he just became something of an elder statesman -- unless Maggie was with us, then he was at her side. And when he was on leash, which wasn't very often until his hearing started to go, he would let Maggie yank and drop the leash and he would be so so patient. 

Brisco missed Maggie these last months. The night before she died when she had been taken by ambulance to the hospital, Brisco sat right in front of the door to her room as if standing guard over her in abstentia. He slept there for several nights. I finally moved his bed into the dining room right next to the door to her room. 

Now they are together again. He is young and healthy and fast, she is able bodied and verbal. Maggie is telling him how much she loved him, but he already knew. He's just happy to be with her again. 

Thanks Brisco. You were the greatest dog in the world and we were lucky to have you. A wonder dog for the ages. Take care of Mag for us. 


  1. What a good doggie. His work here is done.

  2. Oh, I am sorry to hear this. Thank you, universe, for Brisco. I love how you wrote this, Sally -- imagining Maggie and Brisco together so perfectly is balm.

  3. Reading this post thru tears...


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