So Long, Spooks - We'll Sure Miss You
He appeared at the Legal building one day in the spring of 2008. He was very shy and wary of people, keeping his distance. We noticed him right away - a big, black chow with deep brown eyes. Someone said his mother was hit by a car on the highway when he was a pup and he'd been an orphan ever since. He had nohome, somehow managing to fend for himself.
Like an elusive shadow, Spooks kept his distance for a long time. A loner when he first showed up on campus, he was extremely shy, fearful and afraid. It took awhile, but after some patience and coaxing, and probably because he was so hungry, he would stretch way out to take a biscuit from our hands. We were all so excited to see that he was beginning to warm up to us.
It became apparent that he was depending on us to feed him (not knowing of course that this clever pooch made his rounds to the Tribal School and the Elders for meals too). So between a number of us, we brought biscuits, leftovers, and scraps from The Kettle in Enumclaw and he was getting regular meals.
He became a regular fixture and knew what time we arrived at the office and would be dutifully waiting for us. He and his buddy, Harley, would come trotting across the parking lot, ears flat, tails wagging furiously, and eyes sparkling with joy looking for their breakfast. He finally allowed us to scratch his ears and and pat his head. We were even treated to an occasional belly scratch if he was too lazy to get up off the ground.
Sadly, Harley was the first to disappear. It was during the week-long snow storm. we don't know what happened to him, but we just haven't seen him since. Harley really had an owner and home, but he and Spooks were buddies, so he hung out at the legal office too.
Jeanette and I had this little fun feud going where she would come to the police office to report Harley as a runaway or accuse me of dog-napping, but then I would tease her in return that she would be getting Tribal court papers for custody and a name change.
When I showed up at the office one Wednesday morning Spooks was there as usual, waiting. He looked up at her, wagging his tail as she filled the dog dish. "What do you think this is - breakfast in bed?" Sue said when Spooks didn't get up to eat. It was only when he began struggling to get to his feet that she realized that his hind leg was badly injured. He must've been hit by a car, and then managed to drag himself all that way to the Legal Building where he knew his friends would find him.
With never so much as having a collar on, it was a challenge to get him to a vet. We called on our good friend Tom Harris from KC Animal Control, who was so kind to come out and snare Spooks and transport him to Country Animal Hospital in Enumclaw. Spooks was sedated so the doctor could examine him. The news wasn't good. Both leg bones were severely broken.
The choices were few and expensive, but the most challenging was rehabilitation. Spooks was a free spirit. Alpha. Proud. Strong. Beautiful. He would not have wanted anyone to assist him with walking, or being kenneled. It wasn't his "style".
The choice was made to euthanize, and I must say that although it was sad to see him go, it was good to finally hug on him, pet him from head to tail, clean his eyes, and comfort him. Spooks went peacefully to sleep.
This big black dog quietly captured our hearts and just as quietly departed our company. All of us who loved him every day shall forever remember his big black paw print on our hearts and he'll be dearly missed. Spooks and Harley are somewhere in doggy heaven together. Warm and dry. Not hungry. And they know they were loved.....
This story was a collaboration by Spook's dear friends, Sheriff Sue, Shannon Jurpik, and Dhyan Story
Reprinted from the February 19, 2009 Muckleshoot Monthly