My Mother, Wanda, always liked dogs. Ever since she could have one, she did. They were all special to her. She would spoil them rotten; they were her substitute children. They were always rescue dogs. And then came Rambo.
My mother and stepfather, Norman, went to the shelter and picked Rambo which was short for rambunctious. He was into everything. Looked into everything in closets, bags, suitcases – everything. He was a happy dog. He was glad to bark at you while jumping up to give you a look in the eye and steal a lick on your face. He was always underfoot, but always wagging his tail. He was family.
He had a strange quirk. He was a Florida dog and lived in a house that had an outdoor pool. The pool had steps that you could use to gently ease yourself into the pool. These steps had a handrail that went down the center so you could hold on as you entered. Rambo would bark at you if you went into the water. He would not come into the pool himself, but he would bark at you to get out. I think he was afraid that you might drown. His strange quirk was that he would walk down one step in the pool and straddle the step and lie down on it. He legs and chest would be completely wet, but his back was completely dry. Never could figure out that behaviour.
As time passed, Norman died and Rambo became the “man of the house”. He was ever protective of my mom and never left her side. She continued to feed him his breakfast of toast, bacon and cheese. Sometimes a little fried egg made it on to the plate. She used to go to a fancy buffet where they served sliced prime rib for dinner. There was always an extra slice that made its way back home for Rambo. Like I said, this dog was spoiled rotten. Rambo kept my mom company in the lonely hours of widowhood. I swear they would talk to each other when no one was around. Rambo got his regular vet visits and it was on one of the visits that the vet said it was time. Rambo was a 14-year-old German shepherd who was suffering from arthritis and a very bad back, making it painful for him to even get up, no less walk. The day came for us to take Rambo for his last visit to the vet. It was hard on everyone. My mother cried before, during and afterward.
Rambo’s ashes came home 2 weeks later in a beautiful rosewood box and proudly placed on a bookcase for all to see. Rambo was not to be forgotten.
My mother passed away in March of 2018. As the last to say goodbye to her, I placed a small rosewood box next to her.