I got the phone call from dad some time ago "They have a lab at the shelter in Missoula I think I'd like a lab, all the others were good dogs", I would agree, and encourage him to go look at him.
Two weeks and countless walks later go by "I dono, such a great dog, you know he passed the hearing dog test?"
"Holy shit dad, you need to get him, perfect dog, you cant ask for more," He would after arguing and telling the pound to go to hell he would leave his dog outside if he wanted, "they wont tell me my dog has to stay inside" typical older generation.
Then a couple weeks go by "hey you know this dog brings me my slippers, keys, and rattles them when he has to go to the bathroom"
I pondered this, it ment he was letting him stay inside "So he's inside then?"
Dad got gruff "no more, he is outside IM not letting him wake me up so early in the morning
So it would be, Zack would stay in his outside hotel unless it was real cold, then he could come inside and rattle the keys.
He would be Dads constant companion, for every trip to the store "gotta get the dog" that dog would get to ride in the backseat, like the absolute best child, he would merely look out the window, never whining, never running around, he would just sit there.
He would end up getting my wrath when he would lead my Hound Bobbit into the woods, or run off out in the neighborhood when I would visit, gone all day our minds freaking out thinking the worst.
Only later in time would I see my old hound, literally nodding her head encouraging him to run off with her, would the truth be known, my wrath had been placed upon the wrong dog.
He would be dads constant companion, enjoying riding even on the back of the four wheeler with dad, never ever letting Pops get out of his sight.
When dad grew to Ill to care for him, I took him into my home where he had a nice bed next to Mine and would sleep in a climate controlled heaven.
He would be an outstanding duck hunter, jumping off the bank like the best dock dog, and after dad fell Ill, we entered him in a Doc dog competition, knowing he would jump with the best of him, and there, in front of a hundred people I would plead with him to jump in the water to no avail.
He had a staring problem, he would just lay there and stare, I remember when I was with dad in the hospital for some time my brother in law would watch him "would you do something with this dog, he just lays there and stares at me" Im like "well ya, thats what he does, itch his ear and rub his tummy with your foot and he will be in heaven. Didnt work, he still freaked Jeff out.
Before dad passed his joints began to come apart, and I would plead for him not to go before Dad as he needed him to make it through his ordeal.
That plead ended up going for another four years until today, he would keep coming back regardless of what the life expectancy was for a lab he would say "screw you IM going a few more years, I gotta be there for craig"
And this morning when I would open the curtains there he would be, looking at me thru the window in the yard, Im not sure how he could hear the drapes, cause he seemed to be deaf as a post, but he always heard my foot steps too.
I know now he is in heaven, running about with those before him, getting his ears loved by dad, wagging tails thinking of the next adventure with Bobbit.
Travel your road well my friend, may there always be a pickup box for you to ride in, and a stream for you to swim in.
Love ya old man, thank you for every day you gave us.