The Daily Digital Photo
Chronicling the life of Clayton, Spenser and Scooter

March 14, 2007

July 1998 - March 13, 2007

Scooter passed away last night at 10:30pm, wrapped in Phillip's and my arms. Just as everyone said, he told us when it was time. We could not let him suffer, so we hugged and cried and kissed him goodbye. We have no regrets. We gave Scooter a good life, and he in turn enriched ours immeasurably with his sweetness and humor. If only he could have stayed with us longer. Scooter was just 8 years old.

Scooter came to us seven years ago when a friend of a friend heard about an 11-month old beagle who was on his way to the pound because he did not behave like the other dog in the house, a Labrador retriever, and as a consequence spent most of his time in the garage. We took him as a foster and interviewed potential adopters who had been preapproved by the SOS Beagle Rescue but in our heart of hearts, Phillip and I wanted to keep him. So he stayed. I called him "our accident" because we had only planned to have two.

Scooter's middle name was Space Cadet. He liked to do his thing and was generally oblivious to just about everything else. Phillip used this analogy to describe him: "If you asked the beagles their favorite color, Spenser's might be blue, Clayton's red, but Scooter's would be plaid."

Scooter was one of the very few beagles I've ever met who played fetch, not just chasing the ball but actually bringing it back. He loved his toys and would always greet you at the door with one in his mouth, sometimes two, and occasionally three. Scooter loved to sniff and in good weather he spent hours in the yard following unknown trails, probably his own. Out in the woods his distinctive honking bark served as a locator while he followed a scent through the bushes and trees, fiording across the muddy brook, and stopping to roll in piles of deer poop. Then, after the requisite hosing, he would run in frenetic circles around the yard.

Scooter was not terribly fond of other dogs but he loved meeting people and enjoyed every single person who came to our house. Family, guests, workmen alike, he greeted everyone with a toy and followed them around, just happy to know them. He had a way of settling down next to someone on the couch and making them feel like they were his very best friend. And while they reveled in their newfound popularity, he would make a sneak attack on their cup of coffee. Coffee was Scooter's guilty pleasure. He always waited for me to drink my cup so he could enjoy the little that I left for him. It has become a habit so engrained that I think I'll leave Scooter a little coffee for a long time.

Scooter liked to visit me in the bathroom at night while I washed, brushed, and flossed. He sat patiently on the bathmat, waiting for me to finish, not leaving until I turned off the light. On the nights when I'd get in bed early to read, Scooter would hop up on the bed, toy(s) in mouth, and present himself for scritchies. I'd scratch his ears, go up and down his back, then around his head again. Satisified, he'd stand up, turn around, and I'd lift the covers for him to crawl under and plop down between my knees. The steps never varied, it was a small ballet, so soothing and comfortable. I think I will miss those moments the most.

Scooter, you brought us so much happiness and laughter and joy. All those toys in your mouth, all those cups of coffee, all those deaf ears when it was time to come in from the woods, and all that mud you collected along the way. You were a treasure.

Rest in peace, Scootie. We were so lucky to have you.