You had a sweet soul my friend. Always attentive and interested in what was going on. Scared only of children from that unknown trauma before I met you.
I loved you Mobley. You were the outcast of the pack, the beta, deferential to the basset, not challenging the other dobie. Nice to those other dogs Charlie, Banzai, Katie,Haven and of course Ted, who shared your home over the years. Waiting in the background for your turn.
I'm far from the first who has grieved here for the loss of a dog.
Mobley was a fawn doberman pinscher, the grey guy in the back in the photo. He was poorly bred in a trailer park in not so nice part of Twin Falls Idaho. AT about 5 months of age he was rescued by the humane society and on a spring day in 1999 a friend brought him to me knowing that my canine companion of the previous 8 years was soon to succumb to the infiltrative tumor growing on his face.
Mobley's sweet disposition showed immediately as Mobley and Ted bonded through Ted the Dog's final months. Mobley and I grieved together at Teds loss. It was then that I first learned of Rainbow Bridge. Ted was a special dog and I didnt think another could equal Ted's place in my heart. We've had lots before and since. Though they all are important to me nd he is a far different fellow Mobley has become the oh so charming Ted's equal in my heart.
A tentative, gentle giant, all 100lbs of my misbred boy, my wife, the other dogs and I walked the trails near our home with other local dog folks. Though scared of kids, Mobley would wait patiently while being petted if I asked him to. He was kind to the other dogs.
He got his first and longest lasting nickname, Pumply, on a visit to some friends when one of them mangled together the words Puppy and Mobley and Pumply came out of her mouth. Over the years it stayed though my wife modified it to puzumply as it is the nature of these pet nicknames to morph.
His ears were not cropped and his dilute coloring left people confused about his breed with regularity. They would talk to and pet him and I could see the change to a bit of fear as I told them he was a Doberman. The 70's were a bad era for the breed. Mobley was a great ambassador for his breed mates.
His bond to me and mine to him grew even as we added another rescued Doberman to the pack--Gunther. Gunther, a blue dobie, is a party boy and it is amazing how all other dogs love to play with him. He is like the cool kid at school. Mobley would stand beside me and watch because he was unsure of how interact with the party. He was a daddy's boy. Over the years he figured out how to play with Gunther a little but his shyness around and gentleness with other dogs never disappeared. He was often a bit standoffish to other people until he got to know them and most visitors and friends would simply pet Gunther or play with the basset.
He was the dog at my feet when sitting on my couch, the dog next to me on the floor when I slept, waiting for me to come out of the shower, happiest of the group when I came home. When we took the pack for a walk he was the one who needed no leash and always stayed with us.
Mobley was a quirky one. He loved to hunt bugs. he would spend hours in the evening hunting bugs coming up from the lawn or wasps coming to check out the evenings barbeque.
His head had this amazing velvety softness. Much like his dog soul. In his midlife, he had a serious health crisis and blew out a cervical disk in his neck. The new couch we planned for went away as Dr. Jeff Brourman saved his life with a cervical decompression surgery. This led to another briefly lived nickname for him--Couch.
Mobley could not walk for almost 4 full weeks after the surgery as I wondered if I had made the right choice for him. He and I lived on the floor downstairs and spent all our time together for a few weeks. I carried him upstairs and outside I nursed him more than I have any person or creature in my life. The day my giant fella got up on his legs like a baby giraffe was a day of great joy. That giraffe walk was the beginning of the rest of an active happy life. The next time I saw it was not so good.
Though we could tell the neck injury caused some problems Mobley was essentially fully functional the rest of his years. He developed an odd habit of sitting on the couch. Front feet on the floorbutt on the couch back feet dangling sometimes with his neck stretched out and laying his head on the table as he watched us in the kitchen.
When he was running his mouth would open in this huge GRIN after the surgery. Mrs. RSR and I always thought it looked like an expression of pure joy and happiness in living.
The past 6 months or so his aging was a bit evident. Although laying down had always been a bit of a chore following the surgery, it certainly got harder. He also started losing his eyesight a little and would growl when surprised by one of the other dogs. He started developing benign fatty tumors and got his last nick name--Lumply.
My wife and I stayed up late Tuesday night to watch our friend and local hero Kristin Armstrong take the Olympic gold medal. Mobley stayed with us, howling with Lucy the basset as the wife and I cheered Kristin's win. When we went to bed at about 1:00 a.m. all seemed normal. I was awakened 4 hours later by the sound of a dog struggling to get up. I rolled over and saw my goofy grey dog with his front legs stiffened and back legs wobbling trying to move. The baby giraffe walk was back. I got up to help him and watched as he quickly deteriorated from the giraffe walk to simple struggling. As I moved him to the foot of the bed he lost more and more leg function and had a look of fear in his eyes. A look that shook me.
As I held him, he calmed a bit. There I was laying naked on the bedroom floor with my 100 lb dobie in my arms. Each time I tried to get up to get dressed, he would again struggle to get up. Each time with a bit less response from his body. It was obvious his time was upon us. My sweet 9 year old boy had reached the end of the road, He became fully paralyzed able to nothing but move his head as I carried him to the car, then got dressed and curled up in the back with him.
We drove to the small animal ER which is in the same facility he had his life saving surgery in 2004. A stroke? another disk? A brain tumor? Who knows. Assessing, attempting any treatment and forcing him to live through that would have been for us not him.
A vet, kind but unknown to us, administered the lethal injection at about 6:30 am as we petted and talked to Mobley.
For both of us, tears have flowed generously since.
I miss him.
I loved you Mobley. I know you knew that. You were were a good boy. I am really happy to have shared part of my life with you. I hope that Ted is there to say Hello wherever you are. I hope to see you again