His name was R.W. His name was special for a peanut-colored puppy. But we didn’t give him his name – he earned it on that Saturday afternoon in March 1998 in Beaufort, South Carolina as he was pushing himself away from the road, far away from the car which had just hit him. My father, Mike and sister, Amanda drove past him laying on the side of the road. Amanda told dad that there was a puppy back there. With no hesitation, dad turns the Rodeo around and goes back to check on the puppy who by this time had pushed himself with his back legs under the huge oak tree next to the little white church.
Seeing blood trickle out of the puppy’s nose and mouth, my dad is successful in obtaining a sheet from an individual at the church. After putting the sheet in the back of the truck, he picks the puppy up and places the puppy’s limp, lifeless body in the truck. Dad doesn’t think the puppy will live and barely makes our vet before they close on that Saturday. The puppy’s condition is assessed and their opinion is they don’t give him much chance to live and that if he has to be put to sleep there will be no charge.
This story doesn’t end on that Saturday afternoon though. We had wait through Sunday to find out. On Monday morning our vet contacted us about the condition of the puppy. The receptionist told my mom she will call her back. The second phone call the vet at 1 pm the receptionist says, “Your puppy is alive”. Immediately mom called my dad and asked him to please be home by 2:30 pm when I would arrive home because we have somewhere to go – to the Vet.
When we got into the examination room, a peanut-colored puppy is brought in. He looks really young and skinny. So skinny you can see all his ribs sticking out. My dad comments that the puppy looks like he’s been eating chicken bones. His front leg has been repaired, and now has a splint on it. Our vet tells us that he ate three of the large dog food cans when they first fed him.
He says, “I hope you don’t mind, we named him”.
We ask, “What did you name him?”
The vet says “R.W.”
“Yes, for Road Warrior”.
R.W. stays for the week, but finally on Friday afternoon we are able to pick him up. Our Vet wants us to bring a picture of R.W. back so that he can post it on his cork board in the lobby – because he wants everyone to see this story. And the peanut-colored puppy named R.W. comes home.
Fast forward through three duty stations and moving back and forth across the United States. R.W. grows to a stately 90 pound, Lab mix of Golden (peanut butter brown) color. R.W. walked many a regal time in front of his owner, as if he were always saying “this is my human”. R.W. had seen thirteen states in nine years on two coasts. The day is now August 22, 2007. My dad comes home after the Wednesday night movie at the base theatre and mom let R.W. out to charge the car when he came home. R.W. runs out in a fury as he has been doing for the past years barking hello and then going to the bathroom and doing the exploring of the deer scents. My mother stepped out of the house to talk to my dad, a few minutes later she asks where’s R.W? Dad to calls him. R.W. is nowhere in site. And my dad told my mom he’ll be home in a few minutes.
That few minutes turns into five and a half hours, and at 3 a.m. the next morning, on the 23rd of August, R.W. appears on our doorstep finally. Since he has tags on his collar, I figure that we would get a call sooner or later to come get them, as they were not on his neck when he arrived home. R.W. is muddy and will have to be hosed off before he can come in the house. My mom got my dad up up at 3 am, grabbed a bunch of towels, and worked the mud out of his fur and dried him off. A treat biscuit later, R.W. falls asleep in his favorite sleeping spot at the side of the bed. We are happy that R.W. is back home. But... my mother is puzzled bit about why he was gone for five and a half hours...
The clock is ticking, but we don’t know it. Our glee at having R.W. back at home will soon turn to anguish.
The next morning my sister and I go over the outside of the dog with a fine tooth comb trying to find any hurts or ailments. It is noticed that he is limping from the old car injury from long ago in March 1998, but nothing else except a little worse for wear. Dad comes home at lunch and takes R.W. out on his usual afternoon trip outside. R.W. loses his breakfast on the lawn. It is noticed that he stumbles coming in across the threshold. Later that afternoon, he can’t even keep water down. When my mom calls our vet, the girl that answers the phone advises that usually in this situation the thing to do is withhold food and water for 24 hours. Another call to our vet, its decided by 5:30 pm that R.W. should go to the vet first thing in the morning.
It is Friday, August 25th, and R.W. is delivered to our vet. When our vet calls to discuss what he has found, it's serious. And as the vet explains it, R.W. will probably only live until Saturday morning...
What happened??? Somehow, when R.W. was exploring on Wednesday night/Thursday morning he consumed antifreeze – and now has Antifreeze Poisoning. The Road Warrior wouldn’t make it past this day...
At 4 pm when my sister and I get off the bus, we are waiting for them. We are told the news about R.W. and turn the car toward our vet. It is a horrible trip to the vet. With a heavy depression filling the car.
When we get there we are put in a room and R.W. is lead in by the assistant holding his I.V. R.W. is so happy to see us. He brightens up and starts wagging his tail. He is so overjoyed to see us that he immediately goes into a seizure, and down to the ground. Our Vet says, “This confirms it – it’s Antifreeze Poisoning”. My mom looks at my dad, and says, “Well, Mike...” And the order is given to our vet.
R.W. is in heaven before 5 o’clock.
R.W. was our beloved family pet for 9 years. Our family is torn up over this unexpected loss. R.W. didn’t have to leave us before his time...
Go down to read the story my mom wrote about my dog, R.W. My little 9 year old brother.Who will always and forever be in my heart.
I don't know why, but lately I
have been obsessed with Joker
from Batman: The Dark Knight!!
Heath Ledger ROCKS!!!!!!!!
May his soul and talent live
on and never be forgotten!
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