Queers love their dogs. And honestly, queers love their pets in general. A few months ago, Nina asked if pets are worth the money and the response from Bilerico readers was unequivocally yes.
Today I got the phone call I had been dreading all week. And when my aunt's number came up on the caller ID, I was reluctant to pick up the phone, because I knew why she was calling. Our dog Binks had to be put down this morning. This is the second dog I have lost, and it never gets any easier.
Binks was a full-bred Rottweiler that we rescued when he was young. The family who had him before us was keeping him on a choke chain and didn't feed him properly because they were trying to make him an aggressive dog. Rotties are not naturally aggressive - it's assholes who turn them that way. Binks understandably had behavior issues when we first got him because of the way he was treated. But with patience and a lot of hard work, he became one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met.
I'll never forget the first time I took Binks to obedience school. The trainer had already met Binks when she came to our home for some private lessons. She knew he was a smart boy, but she wasn't prepared for how quickly he would excel. He could learn 3-4 tricks per week and was always proud to show off when we went to school on Saturday mornings. Shannon, the instructor, was so impressed with him that she had us take an advanced class for free. Binks fell in love with a small Whippet in his class. He would run over to her each week and she would just cower with her tail between her legs. He would bark at her to try to get her attention, as if he was saying, "hey! I want to play!" That romance was doomed, but he never stopped trying.
When I was living in Long Beach, Binks came to visit me and we went to the dog beach. He played in the waves for hours until he was too tired to stand up anymore. Binks loved his ball. If I was too busy to throw it for him, he would play catch with himself. Binks also loved going for car rides, especially if he got to go through the drive through for a cheeseburger. But most of all, Binks loved to cuddle. He never caught onto the fact that he was a big boy. He would just plop all 125 pounds into my lap as soon as I sat down on the couch.
A few year ago, Binks started developing a limp in his front left leg. Since Binks was a natural performer, we all thought that he was just hamming it up. That was until we took him to the vet for his check up. Binks had bone cancer. The vet told us that we should just keep an eye on him and if it ever got to the point that he couldn't walk because he was in too much pain, we would need to put him down. For the last few weeks, Binks had been limping quite a bit and it was hard for him to get up and down the stairs of the apartment to go potty. Maria, my aunt, had been giving him pain medicine to help him get through the night without crying and last night she decided that Binks had suffered enough. This morning she took him to the vet and did the worst thing that any dog lover will have to do.
Dogs are amazing animals and I have been so blessed to have Binks in my life. When I had to drive my sweet Cocker Spaniel, Hercules, to the vet for him to be put down, it was the worst experience I have ever had. Hercules was one of those dogs who loved everyone, and everyone loved him. After four years, I still miss him. I just hope that he and Binks are happy up in doggy heaven now that they're back together again. (Yes, I know this is about as logical as believing in the tooth fairy. But indulge me, folks. I'm a little sad today.)
I think the most fitting tribute that I can give either of my friends is to leave it open to our readers to post a love note to their four-legged friends. If you love your pooch or kitty, tell us why. I think they deserve the shout out.