Yesterday morning, at around 8am, my wife’s parents had the sad responsiblity of putting to sleep their 12-year-old border collie, Flash. He had been ill for many months, and his health and quality of life had been steadily and swiftly deteriorating.
I first met Flash in September 2002, when Kara brought me to Virginia to meet her family for the first time. As I was already certain at that time that I planned to marry Kara, I was committed to winning over her family. I brought a bottle of good scotch for her father and flowers for her mom. Kara and I liberated her younger sister, Diana, from a boring party and took her out for ice-cream.
Last, but not least, I had to earn approval from the dog. I did this by playing his favorite game, stairball, nonstop for an hour. The game consisted of Flash standing at the top of a flight of stairs and me at the bottom; I’d throw a ball up to him, he’d catch it or chase it if it got by him, and then he’d use his nose to nudge it back down the stairs, and it would bounce down to me. This was when I learned Flash and I had a personality trait in common: we were both obsessive-compulsive.
Not only did I win over the dog, he won me over, too. I’d never been much of a dog person before meeting Flash, but after a weekend with him I found myself seriously considering owning a dog someday. I very quickly learned to love that sweet, slightly demented canine.
He was a good pet, a boon companion, and a member of the family. Rest in peace, Flash.