I remember the day my husband brought him home. I awoke to the jingling of a bell. My husband stood at my bedside with a grin tugging at the corners of his mouth. He slapped his thigh and said, “C’mon boy.”
That was the moment Scout walked, or rather lumbered, into my life. His massive paws were too big for his body and made him a little clumsy. The moment that adorable brindle boxer puppy with floppy ears and big brown eyes looked up into my eyes I was smitten.
“Happy birthday Baby,” my husband said.
“Oh my God! He’s adorable! What should we call him?”
“I’ve always liked the name Scout.”
Scout eventually grew into those monstrous paws and tipped the scales at eighty-five pounds of solid muscle. With his bulk and brindle markings he was sometimes mistaken for a pit bull and people would shrink back in fear. I have to admit there were times when I nearly jumped out of my skin at the sight of him too. He had this annoying habit of pawing at my bedside in the middle of the night. Still groggy from sleep I’d open my eyes to see “The Batman” silhouetted against the nightlight.
After recovering from a mini heart attack, I’d realize it was just my big goofy dog asking to go outside to do his business.
He certainly could seem menacing from afar but one look into those big brown eyes and there was no mistaking the sweet soul inside. When asked if he’d attack we’d just laugh and say, “Oh yeah, he’s a ferocious guard dog alright. If anything, he’ll just lick you to death!”
Scout was unaware of his mammoth size. He thought he was a lap dog. He often crawled in my lap, or at least tried to, especially when I was getting ready for work in the morning. Putting on makeup with a beast of a dog trying to cuddle with you and lick your face was quite a challenge.
I’ll never forget Scout’s first experience with the lake. My husband tried to coax Scout to get in the water with him but he just looked on from the shore, too scared to venture in. Scout paced back and forth as my husband waded deeper into the water. Scout couldn’t be persuaded to get in the water so my husband went under to see what he would do. Scout immediately jumped in, dismissing his fears, and swam to “save” his buddy.
One afternoon my husband was sitting next to Scout, repeatedly blowing in his face. Each time Scout glared at my husband as if to warn him to stop. But my husband loves to pick so he kept at it. Scout finally had enough. The next time he turned to my husband he opened his mouth and placed his massive jaws over my husband’s face. Of course he didn’t bite down but he was sending a very clear message. “Look buddy, I’ve had enough. I love you so there’s no way I would ever hurt you, but don’t tempt me.”
If you believe a dog doesn’t have personality, well then you’ve never loved one. Scout was the manifestation of Scooby Doo, just as goofy and lovable. It was as if he jumped out of the TV screen and wiggled his way into our hearts. In fact, he turned in circles until he found just the right spot, as all dogs do, and nestled there forever.