Sunday, December 14, 2008

Weekend Post: First Christmas Without My Lab

I tend to post simply about things that interest me: News regarding pharmaceutical litigation, tech items of interest. What most folks comment on in emails? The pictures of the dogs - to the right on this blog.

This year, along with the happiness of the season, there is some sadness in my home. My 14 year old yellow lab named Pudge won't be around. He died earlier this fall. If you aren't a dog person, it's hard to explain. If you are ...

Pudge was the biggest and most rambunctious pup of the litter. He - like me - could be headstrong, aggravatingly persistent, funny, and high energy (all at the same time). He loved water (like his dad) - from a hose, a dirty puddle, even a half empty creek.

Pudge heard countless closing arguments from me while on our runs together. If I put on my running shoes, he knew what it meant: Running and talking. LOTS of talking.

He spent weekends sleeping and snoring away at the office as I prepared for trials. His favorite spot was always next to my chair as I would sit, dictating away. When I mean next to me, it was quite literally next to me, with his rump touching my leg. Pudge would look up from time to time as I worked, and the "thump thump thump" of his heavy tail hitting the floor seemed to say that he knew that my drivel was directed towards him. I cannot tell you how many times a dictated transcript would include (upon its return) a sentence like "Plaintiff deposed witness "B Smith" who ... Pudge lie down, get out of the trash can .... " as he happily distracted me.

Christmas time usually meant his tail wagging around the tree with a crash, followed by an ornament breaking for all to hear. No wine glass was safe on the coffee table when he was in the house. If there was a fire going in the fireplace, you would have to step over his content body as he quite literally spread out in front of it.

As Pudge aged, the runs ended; the walks became shorter, the car rides less frequent. We went from closing arguments on our walks to opening statements. Towards the end, he was totally deaf and partially blind. We communicated with hand signals more often than not. His tail still wagged furiously, though, even when he was ill.

Through it all, Pudge made me and then my family laugh. He was as much my law partner, the silent one we lawyers all dream about, and the one who never argues about strategy or long hours, as he was my friend. This Christmas won't be the same without him at our house.

As I go about my end of the year tasks at the office, there is one less confidant in my life. I hope Santa rectifies that this year with another dog to add to the menagerie in our home. It won't be the same, but I hope that if a dog needs rescuing, love, and care, I know Pudge will be there in spirit and memory.