On December 30th, 2016 my pup Beano passed away. I want to talk about him.
Throughout the course of my life I’ve had different people tell me that they would never say out loud that they love a pet. They would admit to caring deeply for an animal, but love…that was for humans. Well, I loved my dog. He was my friend.
Beano was a bridge for me. When I was 23 and only two months into my now 11 years in Baltimore I found myself inside a shelter with my college girlfriend. Why? Who knows. I had never been in a shelter before and had no intentions of getting a pet. But after looking at all those animals that day I literally couldn’t get my body outside and back into my car without taking one of them home with me. So I found a pen full of 4 or 5 five puppies and decided on the little black one sleeping in the middle of the cage while his brothers and sisters bounced off the walls looking for love. On the way home as were headed to the pet store to get the basics he thanked me for taking him home by peeing all over my backseat. And farting. Tons of farting. That’s where the name Beano came from.
The first time I took him for a walk I saw a dog happier than I ever thought possible. It wasn’t enough for Beans to run and sniff ALL THE THINGS! No, he had to do a head first somersault on to them. Grass? Dive on it. Neighbors plant? Roll on it. Pile of leaves? You got it. And this continued for weeks until he knew what every new object smelled like and felt like on his back. He’d pet people with the same enthusiasm. Yes, I said pet people. He wasn’t happy with the simple pleasure of a human rubbing his back. He wanted you to know he loved you too so he’d put all of his weight into your legs and rub back and forth, sometimes pushing you off balance if you weren’t used to a dog who liked to pet you like he did.
He was the one constant to my life in Baltimore all these years. There were a few failed relationships sprinkled in and quite honestly years where I didn’t venture out of my apartment except to go to work and take him for walks. He kept me going. When I didn’t care to see what was around the next corner he was always there at the door with the leash in his mouth ready to drag me there anyway. In a way, he kept pulling me until I found Deana. When I met Deana it made me so happy that she was eager to be his friend. Honestly, the best part of the last few years of his life was being able to say “Where’s Deana?” and watching his ears perk up right before he’d dart off in whatever direction she might be.
It makes sense to me that he died only 6 months after we moved into the house I hope we’ll never leave. He saw me through the tough times, watched me find someone who loved me as much as he did, and saw us settle into our home. After that, what else was left? His job was done.
On our last walk together I was reminded of the purity Beano’s heart . Just like on our first walk together you could see he was as happy as ever to be outside. But instead of somersaults his legs fell out from beneath him. Beano didn’t care. He’d just look up at me, get back up as quickly as he could and keep on looking to the next corner.
I’ll miss my dog. I’ll miss his pets. Rubbing the little knob on top of his head. Making up songs about him. Taking him with me on vacations. Laughing when he’d bark at the neighbor dog knowing they’d get yelled at by their owner for being noisy. I’ll miss looking at him on the floor and seeing him look back at me knowing everything we knew without speaking. Beano was the best. He was my dog and I’ll miss him forever.