Our beloved brindle pit, Caleb, died suddenly and unexpectedly Friday night. I was already in bed asleep when Rich burst into our bedroom and said, “I think Caleb may have just died.” By the time we both ran downstairs to the den it was clear Caleb was already gone.
I don’t know where to start. Like I said, it was sudden. And unexpected. He behaved normally all Friday, eating, drinking, playing, napping as usual. Rich said that after I went to bed that night Caleb came to get petted and kissed, then went back to playing with Troubadour. They laid down to sleep and just like that Caleb slipped away. It’s some comfort that he went so quickly and without suffering. But what I find more comforting is knowing that he died after doing his favorite thing in the whole world: playing with Troubadour. While Caleb loved his big sister Snoops with all his heart, his relationship with Troubadour was on a whole other level. They literally became inseparable, with Caleb starving himself then quitting drinking water when they were apart for a few days a few years back. We took them for vet checkups on the same day because they couldn’t stand being home alone without each other. When Troubadour got a time-out in his crate, Caleb would kiss you and give you the eyes to get him released. They slept on the same bed together. They drank in tandem. They often peed in tandem. They didn’t even like going out in the backyard without each other. Which is why it’s now so hard to watch Troubadour processing what happened. He spent all Saturday obsessively checking the backyard to see if he’d somehow missed Caleb, even though he’d seen Rich carry Caleb’s body out the door that morning for that final visit to the vet. It was the only time in his life that he’s ever remained completely silent when his brother went out the front door without him.
I can’t express how much we are all going to miss Caleb. How much we already do. How hard it was telling Coraline and hearing her little heart break when she started crying and saying his name over and over. He was loved by everyone in our family and so many of our friends. Throughout his life he changed a lot of people’s minds about pit bulls, showing them what good dogs they inherently are. He loved peanut butter-filled Kongs. He loved chewing/eating/destroying tree branches. He loved kissing our hands and faces. He loved playing with Frisbees, ropes, and Boobah dolls. He loved wrestling with Troubadour, preferably in front of an audience. He loved everyone in our family. He loved our friends. He loved his little brother and his cat, Buster. He loved me. He loved Coraline. But most of all he loved Rich, his favorite person, the one who picked him out of all those puppies all those years ago.
Caleb smiled, but he’d only do it on command for Coraline. I already miss that goofy smile so much. I could write so much more about what I’ll miss about him, but it could easily turn into an endless post. I’ve cried so much since his passing it’s hard to believe I haven’t dehydrated by now.
We are now a family with one dog and one cat. And it’s for Caleb that we’ll take extra-special care of that one dog, the one who was crying tonight as if in physical pain because he can’t find his big brother.
Caleb would have turned 13 years old tomorrow. We are so honored and proud to have been his family since bringing him home as that tiny 13-pound 13-week-old rescue. You were a good boy, Caleb. Such a good boy.