A louder, more aggressive dog like Scooby seemed harder to love than the others, because he scared people with his size and his barking, and he picked on the smaller, less powerful anies, like Bodhi and Scout. One time Scooby scared Bodhi so bad that she flew out of the pile of boxes she was hiding in in Julia’s and my bedroom, tried to jump up on the windowsill, misjudged, and went flying through the window of the loft, landing in the middle of our downstairs neighbors’ barbeque. Julia and I were standing there when this happened (we’d just moved in together—it was Independence Day), and we watched as Bodhi’s body hit the screen, popped it out of the window, hung there in space for a moment, and then dropped, like a parachutist without a parachute, out of sight. She survived.
The years went by, though, and Scooby got older and mellowed, and he became a guy particularly easy to love—that is, loving him was deep. The thing was, his initial aggression so clearly came out of fear and anxiety—he was such a sensitive dog, a rescue, so vulnerable of heart—and so when he calmed down, his true self, underneath all the bluster, was more heartbreaking and beautiful than if he’d been just an ordinary guy, with a thick skin and a mind of arrogant ignorance. He was a lesson in patience that way, a lesson in the rewards of sticking with. His love, strangely, felt real; it wasn’t about cookies and walks—it was about you and him.
Good journey, Scoob. Thank you for every single bit of it.
P.S. Here’s a song for Scooby (it’s one of his):