Friday, February 01, 2013

Stockwell, Angel

Baby Stockwell with Lucky
Christmas 1998
This past Monday, as Heather so aptly stated, Stockwell became the angel he never was while he was with us.  We're all in mourning as we had to say goodbye to a family member who happened to be a pet who spent 14 years with us.  I stop short of declaring him a good dog, however.  Because when I think back on all of Stockwell's antics, he was anything but a good dog.  He was, however, an animal with personality who always got a second glance by a stranger at his odd shaped body, and who was loved by all who knew him.  I can't begin to cover all of the funny Stockwell stories, so I'll try to hit some of the highlights.
Stockwell & Mom in their Christmas shirts
Food Stockwell has stolen over the years
  • Baguette (read that story here)
  • Haubstadt cake from Christmas Village
  • My entire box of Valentine's Day Godiva truffles
  • A smaller entire box of Schokolaud truffles
  • Mass quantities of sugar cookie dough out of the trashcan (earning him the nickname "Sug")
  • Countless other foods from counters and tables
Stockwell Sunbathing
Nicknames
  • Precious (or "My Precious" as in LOTR)
  •  Bull dozer
  •  Stockily Wockily Broccoli
  • Stocky
  • Stockwell Angel (as in "Stillwell, Angel" from A League of Their Own)
  • Sug (the sugar cookie dough incident)
  • Little Heater
  • Devil dog (the early years!)
  • StockHELL (another early years name!)
Snuggling in bed
Quite possibly the biggest lapdog you've ever seen
Stockwell was a bassadore (half basset hound, half black lab) given to our family by Jenni and Tara Stockwell.  The Stockwell sisters picked him up free from the Brentwood Kroger, and then gave him to us when their parents told them that they absolutely could not get a third dog!  So they brought him over to our house where Laura and I fell in love with the adorable black puppy and reminded our parents that they had promised us that we could get another dog when we moved to Brentwood, several years earlier.  We named him Stockwell in honor of the family who was the reason we got him.  
The most graceful swimmer
He much preferred jumping in after frisbees to riding on the floats
Stockwell thought he was a lap dog from the get go, and even when he was 60+ pounds and full grown, he preferred to be laying on laps, and sleeping on top of legs in bed with you.  If you have ever visited our house, chances are Stockwell has climbed in bed to snuggle with you.  His shiny black coat smelled of Fritos according to Laura, and for the first four years of his life, he was a hyperactive dog who had to be given "puppy downers" who liked to steal shoes, socks, and hats and take off with them, dig up rosebushes repeatedly, chew speaker wires, hump and chew up throw pillows, and destroy pool cushions leaving a yard full of cotton snow in the heat of the summer.  He loved the pool, and his favorite spot was sitting on the top step in the water where he would sunbathe and help himself to a drink.  He would go swimming whenever a frisbee was tossed in the water, and would run the length of the pool barking whenever anyone would jump in.  You would think a black dog would seek the shade, but Stockwell always wanted to lie in the sun.
A lapdog from the get-go
Howling along to the harmonica
Stocky was true to his nickname, long and short to the ground, but the long body allowed him to stand on his hind legs and reach for food which he would steal and swallow quicker than you would even realize it was missing.  He had a major sweet tooth, and would sniff out candy or desserts throughout the house, and making him sick on occasion from over-indulgence.
Bed party - June 2008
A curious Bradley climbs on Stockwell
He was a cuddly animal who would let you lay on him, and snuggle his silky ears and meaty thighs and almost every picture we have of Stockwell is of him snuggling with one of us.  His favorite toys were a yellow bear, and Larry the Cucumber, and he sang bass in the trio of canines whenever anyone played the harmonica for him, Julius and Oscar.

I will share one funny Stockwell story.  When I was a senior in college, I lived in the Sugar Shack (an off campus condo), and mom and dad came to visit and they surprised me by bringing Stockwell.  I was so excited to see him, but the minute he ran in like a wild man into the strange condo, Stocky immediately saw this picture of Kramer on the wall and began to growl at him!  He was not a fan of the Kramer portrait!

Several days have gone by since Stockwell left us, and the gaping whole he left behind is still ever present.  I know he was just a pet but he literally followed us from room to room and went everywhere we went.  Though he couldn't talk,  you would swear he was thisclose to speaking English by the inflections of his moans and howls.   He was as close to being a person as a pet could be. Many have suggested he's in Doggie Heaven now, playing with Lucky, and swimming in that big swimming pool in the sky.  I myself would like to think he's found a nice lap to climb up in, and he'll be waiting for us with wagging tail someday.
waiting for his next lap to climb into

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