We brought Rascal home from the humane society in July of 1998. She was supposed to be my dog, but the entire family really loved her. Mom had mocha (a laso apso that she received as a wedding present from my dad), but Rascal was a real family dog. Dad was surprised when we brought her home, especially when he found out how big she was supposed to get.

It wasn't the size he should have worried about--- it was the energy level. What a naughty dog. She would get out from under the fence, and streak around the neighborhood. I don't know how many times I was roused from bed in the morning with orders to "go catch 'er." More often than not it would turn into a trek through the neighborhood nature trail (more like swamp). She'd let me get within inches of her, and then sprint out of my reach again. Mom hated the mud she dragged through the patio, which was part of the reason it's now painted brown instead of stark white. She would also flip out during thunderstorms (pretty much everyday during the Florida summers). She'd tear down doors, dig out of the yard, bark, whine, pant, and pace. Mom swore time and time again that we were going to bring her back to the pound, but thankfully we stuck it out until she calmed down past puppyhood.
Not that Rascal was all trouble. Most of the time she was a pretty cool dog, sporting a mohawk or a sweet pair of shades.

Around age seven, Rascal started getting hip problems. Most days she was fine, but some days she should limp or hop around the house. Things got progressively worse, especially in the last year. Rascal began having trouble walking on the tile floors, often slipping and falling. She began spending her time outside in the backyard where she could get better traction on the grass. Her favorite spot was under the nectarine tree in the back corner of the yard.

After her days became progressively more difficult and painful, a tough decision was made. Yesterday Dad, Kirby and I brought Rascal to the vet to say goodbye. After deciding that cremation was too impersonal, we brought her home and laid her to rest under her favorite nectarine tree. We will always love and miss you Rascal!

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