A Tribute to Ace

11/23/1995 to 03/07/2009
Ace 1

    Ace came to us from friends on November 16, 2003.  They were having problems keeping him contained in the city.  He kept climbing or tunnelling under the fence and running the neighborhoods.  He was also kind of high-strung and had a crazy look to him.

    The day Ace arrived, he met the rest of the pack in the back yard.  He got along with them all, and was running around enjoying his new space.  Then he met the electric fence.  Apparently never having seen one before, Ace plowed right into it at full speed, getting tanlged in the hot wires in the process.  He began howling and thrashing about.  I ran for the fence charger and managed to pull the plug about the time Ace was able to free himself from the fence.  He never went near one again.

    Ace liked to mow the lawn.  He would follow Kim around as she push mowed the front, and follow me around while I drove the tractor around the back.  He looked like a big, black mower trailer - and by the end, was usually covered with grass clippings.  He was truly a grassy Knoll!

    Ace wasn't known for his intelligence, nor his agility.  In fact, his nickname was the "Big Stupid Dog."  One nice Fall day, Ace was loping across the yard, chasing something.  I really thought he was hot on the trail of some kind of critter, until he finally caught up to it and pounced on it.  Ace had successfully captured a blowing leaf!  We laughed until we cried.  Ace seemed confused . . .

    He wasn't the most graceful dog.  One day he was running around the back yard and managed to step into a window well, then wipe out a grill.  The crash made a horrible racket, and Ace looked confused as hell at the end of it.  Ace also loved his meat.  One day I was preparing to smoke a brisket.  A full-sized packer cut (about 15 pounds worth).  I had it sitting on the counter in its cryovac coming up to room temperature.  Once the smoker came up to temperature, I was ready to apply my rub.  I went into the kitchen and couldn't find the brisket anywhere.  I felt like I forgot where I put it, and was looking all around for it.  I found a shredded cryovac package on the dining room floor, and saw Ace licking his chops, then realized what happened.  That big dog (his nose was just below counter height), pulled the brisket off the counter and devoured it raw, all in 10-15 minutes!  That must have been some tough chewing, but Ace had a huge head and really strong jaws.  I got to feel those jaws at work a couple of times . . .

    He was loyal and loving though, and seemed to enjoy it here.  One evening Kim took Ace out front.  They heard a noise on the South side of the house, and went to investigate.  In the twilight, Kim saw some guy walking up our fenceline in the white t-shirt.  Ace came to her aid.  He stood beside her, raised all the hair on his back, and let out one of those deep, throaty growls than unmistakably means that a dog means business.  I guess the would-be burglar didn't want to chance it, and turned and ran the other way.  After that, Kim and Ace were inseperable.

    Ace began having back and neck problems in October or November 2008.  He seemed to lose control of his front legs, and sometimes couldn't walk.  We treated him with steroids and pain killers, but the problems became too advanced, and we had to put him down.  I know that in heaven Ace is now young and strong again, and blessed with both intelligence and agiility that he never had before.  And I'm sure he's following St. Peter around as he mows the grass.  We miss you, Big Stupid Dog , but will see you when we get there.  Bless you, Ace.  Say hello to Phoebe, Willy and Sally for us.

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