Huxtable is an Airedale terrier. He is a large dog with a big heart, the quintessential gentle giant.
Huxtable taught us about loving someone who isn’t yourself or your romantic partner.
Before we got him as a pup, we knew nothing about the breed, except that we saw herds of them clowning around, playing biteyface, in videos found on the Internet. There’s something about their energy when they are in a cluster (video in second slide of the embeded Instagram post), and so we were smitten with these oafs.
Huxtable has been patient (if a little aloof) with every baby we’ve brought into his home. When we moved back to Texas, he lived in our one-bedroom apartment with us, our cat, and our one-year-old baby. Now he’s in his twilight years, sharing our house with us, our three kids, and two cats.
We took Huxtable everywhere. When we all were a bit younger, we would take him on walks through the open fields of high desert surrounding our house in Roswell. I would take him to the office when no one was there. He hit the open road with us, mostly to Texas, to see friends and family. Some trips were closer to our home base, like the time we took him to White Sands National Park.
He’s only a dog, right? I mean, look at the three human children added to our family during his tenure. There’s no comparison to the responsibility a parent has for their child and the responsibility for an animal.
But, Huxtable taught us a lot about loving someone who isn’t yourself or your romantic partner. He taught us that your heart only grows when you add someone to your family who relies upon you so much, long before kids were a consideration.
Huxtable is sick now, but we’ve blessedly had more time with him than we could have expected when we learned his enlarged chest and belly cannot be cured with diet and consistent exercise.
One day, probably soon, we’ll load Huxtable up in our car for one final trip. I would like to think we will meet him again in the great expanse of gypsum sands, where we can race him to the top of the dunes.