Django: West Highland Terrier

52″x52″ Oil on Canvas 2018

Humans: Chris Knight and Lisa McCreedy,  Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Our boy  Django said his goodbyes on November 14th, 2017. He graced this world for an awesome 15 years. He became my “step dog” more than eight years ago, when I partnered up with Chris, and promptly turned me into a dog lady (I was seriously on my way to crazy cat lady status).
Django was a holy terror at times, so true to his terrier nature, an escape artist, a bagger of “grab them when you can” treats, barking it up at squirrels because they just wouldn’t fall from those trees into his lap, rat catcher extraordinaire, until losing sight in one eye retired him. The destroyer of one sofa, in his efforts to get to a ball under said sofa (one of his personal bests), and an out and out West Highland White Terrorist. He loved to roll around in the garden, and stick his head in all kinds of unmentionable places. He more than earned the many nicknames we gave him – J-bird, buttface, rotter, squidge, nutbucket, knucklehead, old man, holy terror, cuddlebug, and many more… meant in the most loving of ways.
He was given the official moniker of The Colonel, his duty being to vet any prospective guests for our downstairs neighbors (his pseudo-grandparents) doggy vaycay business. If they got on with Django, they were a keeper. He knew more people in our neighborhood than we did, with all the kids walking past his corner every morning, on their way to school, shouting “hello Django”. When they kept going he would bark it up again, trying to get them to come back. If I met people in the neighborhood and said where I lived, and that we had the white dog on the corner, they said “Oh Django?”.
He came with us to Montrose beach kite flying, and him and I would leg it up to the dog beach for a doggy social. He liked the owners more than the dogs, his way of showing his love, or if they stood still for too long, was to pee on their feet (claiming ownership). People wondered why I wore wellies to the dog park! Chris and I have felt that warm glow on our feet more than once.
He would wait for you by the door, just knowing when you were due home, sitting patiently, and once we were in, offloaded our coats, bags, stuff off, he would come in for a head scratch and follow us in to the kitchen for Chris and I’s daily debrief, knowing, just knowing that after about 15 minutes I would turn to him and ask “have you been a good boy today, protecting our house?”… the answer was always a very bouncy Yes, followed by a treat. That was our ritual.
Anywhere in the house we could call “Django” and he would poke his head out from his many resting places, weighing up the odds of this being a call that came with rewards. He always came. He was a total cuddle bug, sucking heat from us in the winter, following us from room to room, just so he knew where we were. Always there at our feet in the kitchen, hoping to score celery, carrots, anything on the good list.
He was part-and-parcel of this household, every single day, and so so loved. He made us better people for loving him.
Signing off with what I said to him nearly every time I left the house, “see you later Django, no parties!”

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