It's been six months to the day since our beloved animal companion Malik passed away. He was a big dog, weighed nearly 100 lbs., probably a Catahoula-Great Dane mix. But who knows, he was picked up on the street by our neighbor, abandoned as a small puppy along with his sister near the Veterans Hospital in Fayetteville. Probably he was abandoned by a breeder, due to the fact that he had a deformed iris, which meant that his right eye had a bit of trouble with bright sunlight.
Malik means "king" in Arabic. He was no royalty as a puppy, he chewed on everything, was unbelievably rambunctious and energetic. Over the 11 and three-quarters years that he lived with us, we must have walked nearly 10,000 miles. When he grew up, however, he came to project an aura of dignity, and so came to grow into his name. He was a trooper right til the end, still full of life and full of joy, eager to walk. Except he really couldn't, his back legs were giving out, probably due to pressure on his spine and nerves, from the large fatty tumor that grew on his back over the last year of his life. At least three vets who I consulted told me it was inoperable, so there wasn't much we could do.
Malik went with me to Georgetown University when I spent the year there as a visiting professor from August 2011-May 2012. He was such a fabulous companion, and he loved our daily walks in DC, along Rock Creek, in Georgetown, along the Potomac. I will treasure that memory forever.
Miss ya, buddy. You were the best.