Deycon has been part of our family for 8 months now. He is the biggest most playful puppy ever. Even though he is 120 pounds he still thinks he’s a lap dog. He also has such a personality!! He can practically speak. Each of us can understand which yelp is which. There’s one for “come play with me” another for “I’m hungry” and another when he tattles on Bear (my dog) for doing something wrong.  They both want to play with the same toy at the same time. If Deycon drops it to go to another, Bear drops the first and goes after the new one. As best as the old man can, he tries to wrestle. As I’ve said his hind end doesn’t work so well, so he more hops than runs. 

Since the weather started to change, we’ve noticed an almost daily visitor: a local squirrel that is tormenting Deycon. He comes out of the tree that hangs over the back deck and sits there staring in at the dogs. There have been times when he’ll actually knock at the window. Deycon lets out a high pitched whine like bark and starts jumping up and down and that’s a lot of dog to jump! Of course by the time I open the door the squirrel is practically in the next county.  The next morning he reappears on the table on the deck, looking in. The routine would begin again: the whine, the door and the chase. One morning, Deycon shot out the door, down the stairs and practically jumped up the tree, The squirrel, which we’ve dubbed Rocky, quietly sat on the branch over Deycon just watching him. We all swear he does it on purpose.

As everyone knows, New York had a rough winter and exercising at the dog park was very limited and the pups rarely made it down the stairs to the yard. They were both looking a little flabby so I took both boys to the vet. He recommended Beneful, vegetable food for a month to help with the excess weight. He said I would probably notice less “waste” but that was expected. I didn’t mind that and over the course of 4 days I changed the boys food. What the vet did NOT tell me was that there would be an “aromatic” effect. HOLY COW! They were crop dusting the entire house. We had windows open and exhaust fans on! Air freshener all over! I won’t do that again!!! A few times Deycon cleared off the coffee table with that huge tail when there was an unexpected “noise” from his rear end which startled him and started a chain reaction of leaps and spills and crashes all over.
I was warned by Deycon’s mom that he didn’t like fireworks or thunder. On New Year’s we had a fireworks display across the street. It was beautiful and lasted about 20 minutes. After it was over I found Deycon shivering under the futon in the living….. crammed under there right with him was my fierce looking Rottie/Shep. Great bunch of guard dogs, these two. 225 pounds of quaking canine!!!
His mom and I exchange regular emails, especially about his antics around the neighborhood. I started to realize how much I would miss the big guy when around the beginning of March, she sent an email saying that said it was her wish that Deycon come to me for their vacations and deployments. I was so glad. It would be so hard to completely day good-bye to that gentle giant.  Deycon has his own Facebook page as a public figure…. “He” posted that Mom and I agreed on joint custody.
As the seasons changed, I like to bake more. I would take all the ingredients and put them on the counter to bring them to room temperature. My sons have developed the same habit and we have been noticing that there always seems to be no butter. Sometimes it would disappear when I knew I had put it on the counter. Blaming the boys I bought more. This disappearance would happen periodically and I was getting annoyed that they were using so much. Until I went to clean Deycon’s bed. Hidden in one of the folds were 6 butter wrappers from the last two weeks. No wonder his coat was so shiny!!! My kitchen counters are just at nose height, can’t blame the poor guy.
We have this odd shaped insects called stink bugs around. They’re called that because if you step on them, they emit this foul odor. While chasing Rocky one morning, Deycon in with one crawling on his leg. I went to get it off him, but he was too fast. From the coughing and hacking and the head shaking, I’m guessing they don’t taste too good either.
Both of my puppies like to play tug of war. It’s pretty difficult and can be kind of humorous to watch since I have all wood floors so there’s no traction and Deycon outweighs Bear. All Bear can do is lock his legs and let Deycon drag them both. Sooner or later the toy in the middle loses its innards and there’s stuffing all over. I tried getting those already deflated toys without the stuffing, but they’re not as interesting. Meanwhile the daily squirrel battle continues. The rodent was so bold as to actually knock on the glass and stand on the deck watching the jumping and yelping going on.
Early in March, my 3 sons, grown men actually, ranging In age between 19 and 24, 3 of their friends 22 though  25 and their girlfriends declared an all out Nerf war. I warned that if I got hit with so much as 1 they would all be out on the street. Bear started jumping at the shots as best he could and ran around as much as possible. Deycon, on the other hand, joined the journey. He runs into the line of fire trying to catch the bullets and runs away with them. When the current battle is over, the boys collect the bullets to reload for the next ambush.
After a week or so, they were complaining to me because they thought I was throwing out their ammunition.  An argument ensued and they bought more. On a hunch I moved Deycon’s bed and found literally hundreds of bullets. He kind of whined when I gathered them up and gave them back. Now, whether he liked it or not, he had become fair game. They will sit around corners waiting for Deycon to come near then. He rears up on his hind legs, jumps and runs, knocking over anyone or anything in his path. He honestly doesn’t realize how big he is.
Deyon arrived with 3 favorite toys, a white teddy, Tigger and a brown Teddy. Earlier this month we lost Teddy Brown. He was the victim of a freak tug of war accident. Head went one way, body the other and both warriors ended up sliding away. We rushed him to the Teddy ER, but unfortunately he had lost so much fluff on the way, he didn’t make it. Services were early the next day.
As I was sweeping the residual fluff out of my bedroom, Deycon became frightened and ran. I put the broom down to see why, and he was himself again. He followed me into my room and then ran off. OH! NO! He CAN’T be afraid of the broom!!! I tried a few things and that broom is just about the scariest thing on the face of the earth. It became so much so that he will sneak a look around a corner or into a room before entering if the broom is there, he won’t go. He refused to go to the yard through the mud room because that’s where the broom was. Finally we had to store the vile broom in the basement.
Commence Operation Ambush Deycon. My son called Deycon into the kitchen where with fully loaded Nerf guns they lay in wait. Deycon was jumping and playing with each one in turn and then finally tried to get away to the basement…. But we all know what was there..!!! so up the stairs, slam Matt against the door, slide the stool across the room, knock over a pot rack and out the back door. Bear had recently become very hard of hearing and Deycon was running interference for him. He’d nudge Bear and then run. I don’t think Bear knows why he was running, but he followed his buddy.
As I’ve said, he has a great personality. Whenever I go to PetCo, he comes with me. The last two trips have been memorable ones. First time was just after the sneak attack and finding the broom in the basement. We walk in and the salesperson says, “Horse food? In the back.” Then we see that it’s adoption day. Deycon has feline siblings so they didn’t bother him. Ferrets are another thing. He sniffed at one that jumped at him and …. Well, let’s just say they put the display back up by the next day.
Then off to the dog park. He’s pretty much the king around there and I get a chance to tell everyone about the program. That morning he was “marking his territory.” Hey, who knew Peanut’s head was right there? Later, there was a Chihuahua who was running figure eights around Deycon’s legs, yapping and snipping all the way. Deycon was ignoring him and decided to sit for a rest. He sat ON the little dog. Great aim!
Deycon’s Toy from PetCo
Next visit to PetCo didn’t go much easier. I picked up what we needed and we beeped going through the security panels. We went back to the register where the cashier re-swiped our purchase. Beep again. After the third trip, Deycon sat down and we discovered that he had a toy in his mouth ready to take home. He wrote to his mother that PetCo should know better than to leave the good toys at nose level.
My home has all wood floors which doesn’t make for good traction. Watching the dogs try to run away from the Nerf wars is like watching cartoons. Problem is it works in reverse as well. When Deycon wants to play and I ignore him, he does not accept it. This particular day I was wearing fuzzy slippery socks. He took one swipe at my leg at the precise moment and down I went. I was laughing so hard, the big guy took off and my sons came running up from the basement with jokes about earthquakes, bulldozers and Armageddon. Bunch of jokers.
He loves his stuffed animals!
When his mom gave me the list of things I needed to know about Deycon, she mentioned that he like the fuzzy stuffing in the animals. That stuffing also happens to be in some old quilts of mine. He has a favorite pillow he lays on in the living room but it isn’t quite big enough for him. I laid and old blanket next to him. That evening I found the blanket complete eviscerated and an innocent looking Deycon laying in the middle of the scene.
As I’ve said my Bear has problems with his rear hips. He and Deycon have grown so close that they actually help one another. I was working a day shift and called for them from the front door. Neither came to me, but I did hear Deycon barking. This was an unusually high pitched and urgent bark. I ran to my bedroom and found Deycon standing over Bear who was whining. Bear’s rear legs were splayed behind him in an unusual abnormal angle. He wouldn’t let me near him, snarling and snapping at me. Deycon stood right there and got between me and Bear to protect his friend.
One of my sons was finally able to get Deycon away and the rest of us spent 45 minutes trying to help Bear. When he could finally stand, we took him to our vet down the road. He was in pain, now had nerve damage and couldn’t really stand. She said that she could relieve some of the pain but that it wouldn’t take it totally away. When Bear chose me at the shelter, I promised that I would do the right thing when he told me the time had come. I looked into those big beautiful brown trusting eyes and heard him say it was time. I held onto my big guy while the team did what they had to do and whispered “I love you,” as he crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
When we got home, Deycon came running out to the car looking for Bear and was a little confused when he couldn’t find his brother. He knew what had happened, I know he did. He nudged, and pushed and kept my attention for the next few hours. That night he actually slept on the floor next to my bed and jumped every time I moved. For a few nights after that he slept in Bear’s bed.
It’s been a week and now he’s back to his old self.  He has about 3 deflated animals hidden under my bed, more than 100 hidden Nerf bullets and still is deathly afraid of brooms.

Each holiday I try to dress him up and send pictures to his mom and dad. Christmas was a Santa’s hat, barely kept the green tie on for St. Patrick’s Day and he tore apart the fuzzy ears for Easter…. But I got him anyway and he looks cute in his pink ears!

Written by Eileen, Foster Mom in New York.