Don Quijote, formerly Don Juan

By his beloved family, Johanna and Rogers Tomenson, Dulcinea and Sancho

"He was regal," said Rogers. "He will always be my hero."

"He was a king," said our best friend, Dra. Justina Jimenez Lopez.

"He's got so much courage," said his veterinarian, Dr. Hector.

"He had a magnificent soul," said our daughter, Tiffany.

His lady, Dulcinea and I, know he was a lover.

Don Quijote will be remembered by many people for many things. I think if we'had held a funeral, there would have been a large turn out. He was much loved by the people of the village and much feared by local thieves. Ours is the only house in the neighbourhood that hasn't been robbed. This is Mexico, after all.

One of the Don's favourite things was walking Rogers into the village for daily shopping. He was welcome in all the tiendas, never tied outside, but invited right in.

That wasn't their only walk. Each morning at 5:00 am, the Don and his lady, Dulcinea, were jumping in the air, trying to catch the golden rings that were their walking collars. Then, in the black of night, off they went for two hours, patrolling the neighbourhood, making it their own while getting a little exercise. Rog preferred that time of day, because he didn't have to risk having some white, fluffy thing snatched out of some little old lady's arms. You see, the Don's lady is a real huntress. He could care less.

As far as I know, dogs are meat eating. We learned his great patience when D.Q. developed severe kidney disease. He had to be put on a vegetarian diet. Rog took on the task of producing his special, beans and fresh veggies food, which the Don ate obligingly if not always enthusiastically. I gave him daily hydro-therapy (hot-cold showers) for 20 minutes and doses of imported healing herbs. The good news is that it worked. Over a two-year period, his blood improved to almost perfect. And we learned even more about the quality of the dog we had. Not only the patience, but the great courage. He did everything we asked of him, whether he liked it or not.

At normal times, Quijote took his array of vitamin pills each night with such enthusiasm that he took half my hand in his mouth to get his capsules. When I approached with the electric toothbrush, he pulled his lips back and stood up, rushing to meet me.

A classical music afficionado, he never failed to stretch out close for my one to two hour work sessions at the piano.

This was some lover. He was just too big for the beds and furniture, so each room of the house has luxury dog beds., as well as a special spot outside at the inside front door. I got down on the floor with him every day and we snuggled and talked puppy love talk. When he saw me coming, he immediately stretched out, lay back and as I stretched beside him, one long, front leg went around me. He would heave a sigh of the greatest contentment and so would I. I'm missing those hugs and special times. I'm missing that long-legged athlete's flowing walk around the pool while we exercised and he sometimes reached down to kiss me. I always will.

Don Quijote was a champion in every since of the word. Not only did he break the track record in Orange Park Florida, but he was always a winner. This dog disciplined hiimself to express only joy and the deepest love. Instead of chewing our hands and arms with a little anger when we returned from somewhere without him, he'd race for a toy and chew it wildly until he was ready to present to us the gentleman that he was. He was a true aristocrat.

3400 Carlisle St #430, Dallas, TX 75204-1265
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