1) After I adopted Andre, I taught him “roll over”. The funny thing is that he would only roll in one direction. Years later, Wayne showed me the movie Zoolander, and I almost changed Andre’s name.
2) Andre loved to mark. I never got any exercise on our walks because he had to stop by every bush along the way (we joked that he was leaving “peemail” for his doggy friends). One day I came home and saw that Andre had jumped onto the kitchen table so he could mark a vase of flowers. We would always leave the chairs pushed in from then on!
3) My most cherished memory of Andre is when I would take him to the beach. He would smile and run zig-zags across the sand. His exuberance was so uplifting, and it was obvious that this was one of his favorite places. A year after I adopted him, I threw a beach party for Andre and his doggy pals. I made a liver brownie birthday cake, and at one point during the party ALL the dogs on the beach we surrounding me to try and get a piece. So many wagging tails and much happiness that day!
4) I used to bring Andre with me when I taught at San Jose City College. Many of my students were from Vietnam, and there were some communication barriers. They loved Andre, and many times his presence was what helped them feel comfortable talking to me about their lives and their dogs back home, and that enabled me to be a better teacher for them. One day, my students were taking a test, and Andre was lying on the floor in the middle of the classroom. The door was propped open, and he saw a squirrel outside. He bolted out of the classroom, and my panicked students all ran outside to try and catch him. There was also a time when Andre wasn’t eating well, and I couldn’t figure out why until I noticed that he would always sit under the same desk. Turns out that a student from one of my classes had been secretly feeding him burgers.
5) I remember the first time Andre saw a horse. He only saw the legs, and must have thought they were trees. He was about to lift his leg on the horse when it moved and startled him. I’m not sure what he was thinking at that moment, but he was taken totally by surprise.
6). Andre was one of the ring bearers at our wedding, and he wore a tuxedo bandana that my mother-in law made for him. So handsome! He barked at all the right moments during the ceremony.
And one more memory. For another birthday we took Andre to a restaurant in Carmel called The Forge in the Forest. They have an outdoor patio and a special menu just for dogs. We ordered Andre the most expensive item on the menu (steak) and he was in total disbelief that it was all for him. We bought him a new collar that day from some fancy dog boutique, and then when Andre had enough he slept in the car, totally blissed out, while we drove home in the rain.