The Evil Reverend “India” Santiago III, Esquire
Jan 17, 2008-July 25th 2019
India was born in Missouri and adopted in 2008 at three months old, on the most fitting holiday, St. Patrick’s Day. Adopted by an inexperienced and first time dog owner. This was not a smooth transition. But after her owner, Casey, got some training the two were inseparable best friends, spending over 11 years together. Along her journey on earth, India loved and was loved by everyone! There wasn’t a human or dog that didn’t love this goofy wild beast. At camp she was named “Camp Sweetheart”. When visiting humans, she was the first to be greeted and she quickly became a regular in any community.
While living in Nebraska, she fell in love with running at the dog park, which she visited on the daily. She also LOVED running on trails at Wilderness Park, off leash, while Casey tried to keep up on her mountain bike. Her best friends where the local MTBers and she loved cheering them on (and Casey) at races. Her fav cheering spot was the Beer and Bacon stop at Dakota 5-0. She also enjoyed bellying up to the local pubs in town, especially Jakes.
Her nickname, Houdindia, was given because of her ability to escape any kennel, house, or fenced backyard. Before her second birthday she had had stitches a few times, broke a tooth, and just nearly missed being hit by a car. Law breaking and injury was a very common theme for this brindle beauty, leaving Casey with the belief that India would never live to see her third birthday. Yet, like always, she proved Casey wrong.
At age six, she moved to LA and quickly fell in love with the Malibu Beaches.
Running in and out of the rushing waves, once again off leash, having the best time of her life. The love affair ended as quickly as it started when a wave pulled her in. Drenching her in sea water and utterly pissing this 70 lb beast off.
India lived a full life in LA and enjoyed a house full of roommates, and roommate treats. She also enjoyed playing with her friends, visiting art galleries, she hiked daily at Kenneth Hahn, and even took a tour of the Hollywood sign. But after a few years, her life would quickly turn upside down.
In 2015, Casey and India moved into a van and began to travel across the US, quickly earning her new nickname “India the Adventure Dog.” She visited over 45 states in 2 1/2 years. She stayed in art studios, tents, visited over 15 universities, lived in a tree house for a summer, and befriended endless numbers of humans.
After many, many more adventures, age began to take its toll. India began to battle arthritis and a deteriorating nerve in her spine, making it difficult to walk. At 10 years old, India retired from adventure life. Finding comfort in the simple things, like sitting outside on a sunny day or watching TV with her family. She still enjoyed playing toys, getting bribed by treats, and a good ‘ol belly rub.
India and Casey in Joshua Tree (photo 1 & 2), getting kicked out of the Alamo (photo 3), and living in a barn (photo 4).
Last week, Casey made the most difficult and bravest decision a best friend could ever make: Letting India go. There would be no more pain. She would be at peace. As Casey looked into India’s eyes, she petted her with comfort and love, thanking her for being the best friend a punk nomad girl could ask for. Then India closed her eyes for one last time as she took off on her next big adventure.
India was survived by her best friend, Casey and her loving loving family: Mom, Gma, Aaron, Dad, Kim, Simba, Socks, Aiden and Nic. Along with endless numbers of friends from around the world. She now joins Gma Lois, Granddad, Peabody, and Scooter at the rainbow bridge.
India will be remembered for her HUGE heart. She reminded us all that life is full of love and laughter. She was the funniest dog, the sweetest dog, and the most loved dog. She lived more than most humans ever will. You probably had the privilege and honor of patting her on the head or helping me chase her after an escape attempt or snuggling with her. Know that she loved you more than you loved her. That’s just the way she was.
I’m left with fond amazing memories, as I hope you are. And she taught me so much. She taught me of the importance of taking a dance break while making dinner. That friendship is everlasting, even past death. And that nothing, I mean nothing, makes the world a better place than unconditional love. Well, except for maybe a belly rub.
I love you India and miss you immensely. But I know you are living on in our hearts. RIP India.