PE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> For the Love of a Dog

AuthorTopic: For the Love of a Dog  (Read 1621 times)

Offline Eddie

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For the Love of a Dog
« on: January 27, 2015, 08:04:43 AM »
It's funny, the little rituals life gives us. Every workday morning of my life for the past few years has begun with feeding the cat before I take my shower...and then, as soon as I'm dressed, feeding the two family dogs and letting them out for their morning ablutions.

In the afternoon, I'm often the first one home, and so, once again, I get to be the first one to be greeted enthusiastically, because they are always happy to see me, and once again I see to the food and water bowls.

None of these animals is my pet, exactly, yet it's become a part of my life, these tiny chores.

The kitty was rescued by one of the kids one cold wet morning more than a decade ago in the parking lot of my office. The fox terrier is my wife's dog, the second one we've owned from the same set of parents, a replacement after the first one was killed tragically, washed over a dam during the spring floods one year, down on Barton Creek. She will be the last, because both the sire and the owner of the sire are gone now.

The other dog belongs to my daughter. He is a blue heeler, a dog she rescued while working at a shelter when she was in college. He is getting old now, nearly fourteen, and I don't think he has many more years in him. He went to the vet last week to have an ulcerative lesion on his nose looked at, and it was diagnosed as a melanoma. He has poor liver function now, and his teeth are bad, the result of years of chasing sticks for us, his favorite game.

He is going back today for an ultrasound, a tooth extraction, and hopefully, removal of the cancer. This visit will set me back somewhere in the neighborhood of $1500. And I seriously doubt it will make a lot of difference in the long term scope of things. But we all love that old dog.

We have a lot of history with him. Until he came along, I never knew that my daughter had a gift for animals, but it turns out that she does. I'm reminded of my father, who followed the hounds, in a different time and place, and loved dogs in a way that nobody understands anymore.

Heelers are exceptionally smart dogs, although they have great energy when they're young, and can be behavior problems. She got him when he was two or three, and worked with him patiently for years to get him past some issues related to abuse that must have occurred in his puppyhood. He was a fear biter, and back in the day, he bit me, and damn near everyone we knew. We learned to avoid rushing in the front door when she was home for a visit from school, because he was protective of the threshold, and would react badly if startled.

That was years ago, before my daughter finished college. Later, she would move to Spain for a while, and we became surrogate parents of the heeler. He transferred his love for her to my wife and me, but he never forgot her, and he was ecstatic when she returned home. When she was badly injured rock climbing, and moved home for us to care for her, he became the family watchdog. He sat, and still sits, out near the corner every day, standing guard. Some of the neighbors fear him, but most of them love him. Everyone respects him.

Now he is old and getting stiff in his bones. He likes to lie beside me on the couch in the evening, and he has a look in his eye that I've seen before in a dog. It's a look that tells me he knows he is mortal, and that he doesn't feel quite right anymore. I think dogs know, when their days are growing short.

I took him and the terrier out to the stead on Sunday, by myself, as usual. I decided I didn't have any pressing need to do anything constructive. I swept the pile of leaves off the deck, and I sat and drank a couple of beers. Then we took a walk and they had a great time rooting around in the winter-killed grass sniffing for the evidence of critters. The creek is finally full, for the first time in three years, and we had a glorious afternoon, doing nothing, just being together.

When he is gone, I'm sure there will be another dog. But there will never be another one exactly like him, and I will never relive these easy, late middle age days of my life either. Old age is here for him, and it won't be long before it's here for me too.

I used to go to workshops where well-meaning teachers tried to help me learn to show unconditional love, and tried to teach me to live in the moment. Dogs are born knowing how to love without condition, and they live in the moment every moment, of every day, of their entire  lives. We can learn a lot from them, if we pay attention.

Some people think of dogs as pets, or even "man's best friend". They are perceived as "lesser" animals to most humans. But to me dogs are like angels who come into our lives to bring us joy and show us how to live. I believe that if man has a consciousness and an inner spark that persists somewhere, in some other dimension, that dogs certainly do too. I will really miss this old dog when he's gone. I wish him safe passage to the other side.

« Last Edit: January 27, 2015, 12:23:03 PM by Eddie »
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline MKing

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Re: For the Love of a Dog
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2015, 12:53:33 PM »
Our dog passed in May. We loved her dearly. After an appropriate time of mourning, we acquired a new family member in October. He is being fixed on this very day. There is just something about a family with a dog, as opposed to one without, that makes the world a different place.
Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.
-Dalai Lama

Offline g

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Re: For the Love of a Dog
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2015, 03:07:38 PM »
Our dog passed in May. We loved her dearly. After an appropriate time of mourning, we acquired a new family member in October. He is being fixed on this very day. There is just something about a family with a dog, as opposed to one without, that makes the world a different place.

I know how you feel my friend.

Lost my best friend a while back. Broke my heart, cried like a baby for weeks.

My good fella kept watch over a small sack of Krugerrands I had hidden in my back yard for over a decade.  :'(

Never again I said, never will I put myself through a loss like that again, NEVER. Once was much too much MKing.

I stashed the few dozen Krugger's I had hidden back in my vault and told myself that I would rather be robbed by a bankster than suffer the loss of another best friend. My love for Gold could never compare with my love for Attila. How I adored that sweet pup and how well we got along together.  :-\

                                                     

                                                                     GO'S Beloved Attila


                                                           
Attila, I Miss You
Attila, I Miss You

                                                   



Offline Eddie

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Re: For the Love of a Dog
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2015, 03:27:13 PM »
Hehehe.

 

GO preparing to move his "small bag" (or was it bags) of Krugerrands back into the vault. Note the second rear axle.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Eddie

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Re: For the Love of a Dog
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2015, 03:38:59 PM »
Heelers are remarkable dogs. This blue heeler belongs to a farrier here in Texas.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/cvGLsCJ-ejY&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/cvGLsCJ-ejY&fs=1</a>
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline g

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Re: For the Love of a Dog
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2015, 04:11:24 PM »
Hehehe.

 

GO preparing to move his "small bag" (or was it bags) of Krugerrands back into the vault. Note the second rear axle.

                                                     
Edward, Please, Your Embarrassing Me
Edward, Please, Your Embarrassing Me
 

 

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