Ode to an Old Dog
I said I would never own a purebred dog-
there are too many mutts in the world that need homes,
but when that puppy was placed in my arms,
it was all over-he had to come home with me!
I had a little boy and a boy should have a dog!
He grew into a big, beautiful Golden Retriever.
Even the Vet told me to think carefully before deciding
to have him fixed as he was 2-3 inches taller than most retrievers
and he was a striking red in color.
He was so often mistaken as an Irish Setter-
until of course, one looked at the face-
so totally Retriever!
The highlight in his life was a boy.
He knew what time the boy got home from school
and went from window to window watching and waiting.
When the boy got older and started to ride the bus-
I swear the dog could hear it coming a mile away
and he would be waiting by the door.
He loved that boy
and lived for the times when they played together.
But with highlights come low points.
The boy grew up and left home and the dog aged.
I believe that dog has had a good life
and because of my love for him,
I could not allow him to suffer any longer.
The man I share my life with has surprised me
with his tenderness toward the dog.
He does not like animals and does not like the dog,
and yet I have listened to him talk softly-
with love in his voice
as he carried the dog outside several times a day
and helped to hold him up so he could "do his business",
then carry him back in and lay him on his blanket.
The dog may have lost 30 pounds in the last month,
but he still weighed over 60 pounds
so this was no easy chore.
I knew things could not continue like this
and even though the decision was one of the hardest
I have ever had to make,
Howie was allowed to gently fall asleep tonight
and will awake in a much better place-
where he will be young and strong again
and where, I am sure, he will wait for the boy he loves.
And again, the man I love suprised me-
I said I wanted Howie to be buried under the apple tree.
He told me that was impossible-
the ground is frozen-
then he handed me the money to have Howie cremated.
In the spring, Howie will rest under the apple tree.
Goodnight gentle dog.
Rest well and we will someday meet again.
Judy's post in the FML
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 20:20:51 -0800
From: ferret lover
Subject: Please say a prayer
These words are so difficult, but I have prayed for so many on this list that even though it is difficult, I am asking for prayers for my sweet, gentle Golden Retriever Howie. He is on his way to a better place tonight where he will be young and strong and healthy again and hopefully meet up with the little orange cat he loved so much named Scooter Pie.
Howie was the most gentle dog I have ever known. Examples of his gentleness are many- the time he gently put his huge paw on a cat and held him to the ground while he rescued the chipmunk from the cat's clutches. He brought the chipmunk to me and dropped it in my hand. I didn't tell him it was too late for the chipmunk- I just petted him and told him what a good boy he was.
Or the time he spent hours guarding a downed baby robin- and I mean hours. I saw Howie laying out by the tree from my kitchen window. After he laid there for awhile, I went out to see what the problem was. He was within a couple feet of this baby bird and the bird didn't seem to be the least bit afraid. I watched them off and on all afternoon as Howie laid there- keeping 3 cats that were pacing like hungry tigers away. Finally towards evening, the baby made it's way higher into the tree and Howie's "watch" was over. I know it lasted at least 4 hours. Had I been the only one to witness this, I might allow you to call me crazy, but at least 4 other people saw this too.
He was beyond gentle-even with the ferrets. My little girl, Hope, would climb to the top of his big old head and just sit there-between his ears! She must have liked the view from up there and he would sit perfectly still until she got tired and climbed down. I kept saying I was going to get a picture, but I never did and now the chance is gone.
Della and the Tumbleweeds
Tyson, Einstein and Hope
Della and the Tumbleweeds