A Dogs Life-#1

In my adult life I have had five dogs and like humans each one has had their own special personality. When I think about these creatures my thoughts always focus on where I was in my life and how that dog fit into the structure.

Dog number one was a spaniel we picked up at the shelter. My wife and I had been married about a year and this was our baby. He was a bundle of fur and energy, destroying a sofa and a chair when he escaped from our apartment kitchen one day while we were both at work. When we bought our first house I told people that we bought a fenced-in backyard that just happened to have a house on it. For the next five years he was the glue that held our new marriage together, the perfect first dog. He loved chasing a ball with Dad in the backyard and cuddling with his Mom in the evening. When he saw his leash in my hand he would get so excited he would pee on the floor. He knew a walk in the park and some squirrel chasing was headed his way. Fortunately we were still young and poor so we couldn’t afford anything but hand-me-down area rugs.

His world and ours changed with the arrival of our first child. He didn’t take moving down the pecking order as gracefully as I thought he would. No matter how hard I tried to pay attention to his wants and needs, a baby becomes the sun which your life orbits around. Fortunately he settled into a routine accepting his lot in life but he never really bonded with our child. Sadly, he developed cancerous tumors and we had to put him down at the young age of eight years old.

He had a special blanket, the one thing he didn’t rip to shreds, over most of his life. He would drag his blanket around the house searching for a sunny spot or a lap to curl up in. When my wife would wash it he would bolt out the door rubbing his blanket in the dirt and grass to get that “new car” smell off it. As you can imagine, this did not make his Mom very happy.

I wrapped him in that blanket as my wife drove us to the vet one last time. He was sick and weak but I could still see his love for me shinning in those big brown eyes. I placed the blanket on the cold metal table and as he had done a hundred times at the foot of our bed, he curled up in a ball on top of it. I rubbed his head and told him that I loved him as the vet placed an IV in his leg and within a minute he was asleep, and then gone. The vet left and gave me a few minutes alone with him. My wife couldn’t go in with me, it was just too hard for her. I cried and thanked this little guy for his love, devotion and patience’s over the last eight years, eight years that added value to our lives and honestly would have been a vacant space without him.

I think about this fellow often. I think about how simple our life was then, just the three of us. He was always under our feet, never wanting to miss an opportunity to be in the middle of whatever we were doing whether it was barking at his mortal enemy the vacuum cleaner or chasing a tennis ball until my arm felt like it was going to fall off. It seems like a long time ago now but in reality it was just moments ago, moments I still cherish.

I cried when I wrote this, this thank you that was long overdue. Thank you my friend, dog #1.

About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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15 Responses to A Dogs Life-#1

  1. Beautiful words, and although I have four cats now, we always had dogs when I was growing up, all special, all individual and I remember them all with love

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup we got the one queen cat that I guess is going to out live us. I have two mutts now, both rescues. They are like having two 3 year old’s but I adore both of them (I am not always happy with them) but they fill a space in my life that needs filling.


      • That’s lovely, my mum has a German Shepherd but I’ve always thought we’d adopt a rescue dog. I miss not having one, but until we have the time to spend with it, it wouldn’ t be fair…definitely in the future and perhaps more than one!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tilly Frueh says:

    Tears are running down my face. It is so hard to lose a pet. My husband wouldn’t let me get a dog for the first 19 years of our marriage, claiming that it would just be too hard for me to handle losing it one day. Finally the kids and I took a stand and we got Bell a little more than four years ago. She has become such an intricate part of our life that I now realize Hubby was probably right. The only thing going for me is that I know my life is better for having her and I cherish each and every day with her. My heart goes out to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Patty says:

    Next week it will be a year since we had to put down our dear dog-friend and although it wasn’t the first dog on our lives we had to lose, if was the first time we had to make that decision for a dog ourselves. (In the past our parents had to that several times). So I teared up reading this, since I also can relate to this form of hurting.
    But I agree, it’s comforting to know she had a great life whit us and to know we made the right decision at the time.
    Love this memorial post. Kind regards, Patty

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cookie says:

    We’ve had three dogs, two of which are still with us. ALthough the smaller one has bonded very well with my oldest child, I always feel guilty about how much their roles have changed since we had kids.
    THEY were our kids before, and they went everywhere with us. Then it becamse too hard with a toddler and a stroller and 3 leashes. But my love for them is still the same.
    Last year we lost our pug and I also had to take her in myself. The other two are old and I dread the day we have to go again. It will kill me to watch my daughter grieve her best friend.
    Pets enrich our lives so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As hard as it is I think it is a wonderful life lesson for children. Death is a part of life and certainly losing a pet is not as life shattering as losing a parent or grandparent. We all need to understand and experience the grieving process. Sometimes I think it is simply an extension of a pets role. Thank you for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts.


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  8. Brenda Liang says:

    thank you for the like, means a lot! hope to see you stop by again soon 🙂 xX

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: If heaven exist are my dogs there? | Ends and Beginnings

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