Mike Cope's blog

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

In Plan B, Anne Lamott has a moving chapter about the death of her beloved dog, Sadie. "Having a good dog is the closest some of us will ever come to knowing the direct love of a mother, or God, so it's no wonder it knocked the stuffing out of Sam and me when Sadie died. I promised Sam we'd get another puppy someday, but privately I resolved to never get another dog. I didn't want to hurt that much again, if I could possibly avoid it." It's amazing how much the death of a dog can hurt, isn't it? On one hand, it's just an animal. It's not a child. And yet . . . . This past year our dear friends James and Marla lost their retriever, Lucy. She was an indoor dog that knew her boundaries. (Very few.) She was around while the girls grew up, she oversaw the comings and goings during teenage years, she tolerated the move from Arkansas to New Hampshire to Vermont. And when she died, it wasn't like losing a pet fish. (Apologies here to those really attached to a pet fish.) Also last year our friends Charles and Mary Lee lost Digger. It's still weird going over to their house and not seeing him lying down on the kitchen floor. Digger knew he was allowed anywhere on the tile, so he'd get his body to the very last 1/1000th of an inch next to the carpet of the living room to be as close as possible while we talked. And several years ago now, Molly died--the blonde cocker spaniel we'd had since Matt was five. She was technically "Matt's dog," but she endeared herself to our family by being so gentle around Megan. Especially when Megan was young and healthy, she could be pretty rough. (New readers may not know that our daughter was mentally handicapped.) But Molly would receive that tough love without ever becoming cross. We have lots of memories of the two of them running across the back yard in Arkansas. After Molly died, I thought we were through with dogs. That's when I noticed that Diane and Chris had come home from the library with several books about dogs. Not a good sign. But they determined that they were going to find the perfect dog and then we were going to buy one. (I'm still confused as to why I'm not in on decisions like that.) A few days later I went out to run and when I returned, there was a puppy in our garage. It was obviously one that had been abandoned and had wandered in. I called to Diane to come see--just sort of as a curiosity thing. But when she screamed, "Chris, come here. You won't believe this!" I knew we were in trouble. I said, "No, no, no. This isn't our dog. It just wandered in here." Diane responded, "Chris has been praying every night for God to bring us another dog. Could you explain your position to him?" So he's now our dog. Moses (named by our friend Emily, who said he was "drawn from the garage") is a big dog. Really strong, good-looking, smart dog. In other words, everything our cocker was not. But, alas, we also have another cocker. I'm still confused about this one. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law and my three nieces went to get a puppy, and they came home with a black cocker. But for some reason, we had to take the brother of their dog, so they wouldn't be permanently separated. Of course, I'm still wondering, if this was so important why didn't they take both? But I digress. Anyway, we also have Joshua--so named because he came after Moses. Any other dog people out there? Anyone else who's had dogs "raise" your kids? Or anyone who remembers thinking, like Anne Lamott, that the loss of a dog was so painful you'd never get another one (only to find yourselves proud owners once again)?

31 Comments:

  • When my son was little my in-laws had a border collie who would round Derek up by his diaper. We all mourned him when he died.

    I almost had to take a day off of work when my yorkie-pug was diagnosed with Parvo and not expected to live (he did!)He had to stay at the vet for about a week and I would walk around with his toy bear just to smell him...Yeah, I am a dog person.

    By Blogger DJG, at 11/29/2005 04:42:00 AM  

  • I had 2 toddlers when we got our dog. I was not amused and not interested in a dog (evidently left out of that decision, myself). Both of my kids were scared of dogs at the time! The first few weeks were a nightmare.

    Just this morning as she lay her head in my lap while I had my Bible study/ prayer time I thought how great it is that we have her. She doesn't absorb my grouchiness like the rest of the family seems to when I'm having a bad day. She wags her tail and is thrilled to see me. And she's really warm on cold mornings while I'm reading my Bible!

    My kids are now 8 and almost 10. We celebrated Duchess' (lab) 6th birthday yesterday! It made me think of what a fixture she is in my children's lives and play in the backyard. She and my son are the best of friends and compete for who can be the dirtiest/ smelliest by the end of the day. It will be a very sad day when Duchess goes to puppy heaven.

    By Blogger Sarah, at 11/29/2005 04:59:00 AM  

  • I dated a guy who had a great dog that I loved. When we broke up, I missed the dog as much as I missed him. You're making me cry!

    By Blogger That Girl, at 11/29/2005 05:16:00 AM  

  • Last year I found out that Elizabeth was getting married from your Blog and now I find out that Lucy has passed from your Blog.

    Lucy was a great dog. She lived a long life for a Golden and was forever faithful to her people.

    My dog’s name is Sandy. She is not as gracious as Lucy – though she tolerated Lucy when they were together. A deference to Lucy’s old age.

    Sandy came to us from the Animal Protection League. She is a mixed breed with some Husky in her somewhere. Abused as a young puppy, she had some trust issues when we first adopted her that we would eventually work through but to this day she fears tall, dark men.

    It is amazing to me how a puppy that was so afraid of us for the first three weeks we brought her home - would come to be the affectionate dog that she is today.

    Dogs enhance our quality of life in a unique way.

    “We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment.” ~George Eliot

    By Blogger J A Pierpont, at 11/29/2005 05:50:00 AM  

  • We have a wonderful Golden Retriever who's almost 12 years old. I always comment that she's helped raise our boys. You should have seen her smile (yes, she DEFINITELY smiles) last week when two of them walked in the door for the holiday after having been gone for several months. She's indoors (boundaries... what are those?) with us all the time and is incredibly sweet and smart. (If I pick up the phone and say "I'd like to place an order," she goes to the front door to wait for the pizza guy!!) I can't even think about what life would be like without her.

    By Blogger Rhonda, at 11/29/2005 06:00:00 AM  

  • My family has Harry the miniature Jack Russell. He is part dog and part pogo stick. He is so much a part of our family. He is 2 1/2 years old and loves my husband obsessively! He is not content to sit with you, he must sit on you. Harry was named from the book "Harry the Dirty Dog" that I loved as a child and shared later with my own two boys. He is so loved that my parents refer to him as their grand-dog. We took holiday pictures yesterday. The kids, including Harry, all had on Christmas hats. We refer to him as "Harry the Reindog" in the card! God did a wonderful thing when he made pets for us to love. It's a beautiful and unique relationship that brings such joy. I love these dog stories. I love cats too, but it's always hard to know when a cat loves you back. With Harry, there is no doubt!

    By Blogger Snapshot, at 11/29/2005 06:19:00 AM  

  • Our Buddy died a year ago. We now have a Grand-dog, but he's in Dallas. I think we'll have to spend more time in Dallas now. Toby and I got acquainted over Thanksgiving. We took a couple of LONG walks in the beautiful neighborhood park near my son's house. I somehow felt safer in a strange place with a German Shepherd that truly would lick you to death before he'd attack.

    I had almost forgotten that doggie smell. And the doggie hairs all over everything. And slobber in the car. Somehow I'm willing to put up with all that for the affection he lavishes on us. I don't know if I'm ready for another dog here full time, though.

    By Blogger Sarah_RN, at 11/29/2005 06:22:00 AM  

  • How can you forget Woody?? Woody died in April (at the age of 15). Need I say more about an important part of our family - it was really hard! I know you deep down loved him (even after biting one of your boys)!!

    Anyway, I just don't think I'll ever be a dog person again. We tried - with 2 miniature dachshunds (Jake & Wally), but it just didn't work out. I guess I'll settle having a granddog (as dad enjoys calling me "Grandma"), Cody, but at least he lives with mom & dad!!

    By Blogger Nancy W., at 11/29/2005 06:35:00 AM  

  • Stonebridge - I will report your complaint to the Walters. It's entirely inappropriate for you to be receiving news about their family from my blog. :) I might add that it's possible that I alluded to Elizabeth's wedding a bit prematurely.

    Nancy - Woody was a cat disguised as a dog. And he never liked me. When he bit one of my kids, it was to spite me. Nevertheless, I wished him well because he was adored by K, M, and H. See you guys Christmas.

    TL - Hilarious insight about dating. The tragedy of breaking up with someone who has a great dog!

    Others - Wonderful dog stories. Please keep them coming in.

    By Blogger Mike, at 11/29/2005 06:53:00 AM  

  • I'm really a cat person now because they don't slobber on you.

    I did have a dog named Snoopy when I was growing up. He was part dachshund, part who-knows-what. We got him when I was two. I grew up playing with him in the backyard and crying into his fur when childhood frustrations caught up with me. Once I took a bright pink marker and colored all over his light brown coat. My parents had to take him to the vet to get it washed out, and I didn't see my markers for three months.

    When I was 11, I went to Girl Scout camp for two weeks. On Wed. of the first week, I had a dream that Snoopy died. I worried about him the rest of the time I was there, signing letters to my mom "Take extra good care of Snoopy."

    My mom came to get me at the end of the second week and on the way home, she said "I have something sad to tell you." I said, "I know. Snoopy died." She was floored. How could I have known? Turns out he died the day I had the dream, and those P.S.'s on my letters had been killing my mom.

    My brother is still convinced that I'm psychic.

    By Blogger Deana Nall, at 11/29/2005 07:09:00 AM  

  • We have a Shelter Dog that has cost us a whole lot more than the $50 she was supposed to cost! She is a Houdini and we had to invest in a lot of fencing in Arlington. Now we have a small farm in NC and she runs free, chasing trucks down the lane. Perhaps we will have a death to report soon.
    The really sad story though is of my chicken, Loudmouth. We invested in some chicks last spring for meat and eggs. One of the chicks, which were warmed in our livingroom for a couple weeks, was really LOUD, thus the name. When she was grown she would follow me around the yard and barn. If I stopped, she would stoop down and spread her wings as a sign that she wanted picked up. She became a pet to me. Because of her easy nature though, the dog played too rough with her. We came home one evening to find her badly mangled.
    I knew what had to be done, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. I laid her head out over a board, tried to swing the axe, but couldn't hit her hard enough to do the job. My husband offered, but I couldn't even let him do it. About 2 days later she died on her own.
    It amazed me that I didn't have any trouble killing Sister Friar for dinner, but I couldn't bring myself to spare Loudmouth by a quick death.

    By Blogger Angel, at 11/29/2005 07:11:00 AM  

  • I've always loved dogs. They're so loyal and forgiving. I got Sandy from a local animal shelter. She was great company; and being a big mixed golden retriever (chow in her somewhere!) I felt totally safe to go walking around the neighborhood at dusk. If only people knew that she was afraid of garbage bags!!! HA. I think I was there to protect HER. ;)

    Years later I got married and my husband, also fell hard for Sandy. He originally thought she was dumb as a rock -- but later realized how amazingly smart she really was. And VERY friendly. A real people-dog. She loved to watch animals on TV, especially dogs. It was hilarious. Sandy became sick with cancer in '04, right after I'd had my first child. She wasn't too keen on the baby - but seemed to know how to act around her without us telling her. She died a week before I had to come back to work -- so I was already a hormonal nightmare. It was awful. We miss her a lot; and wonder how much our little girl would have loved having a puppy. We named one of her stuffed animals "Sandy Dog" in Sandy's honor - and that's what our daugher calls her (well - more like "Sandy Gog") ;) Maybe one day we'll get another one.

    By Blogger Lisa_In_AL, at 11/29/2005 07:13:00 AM  

  • I've always had, until recently, either a puppy or KitKat.

    When my last dog died just before I left Mexico City, I promised myself I'd not go through that again. Maggie was mixed breed dachshund and German shepherd [I presume the latter was the mother, LOL but am not sure since she was rescued from one of the animal shelters in Mexico City].

    The only time she barked was when she played with me as I attempted to make my bed. She did, however, have astute people-reading skills so when she growled at someone coming in the door, they got no farther than one step into the foyer, one time only. lol

    I did not want to go through the pain of pet loss again and promised myself I'd not have another.

    However, it seems God had a different plan. At a time of great crisis while living in San Diego, He sent a sweet cat to me that seemed not to trigger my extreme allergy to cats.

    She had been with me for just under 11 years when she died last August, and I repeated my promise to self "No more petpain, no more pets!!" So far I've kept that promise, but who knows.

    One thing for sure though, I believe the saying,

    "Dogs have owners;
    Cats have staff"

    :O) LOL

    By Blogger Kathy, at 11/29/2005 07:37:00 AM  

  • Mike, you don't have enough room on your blog for me to talk about my love for dogs....both here and in Africa. I am convinced that they truly are one of God's greatest gifts to us. They are capable of doing something that I have yet to see any human do.... they love unconditionally. I am in the same corner as Joe Beam, in that I believe our pets will be in Heaven with us. After all, it is HEAVEN, isn't it?

    Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole!

    I can't WAIT to see Flip, King, Pepper, Corky, Numbers, Grebo, Kpelle, Chip and Sunday on the other side someday! :)

    DU

    By Blogger David U, at 11/29/2005 07:42:00 AM  

  • Stonebridge: Sorry you found out about Lucy (and Elizabeth) on Mike's Blog.

    Mike: Thanks for honoring Lucy. For the recordm were you involved in leaking Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative?

    Lucy, our golden retriever, was just over 16 years old when she died this past summer. She was so woven into our family's story that we hardly know who we are without her. I was with Lucy in Vermont in July while she was dying at the same time Marla was in Alabama with her father while he was dying. We wept for both.

    So far, we have not been able to contemplate getting another dog.

    By Blogger James, at 11/29/2005 07:47:00 AM  

  • On the day my husband & I were going to the pound to pick out our very own dog, my mother called to tell me that my family dog, Cuddles had died. I was a wreck. She was the only sister I had. So what did I do? I still went to the pound (I should have stayed away to grieve!) and ended up with a puppy that looked a lot like her. Toby was anything but! He literally didn't sit down for weeks. He was always in motion. I'm convinced that lab mixes are psychotic. Anyway....he was our first baby. He did NOT like the kids when they came around as the new limitations were put on him. Unfortunately, he became a biter & we had to give him back to the pound. After weeks of not knowing what had happened to him, I called 1 day to ask because i needed closure - he had been put down. I cried a lot. I still tell my kids that he was probably adopted by a family with teenagers where he's able to run free & there's no little kids for him to bite. I don't mind lying to them - they'll know the true story when they're older. So now we're considering another dog - a small one. I want my kids to have that experience of a pet that's more like a best friend or sibling. It will just be hard to let another one go. Hopefully, the kids will be old enough to "handle it".

    By Blogger Beaner, at 11/29/2005 07:50:00 AM  

  • We adopted the sweetest dog on the face of the earth almost a year ago. Wrigley is a big ol' hairy love sponge of a Brittany Spaniel, and I cannot imagine what our life was like before he came around. We had tried the dog thing before with not so great results, but Fuzzbutt (as he's affectionately known) has definitely made himself at home with us.

    And as for pet fish...we used to have a large salt water aquarium and we had one particular damsel fish who evidently loved me. Everytime I sat next to the aquarium it would hang out at that side of the tank, watching me (actually, it was kinda creepy) It wouldn't do that with anyone else. Odd...

    By Blogger Chris, at 11/29/2005 07:51:00 AM  

  • We have had Lucy, a yellow lab, for 12 years. She was introduced to our family in secret as we lived in Stafford apartments in Searcy, AR. I will say that she is the greatest dog of all time. Smart, loyal, obedient and energetic.
    We now have four children and Lucy has slowed down quite a bit. Her vision is failing, her hearing is gone, yet is the happiest while be wrestled by the kids.
    The greatest memory was walking into that playroom and there Lucy was laying on her side while my youngest boy played with her. She was the parking lot for Matchbox cars that were lined up on her from her nose to the tip of her tail. As I peeked in the room she immediately noticed me and I motioned for her to stay. She looked at me as if to say "why would I ever leave this place, I am in heaven."
    I agree with DU, dogs make our lives whole.
    Great subject today! Thanks.

    By Blogger Shawn, at 11/29/2005 08:00:00 AM  

  • I have had to put down 2 dogs because of illness. The first one was a poogle (part poodle, part beagle)named Angel. She had developed cancer of the tongue. When the time came I held her while the deed was done. The vet didn't even charge me his fee because I was crying so hard I couldn't see how to write my check. We said we wouldn't get another dog until the summer so our girls could help with the housebreaking task. Six weeks later we came home with a new puppy (part cocker, part poodle), Buffy. What I learned from this experience is that somehow knowing how much the love will cost makes the loving sweeter. Just about a year ago she died of a tumor at the vet's before I could get there to be with her. I regret she was alone.

    Since we are dog people we also have more than one dog at a time. Three years ago we had to have both the eyes removed my beloved Beau Regard, a toy fox terrier. Not all grief revolves around death.

    By Blogger monniecoco, at 11/29/2005 08:41:00 AM  

  • I love animals just not in the house. But when you are intent on spoiling your little girl you make small adjustments. We acquired Pharaoh a Siamese cat 14 years ago when Nichole was 8 years old. They became best friends. Over the years I would complain whenever we had to spend money on any pet. Last year we kept Pharaoh while Nichole was on her honeymoon. To save the reputation of others no names will be used, but Alana accidentally let the cat out. After all night searching and worrying we got a call. Pharaoh had been in an auto accident and was paralyzed from the waist down. Normally, I would offer to put a bullet in his head but this time it was different. I had been in an auto accident and paralyzed from the waist down only months before. Now there was no limit to the money I would spend to help Pharaoh. We drove to Dallas to see a specialist knowing if the doctor could help it would cost thousands of dollars. I watched my little girl kiss Pharaoh as he took his last breath. When we got home it was going to be a few days before we could bury him so we put him in the freezer. When the time came we made a tombstone with Pharaoh’s paw prints and laid him to rest. Sometimes it is not the love of animals that inspires us, but the love for others.

    By Blogger Clint, at 11/29/2005 10:08:00 AM  

  • I am so curious! So many dogs are named Lucy. Ours was, but that was the name we would've named a daughter--had we had one. Why is it such a popular name, do you suppose? Our Lucy was a sheltie, & she was just darling. She is buried out in the woods behind our house. I like to go out to her spot & meditate about her & God--both who loved & love unconditionally.

    By Blogger annie, at 11/29/2005 10:36:00 AM  

  • Nancy...who didn't get bitten by Woody? I recall my brother having a bloody, then fat, lip.

    Love ya.

    By Blogger Crista, at 11/29/2005 11:00:00 AM  

  • We moved to the Pacific Northwest and did not need a dog. The one we had in Texas was great but he was great ouside. He did not smell up the house but he did do a number on the backyard (no pun intended).

    In the Northwest it rains from October to May. The backyard is always wet. We could not have an outside dog, therefore we could not have a dog.

    I told my then 4 year old daughter we could not have a dog. My wife, daughter and sons worked on me for two years. I told them we would "look" at them.

    "Look" means something different to my daughter. We went to the pet store and my daughter found a dog to "look" at. I reiterated we were just looking. The genuine tears started to well up in her eyes and just she silently looked at me.

    I begin to laugh. I was not making fun of my girl but I was astonished. I was amazed this worked on me. If she were 17, she could have gotten a car with that look. We bought Daisy that day.

    I have already began to "toughen" up in anticipation. Thanks Daisy for exposing my weakness while there was still time.

    By Blogger L, at 11/29/2005 11:57:00 AM  

  • I've always been a dog person. I grew up with cocker spaniels, too. So the story goes, I was about 3 or 4 years old when we lived in Conroe, Texas and we had a cocker named "Buffy" (for its buff color, I guess). Buffy died after she was hit by a truck when she ran into the street. I was mortified and cried and cried.

    My mom says that every week at Sunday school, I prayed for a new dog. (Aren't kids cute?) Apparently, that really touched my teacher Mrs. Barbara and she surprised me with one of her dog's cocker spaniel puppies. Callie grew to be about the meanest cocker spaniel alive and all my friends were scared of her (but she loved me so I didn't care!). She moved with us to Searcy a year or so later and we had her for about 8 years. After she died (heart attack), I wanted another dog so bad, but my parents said that was it. No more dogs.

    And wouldn't you know it? I move away after graduating from college and they get a dog...Dixie, a.k.a. The World's Most Spoiled Bichon. That dog is so sweet and loves everyone...and definitely rules the roost. (Gets a scrambled egg every morning for breakfast!)

    I'm getting a dog after I get married.

    By Blogger Sarah, at 11/29/2005 01:18:00 PM  

  • It is amazing the concessions you have to make once you are married. I grew up never having a pet of any kind (except a fish tank...but does that count?) and the thought never crossed my mind that I may someday be a pet owner. My wife had had a dog since Kindergarten. It died while we were on our honeymoon 18 years later. Within the year, we ended up with a blonde Cocker Spaniel. (I can relate to the not-so-smart thing) For the first year she was contraband in Harding Married Students Apartments. This past May, fourteen years, two kids, four states, and 11 moves later, we had to put her to sleep. My wife and kids are dog lovers. I guess I am more of a dog tolerator. I thought maybe my "dog days" were over. But I only experienced three months without dog hair on my clothes and furniture and not cleaning up messes. Now we have a five month old Dachshund-Beagle mix. (Don't even try to imagine it). I have a feeling I will ALWAYS have a dog.

    By Blogger John, at 11/29/2005 02:03:00 PM  

  • After being dogless since 1980, it's time to reconsider if Cody is available for relocation.

    We had Honey, the master of laying around inside on the sunfilled carpet. It was a sad day when he couldn't outrun a German Shephard.

    Didn't you have a hyperactive runner named Scorch?

    By Blogger EBC, at 11/29/2005 02:42:00 PM  

  • I had a Buffy as well. It seems I had a psychic connection with her like Deana had with her dog. When I was a teenager and Buffy was getting pretty old, my family went on vacation. Before we left I remember saying goodbye to Buffy and knowing that she wasn't going to be there when my family got back. I could see it in her eyes, and I just knew. Sure enough, we never saw her again....she probably went off to die in the woods somewhere. My other dog, Buffy's daughter, mourned for weeks. My sister's boyfriend (now husband) felt terrible b/c he'd been dog-sitting....he and his friends searched and searched for Buffy before we got home but never found her. (Ironically, my other sister's boyfriend (now husband) was fish-sitting when my sister's fish died....I was the last to marry and now my family doesn't have any pets for my husband to *kill*.)
    I always loved my dogs though. I had a debate going with a middle school teacher about whether dogs can "wonder"...I was so frustrated that he didn't think they do! Buffy would literally cry we would return from a long trip b/c she was so excited. Whenever I was upset, I could hug my dog and cry and not have to feel embarassed. ...And she could lick my tears away:) I look forward to being able to get another dog.

    By Blogger RG, at 11/29/2005 05:35:00 PM  

  • My first love was a pointer bird dog named Brownie. We did everything together until that fateful day that he got stolen--just before hunting season started.

    My last special dog was a golden retriever I rescued from the pound. He was precious. I ended up giving him to a friend who lost a german shepherd that she had had for over ten years. She has more time to love on him than I do.

    By Blogger Paul, at 11/29/2005 07:49:00 PM  

  • We adopted a 5 year old golden retriever named Dexter. He was unique - he had 3 legs (missing a front due to a run-in with a car). He came into our lives B.K. (before kids) in Colorado. We loved him although he was obviously Colorado fan, and we were Colorado state fans. We did have the Broncos in common.

    Dexter and I made it to just above 13000 ft on Mt. Bierstadt, while my husband and Bonnie, our other dog, made it almost to the top. Pretty good for an out-of-shape woman and a 3-legged dog!

    Dexter slept on the couch, our bed, wherever he could to be off the floor. He weighed 90 lbs! He was part billy-goat - eating everything he could. He repeatedly ate our youngest daughter's pacifiers.

    This summer, when he was 14.5 yrs old, the pain of his arthritis got to be too much for him. He just quit walking (hobbling truly at his age). At 90 lbs, we just couldn't carry him.

    I truly think God sent Dexter to us. He was a great companion, and adored the ground we walked on. He was faithful to a fault and we miss him so much! Our daughters talk about how Dexter is in heaven, has 4 legs now, and is running without pain. I believe them!

    By Blogger Lisa E, at 11/30/2005 06:24:00 AM  

  • We have a pic-a-poo who is 1 year old. Her name is "Izzy". My Dad gave her to my wife for Christmas last year. My wife grew up afraid of dogs but last year softened up and hinted at having a small one. So my Dad obliged and got here one. She absolutely adores it (and okay, so do I). It does worry me that she will not always be with us, and I know the pain of losing a dog (I have gone through three tough deaths). I know it will be really tough, because of how much she loves this dog, and how much happiness she brings to her, bu it brings me a lot of joy to see her love Izzy so much. Pets really are a gift from God.

    By Blogger Matt Warren, at 11/30/2005 09:46:00 AM  

  • When I was six, my dad and I brought home a Catahoula Leopard dog (known to be hog hunters), a sweet but hyper runt of the litter. We named her Leopard and fell in love with her instantly. As we lived on a ranch far from any neighbors, she was our faithful guard dog and playmate for my brother and me. Drifters would often come to our house late at night and she would warn us of their presence and chase them off when they became pushy and threatening.
    Yet besides her great protective tendencies, she was the sweetest most gentle dog and everyone loved her. One of her greatest thrills was riding out in the pasture in the back of our pickup truck and jumping in the swimming hole with us kids.
    We lost her when I was a freshman in high school. Some kids high on drugs did a burglar rampage up and down the country road that we lived on, breaking into as many houses as possible. Of course, Leopard refused to let them near our house, so to get in they pulled out a 22 caliber and shot her. We found bullets by our back door, and a week later my dad found her by the river where she went to die.
    Needless to say, our hearts were broken, and it was a very long time before we could consider getting another dog. We've never had a dog like her since.

    By Blogger Julie, at 12/02/2005 01:01:00 PM  

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