Saturday, June 8, 2013

Dog Days

Sackett and the kids - Christmas 1992
We love dogs at our house.  In the past 30 years, we have owned four: 

  • Sackett - an orange/white Springer Spaniel mix who lived to be 16.  She was my gift to Dave on our first anniversary. I got her free from the owner of a pure-bred Springer Spaniel after a "traveling salesman" jumped the fence.  And yes, she was named for the Sackett family in the Louis L'Amour series.

  • Josie - a Husky mix who was also given to us free when my sister's dog went wandering and came home with a surprise.  Named for Eskimo Joe's restaurant in Stillwater, OK (Husky - Eskimo - get it?) - but femanized.  Josie only made it to age 10.

  • Molly - a Springer Spaniel who is nine and going strong.  We fell in love with her when she was up for sale at a charity auction.

  • Molly

    • Gabby - a Mastiff mix, age 3, that we got from a rescue shelter in Iowa that had saved her from being put down at the pound in Kansas City.  
    They have all been loyal, loving friends and each time we lost one, I swore there would be no more - but a house without a dog just doesn't feel right.
    Debby at Just Breathe shared this cute post a couple days ago and I loved it.  So, with her permission, I am passing it along.  

    A Dog's Purpose

    Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker.  The Dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker and were hoping for a miracle.  

    I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer.  I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker and offered to perform the euthanasia rocedure in their home.  Rone and Lisa thought it would be good for six-year-old shane to observe the procedure.

    The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him.  Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on.  Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.  The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion.  We sat together for awhile after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

    Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why."  Startled, we all turned to him.  What came out of his mouth next stunned me.  I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.  It has changed the way I try and live.  He said, "People are born so that they can learn how t live a good life -- like loving everybody and being nice, right?"  The boy continued, ''Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.''

    Josie and Grandson #1 - You can read Josie's story here
    Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:
    • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

    Or at least wake them in the morning.

    • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

    • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
    • Take naps.
    • Stretch before rising.
    • Run, romp, and play daily.

    • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
    • On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
    • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree

    • When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
    • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
    • Be loyal.
    • Never pretend to be something you're not.
    • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. 
    • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.
    • Enjoy every moment of every day!


    1. Ah Tami, you made me cry! Lovely post. I love the last pic best! We've been dog less for the first time since I was a wee girl this last year. The house just isn't the same.

    2. Tami, love all the pictures you used.
      You did a great post with "A Dog's Purpose"

    3. We can certainly learn a lot from animals!

    4. A delightful post! It's good once in a while to view life thru a dog's point of view.

    5. How do you block anonymous comments? I have had to resort to word verification (groan) to avoid the onslaught!!! If I could only block the bad ones.....

    6. I loved reading this post!!! Your dogs have lived long healthy and happy lives - I will NEVER forget crying my head off when Sackett returned after being gone for two weeks and we all feared the worst!! Dogs are the best - I'm glad I have discovered how much they add to our lives. They are all beautiful dogs! Great pictures too!!

    7. Great post, Tami. We had the extreme pleasure of caring for the neighbour's dog a few days last week as her owners were at work. Dog are such a joy to have around.

    8. I love that you blogged about your dogs over the years -- so sweet. Pets do add so much to our live. We are cat people and love our 3. I like dogs as well but I'm lazy and we enjoy going away for a few days at a time worry free.

    9. I love the doggy sentiment. We have been dogless since sending Max to live with my parents and it is a hard adjustment. We do still have our cat, who at 15 can still outrun Gage :)