“A dog will bless you with many of the happiest days of your life, and one of the worst.” – no idea who said this, but no truer words have been spoken.
I was raised an only child, but I was never alone, I always had pets. Porgie, a beagle named after, you guessed it, the nursery rhyme, “Georgie Porgie Pudding and Pie,” is the first pet I remember. He was followed shortly with another beagle, named Porgie 2, sometimes kids shouldn’t get to name their pets. I remember losing Porgie, but not the second one. I noticed my dad leaving the house with a shovel, I asked him where he was going, “to get water.” Even at a preschool age that seemed like a weird way to get water. I found out later that our neighbor had hit Porgie and dad buried him down by the creek. When I realized I had not seen Porgie for a while, my parents told me the truth and took me to see where he was buried. I left my little Fisher-price dog figure, and I remember mom saying that Leroy, the neighbor, cried when he saw it.
The next pet was a cat named Sneaky. A perfect name for a cat that tore my dad’s hands to shreds both times we introduced him to his new home (his first time with us and when we moved). The day we moved, dad let him go and he ran into the woods, that was the last time we ever saw him.
My dad always had coon dogs, most of the time I knew their names, but only a few did I ever consider my pet, honestly, really only one, Pedro. Yep, I named him and it had nothing to do with the movie Napoleon Dynamite. One of our reading text books in 1st grade happened to have a story with a kid named Pedro, a story I read the day we acquired a new dog. Pedro was the buddy that Sneaky never was, he was with me through high school. He made it through 3 moves, so much more reliable than that cat with the sharp claws. Don’t think that I never loved a cat, Gaylord Perry was the best, when we buried him, I loved Queen’s song, “Another One Bites the Dust”, and that is what it felt like, by this point we had a regular Pet Cemetery where we lived. The last place we moved to is the same house I live in today, I lost Pedro there and another pup a few years later.
Fast forward to 2012. A little orange puppy showed up and my family wanted to keep it. I did not, I had lost my last 2 dogs at this place and I didn’t want to go through that again. Lauren thought that we should name her Loretta Lynn, I repeat, “sometimes kids shouldn’t name their pets.” We went with Lou.
We have around 40 non-fiction dog books, including that gut wrenching book about a dog named Marley, and a massive amount of fiction including, other intestinal destroying books like, The Art of Racing in the Rain and A Dog’s Purpose. If you have never owned or loved a dog you might not know this, but they are a pretty big deal. Read my first quote again.
Lou did just that, blessed with us with some of the happiest days: her little skinny tail that wagged too fast for me to catch it, tricks Lauren taught her (I had never had a dog that performed, other than treeing a coon or squirrel), her persistent scratches on the door when she wanted in, playing in the water when she went mushroom hunting with us, when she let Root know she was the head dog by gently showing her teeth to him, backing up to you so you would scratch her haunches, looking away when she thought I was going to take her place in the front of the truck with John…I could write a whole page of happiness. Sadly, we lost her last Friday, for sure “one of the worst” days. That blasted road that had got my other dogs, claimed her too, almost 9 years to the day that she entered our life. John marked her grave in special way and broke me, just like I did Leroy all those years ago.
I am still sad, but I know this, all dogs go to heaven. If you don’t agree, I don’t want to talk to you, and besides we have a movie in our collection that reassures me this is so. Rest in Peace, sweet Lou, you were the best.
Upcoming Events: 11/10 Story Time at 10am, 11/11 CLOSED, 11/13 LEGO Play at 10:30am, 11/16 Adult Craft at 6:30pm. This is the last month for the Adult Reading Challenge, swing by the library for more information.