12.25.2013

Christmas Dog Memories

Dogs are a huge part of my past, present and future. They calm me, keep me active and they balance me as a person. Can you relate? I carry dog memories in my mind like a unfinished novel. One of those coffee table books that is often left open to a favorite page. My dogs are more than pets to me as they are a natural medicine of sorts. If I have ever been ill, down or just feeling blue, a dog kiss is my perfect antidote. Puppy breath, well that is my favorite smell. I could lay on a floor with a puppy kissing me for days on end!

I have have had dogs from pup to the end of their life. I have adopted adult dogs, and lost dogs. I had given a dog to a senior couple that desperately wanted a trained adult dog as a final chapter in their lives. This couple had only had Great Pyrenees and that's the only breed they had ever had or wanted. I had a wonderful one at a time when something in my life had to give....to many things going on including an upcoming surgery as well as three large dogs.  I hadn't intended on giving her up, she was  a wonderful dog. But sometimes you meet people by fate, and that's what happened to me. I drove to their retired farmstead with this big, white furry dog. There they were, Mr & Mrs retired farmer, full of hope in their eyes. They had known my dog since she was a pup, and she was 2 years old now. They knew her name, they knew her gentle licks of the hand. They adored and loved her. I sat with them and this big furry dog as I watched them interact. Mrs Farmer was in a wheel chair and quickly asked for her dog brush. She sat there in the yard and brushed my dog. It was the right fit, but not an easy decision for me. Was I really capable of driving off without her in tow? Could I be so unselfish as to gift this beautiful dog to this sweet couple? I explained that I would drive off, and I could not guarantee that in 10 minutes I would make a U turn back for her. I looked into the eyes of this beautiful old couple, and knew I had given them a gift so valuable to them, that nothing I would ever give could equal. I drove off, and the tears wield in my eyes, though I did not make a U turn. I have kept in contact with them on  few occasions and it makes me so happy to see the bond they have with that big, old dog. 

I have been the recipient of a wonderful golden retriever in a similar situation. A stray that had wandered in by my husband while he was working on an ATV. The shop door was open as she walked in and laid down next to him. He let her stay around and gave her a bite to eat then when he was done working he closed the door to the shop and let her stay inside. My husband knows me and love for dogs, so he had to explain to me that this might be temporary as he lead me to the door. I wasn't sure what he was up to,but I loved the anticipation. The door opened and there was a new friend. We bonded immediately. At the time I worked in a vet clinic, so she went to work with me the next day. She was groomed, heart-worm tested, vaccinated and loved. {I know, I was jumping the gun, that's me always slightly impatient.}A couple weeks went by and no one had claimed her. No ad in the paper, no word of mouth on where she came from.Then another week passed....my husband walked in and sat down, "there is a paper posted in the window of a small little shop a few miles away" he explained. Lost, Big, Red Dog.

My heart sank. I picked up the phone and dialed the number. A sweet woman answered the phone and was glad to hear that her dog had been found. They lived about 3 miles away and she told me that the dog ran off when the son was trying to cure her of the fear of gunshot noise. We loaded her into the car with us, and I cried the whole way there. We walked her inside to reunite her with that sweet couple. We talked with them awhile and then we headed for the door all the while the tears would not stop running down my face. That beautiful dog followed me to the door as it shut between us. That was so hard to do, the right thing to do, but so wrong for my heart. The next day the phone rang, "Lisa, come get "your" dog. She doesn't belong to us any longer." As it turns out she sat at the door after we left and whinnied. She cried her own way just as I had done. I could not get there fast enough to retrieve her. She was now mine and I was hers. The couple said she changed, she didn't belong to them any longer. She planted herself in front of that door and was ready to go back home. 
That was several years ago, I have since had to take her to the vet and hold her while she drew in her last breath as a senior dog.

Her memory still lives inside the chapters of my mind along with other special dogs of my past. There is something about the bond with a good, loyal dog. Something that can't be explained unless you experience it. Do you have a memory of that kind of bond with a dog? A memory that brings a smile to your face as quickly as a tear?
A dog is a rare friend that you can count on to understand your emotions. They are happy to run and play with you as easily as they will sit quietly along side of you.



When I was a little girl I had a dog named Rusty. He was a mid sized poodle mutt mix and he and I adored each other. Each Christmas Eve my family would drive two hours to spend the day and night with grandparent, aunts, uncles and cousins. On the return home from one of these trips Christmas Eve, we walked into the house to find Rusty had celebrated Christmas on his own! All of the presents were unwrapped. Wrapping paper was spread all around in his search for the dog bone gift buried under them. He was a happy dog! I thought it was charming. My brother and sister thought it was a great way to get a sneak peek at gifts. I love that memory, funny how things work out. He got his bone, and I get a smile each Christmas from the memory!


All pictures via Pinterest.
Merry Christmas to you and your dog! ~ Galoshes, Gus & Willow



5 comments:

  1. sadienstellaDecember 25, 2013

    Wonderful, heartwarming and so great to read on Christmas night!

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  2. I have always enjoyed having one of the large dog breeds and it wasn’t until my brother brought home a Beagle puppy from college that I had ever had any real contact with a little dog. It’s not that I don’t like little dogs, there are some really cute small dog breeds, and it’s just that I have grown so accustomed to having one of the large dog breeds that I can’t imagine having other type puff dog. Looking for large dog breeds for families Wondering what large dog breeds are good with kids or would be good for apartments Find out here A complete list of large dog breeds

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