Smile

Someone mentioned today that they really miss their dog that’s gone on ahead and are still sad he is no longer here.

While I miss all the dogs that have gone on ahead, am sometimes for a few moments sad (for me) about letting go of Stella last May, I generally look back with gratitude and contentment that I shared life and time with so many dogs, different dogs.

How can I not smile when I look at this photo of sweet Corndog spotlighted by a sunbeam, snoozing on his couch?

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I have been blessed.

One more memory

It is almost impossible to think of all the dogs I’ve had without thinking of Corndog, a Labx stray who wormed his way into my life and my heart. Everyone was his friend; he never met a human, dog, or cat he disliked.

Here, he naps in between making friends.

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Corndog

I have what I think are some good photos on the camera Unfortunately the camera is in the car, which Faye has tonight. Rather than lament my forgetfulness, here’s a wonderful blast from my past.

One day in 2005 as I power-walked Stella, this loose on the street Labx began following us. He was a friendly boy, didn’t seem too street- or car-savvy. I didn’t want him to get hit so I encouraged him to follow us. Very long story shortened, I named him Corndog (he was yellow, and round, and a dog, ergo Corndog). After a couple false starts he came to live with me. Our time together was cut unexpectedly short by his lymphoma diagnosis, and I had to let go of him in January 2007.

I’m grateful to have had him in my life. Sometimes I think, believe, we get the dog we need. Corndog came into my life when I was focussed, intense. He may not have been the sharpest tool in the shed but he was sweet, friendly, happy. He never met a human, dog, or cat he disliked. I needed some lightening up, some comic relief. Through owning him I became more relaxed and open, a better human and a better dog owner.

This is my most favourite photo of him, dozing on the couch. I think he was snoring.

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Dogs that left footprints

Dogs that left footprints

These dogs have graced the lives of one or another or both us. I look often at this collage, usually with a smile on my face and in my heart. Clockwise from top right:

Just a saying about the impact they had on us.

Rex, a very sweet boy. Faye adopted him sight unseen. Despite his blindness, HW positive diagnosis and treatment, and other concerns, he was always a sweet, loving, courageous boy whose sense of direction and location was as sure as that of many sighted animals. His job was to be loving and to show the way.

Moonpie ran into my yard and heart as a tiny puppy. Enthusiasm was her watchword and how she lived her life. She was a delightful Labx who never would swim but loved chasing a ball and whose life came to a shockingly abrupt, all too early end.

Kingsley Leigh was my friend Marian’s dog, and she taught me the love of and for dogs. Kingsley was an extraordinary dog, smart, sensitive, mischevious. I had not had any dogs in my life before her, and now I cannot imagine ever living life without a dog.

Ah, Corndog. He strayed from his previous home into my life and though he went back to that home he never left and eventually came back for good. Corndog never met a human or a dog he disliked.

BoJo was hard done by. He’d been abandoned outside a shelter which took him in anyway, had pretty much run out of time there, had very bad hips which must have hurt terribly. None of these things were his fault. Faye saw to it that we gave him two comfortable years that he would not have otherwise had. I did not give him the credit he deserved. My loss.

Bruno guarded Faye throughout his life, which regrettably ended before I met him. He was loyal, a marvellous companion by all accounts I have read and heard and I wish I could have met him.

Avis was the second dog in my adult life. She could be hard-headed, even morose, and sometimes difficult to control. It didn’t help that I was ignorant, lacking in knowledge and self-awareness. Dussie was nearly fearless and full of character, once at eleven years of age launching herself at a GSD/wolf mix.

I am doubtful there is a Rainbow Bridge, that concept, that philosophy seems awfully egocentric to me. Who would Corndog choose? Why should he choose me, a bit player in the totality of his approximately nine years of life? He had a pretty good life at his previous home so why would he come running up to me? And, he loved all people. I would be not at all offended if he continued loving whatever human was scritching his ears when I entered.

I don’t often shed tears that they are gone. Instead I prefer to be grateful, and to try to remember and apply the lessons they taught while they were in my life.