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my dogs | links | Dusky

My Heroes

I live with two fabulous middle-aged golden retrievers, Tyler and Kira..

I've had Kira, the shorter one, since she was 8 weeks old. She is the smartest dog I've ever known. We sit and hold hands, having long conversations. She's a good listener and appears to understand at least half of what I say. She's very good, and has a sweet, generous nature. She gets along well with everyone, especially other dogs, by letting them think they're in charge, when it's definite that she's queen of the house. Her only fault is that she talks too much, sometimes loudly. She takes good care of me, even tells me which room I'm supposed.to be in at certain times of day. She's a very good communicator, with amazingly expressive eyes. Oh, and she'd want me to say that she's very good at catching ball.

Tyler is a big boy -- at least 115 pounds, which is much bigger than the breed standard for males of 65-75. But I love it; I don't have to bend down to pet him, and when I hug him he's a wonderfully substanial armful. I adopted him in 2002 from a breed rescue group. I had to fill out a detailed application, then they checked out my references and paid me a home visit before introducing me to the dog they thought best suited me. Of course, it was love at first sight. He's very well behaved, sweet and supremely affectionate, which I need. His only fault is his penchant for eating tissue.

I truly believe my dogs have saved my life and contiue to do so. I can't imagine going through my problems without them to keep joy in my life and to keep me grounded in the present moment.

One morning Kira barked at me and woke me up early. I told her to leave me alone, that I didn't feel good. But she seemed distressed, so I sat up to talk to her. I immediately realised I wasn't getting any oxygen through my tubing. I had forgotten at bedtime to check the level on the big tank I was using, and it had run out. As I switch my tubing over to the other tank, I felt like I was going to pass out.I used my pulse meter and discovered the oxygen in my blood was at the dangerously low level of 58%. If I had kept sleeping it would have been a bad thing.



Some Favorite Doggy Links

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Good-bye Dusky Doone

 

[letter from my great-grandfather to his daughter Margaret, away at college, 1931]

Honey--

The only trouble with little doggies is that the blessed little things can't last forever. They live their dear little innocent, happy lives, and then long before we get reconciled for them to leave us, they pass away and become a lovable memory. Their function in life is to give love and joy to their people and to absorb all the petting and affection their people wish to lavish upon them. A good dog is the very symbol of loyalty--their people are their deities, and their one ambition is to do their master's will, which to them is the law and the gospel.

Your own little Dusky Doone has gone away, and I believe if there is a Heaven, there is some place in it for little dogs to wait for their little mistresses and their big bosses. He apparently did not suffer any pain, but his death was instantaneous--a car ran over him. None of his bones were broken, and he did not bleed and was not mangled; just seemed to be asleep. A little girl ran to the door and told me that my little dog was lying in Main Street dead. I ran out, and some friendly young chap had just picked him up to bring him in. I took him in my arms and brought him home. He was clean and warm and his little eyes were clear, and the last sight Mother and I had of him as we wrapped him up, he seemed to be quietly slumbering, as he did so much. We...buried him by the southwest corner of the garage in the flowerbed, and we'll plant a fine rose bush right there.

I have owned many dogs. Never have I had one so intelligent, so sweet-tempered, nor one who took a whole family into his devotion as Dusky did. He loved each of us with all his little heart, but each in a different way. He was as companionable as any human being and could apparently respond to any mood. He was educated with an education that transcended the mere learning of "tricks." He kept his puppyhood spirit of play all his life, though, of course, he grew less active with age. Just a couple of weeks ago he did his little wriggly "Dusky Dance" as well as ever he did in his life. He always insisted he was "Mahgret's dog." When we moved to the big house he moved apparently without a pang; and when we recently moved downstairs so did he without the slightest apparent regret--because we were his people and his place was by our sides. He trailed your mother like a little black shadow when they had the house to themselves.

Well, he has left us, and we will nevermore hear his little bark nor feel the warmth of his curls or his warm, wet tongue on our hands. Every time the screen door slams we will look up to see him, and at night we will wake with a start thinking we hear his bark. But little Dusky will be waiting for us if there is a Heaven for dogs, and meantime we can remember we have owned and loved the dearest, sweetest, brightest of all the pet dogs that ever lived; and we should be happy to realize that in the midst of all the dangers that beset little dogs, we have been permitted to keep him for the full normal lifetime of a dog; and that he passed away before he became too old and decrepit and sick, and that he lived till his little mistress had nearly grown up. We are just as grieved as possible, and we know you will be, but you must be brave and stand the inevitable as well as you can.

With a heart full of sympathy and love,

Daddy

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