A Dog’s Life…..(short story)

Rocky, Fiona, Gus (left to right)
Rocky, Fiona, Gus (left to right)

How did God know that we would need a companion who would unfailingly soften the hard edges of life that is a human’s path? Unlike any other animal, or for that matter, person, a dog just knows…and comforts its humans when sad, in poor health or just needing a good laugh.  We talk about their devotion and unconditional love because that’s what we experience when we have a dog as a friend.  We reach out and there’s always a silky head to stroke.  We come home and they act like we’ve been gone for years.  In the lonely night they snuggle against us because that’s what we need in the dark hours.

Rocky…..A golden retriever picked up wandering the mean streets of Aransas Pass, Texas. Estimated age, 18 months…a pup really.  A rescue volunteer group called me to see if I could adopt him.  Of course I could; at the time I had 5 acres, stock fenced.  He was a hellion with little manners but house broken and so willing to please me.
At the time, my property had a barn and out under a shade tree, an oval shaped, tin, watering trough about 3 feet deep.  One of Rocky’s favorite pass times was to crawl over the lip of the trough and pretend to be swimming in it…round and round…he’d walk through the cool water looking back at the house and grinning at me.  He was a happy boy.

Rocky and his BFF

Rocky loved his little buddy; his very own cat, Fiona.  They would play fight, this 78 lb. dog with a 6 pound feline.  He would allow her to stalk him and then jump on his neck for the ‘killing blow’.

Did I mention he was a mischievous hellion?  He would find a weak spot and dig under the fencing, run around to the cattle gate, on the road, sit and look at the house until I noticed him.  His grin said, ‘look, Mom, aren’t I clever?’ He’d wait there until I came down to the gate and let him back in.

Sam, never far from his tennis ball

The phone rang a couple of months later…another golden needed rescuing.  This time a ten year old, red, Golden.  At the time we didn’t know anything about him, not even his name.  We suspected that he had been used for stud all the years of his life as he was not neutered. We named him ‘Max’ (short for Maximum; he weighed 90 lbs).  He had impeccable manners but never answered to his name.  One evening, while watching TV, Sam was sleeping on the cool floor about thirty feet from me.  I decided to run the alphabet calling out boys’ names; maybe I’d get lucky and stumble upon this beautiful dog’s real name. Allan, Albert, Bert, Bobby, Carl, (well, you get the idea)…finally I reached the S’s.  I called out ‘Sam’. The dog practically gave himself whiplash.  He jumped up and came running to me.  The expression on his face was,  ‘you know me!  Someone finally knows my name!‘  Sam, short for Samson, of course. We both cried.
Now I tell you about Sam because of his big brother attitude towards Rocky.  From the day Sam was adopted, Rocky stopped his bad behavior..he never dug out under the fence again.  It was if Sam took him aside and explained,  “we don’t do those bad things…after all, we’re Goldens.

Rocky, a dogsLifeRocky’s sleeping posture was one of total contentment, encouraging his humans to be this relaxed and content.

For all the years that Rocky was a part of our family, at bedtime, he would jump on the king bed and politely lay down at the foot.  As soon as I settled in and turned out the light, he would move up and lay perpendicular to me; his nose just inches away from my back and that was where he would be in the morning.

Gus.Rocky.byebyeHe loved riding in the car…what dog doesn’t?  Even more, he loved riding shotgun and wouldn’t give up that position to anybody else. The only time I’ve ever heard him growl when one of his buddies presumed to take that place. (That’s him with Gus in the photo; the second red Golden).

Now we’ve parted for a little time.  He’s with Sam and Sadie chasing balls and a Frisbee, swimming in any body of water…and digging out of fences!

If you are considering adopting a dog….consider an older Dog...they’re usually well trained, house broken….and they have little chance of being adopted unless YOU do it!




One thought on “A Dog’s Life…..(short story)”

  1. Lovingly written, Trisha. Our animals are so much a part of our lives, I usually go into a deep depression for a while when they cross over the rainbow bridge. My cat Elijah Moon is sitting right next to me as I write this. He can’t go for more than a few hours without looking for a pet and a good rub!

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