Boy, my Dog
The Dog Family is a group of 38 species of carnivorous mammals that includes the wolf, coyote, jackal, fox, zorro, dhole and domestic dog. Dogs, also called canids, have large canine teeth, long muzzles and blunt, nonretractile claws; all but the African hunting dog have five toes on the forefeet and four toes on the hind feet. Canids have highly developed senses of smell and hearing, enabling them to hunt by night as well as in the daytime.
Members of the Dog Family, like other carnivores, evolved from a genet-like, tree-climbing carnivorous mammal. Although once grouped with bears and raccoons, they are now considered to be more closely linked to cats in evolution.
The Lhasa Apso was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1935. All colors are acceptable. The coat is heavy, straight, of good length and very dense. Good whiskers and beard, black nose, heavy hair on the face, forelegs, hind legs and feet are breed requirements. The tail and body carriage must be very erect as if regal in nature.
A glimpse at the definition of a dog and a Lhasa at this particular time in my life shows that by no means does a denotative definition describe what is in your heart. The purpose of this paper is to provide a type of therapy for me, as I have been told that when one is greatly distressed, writing about the situation may help to some degree. For as you see, my Boy left this earth on Tuesday, July 23, 1996.
As I pulled into my driveway the garage door was open, which is not normal. My husband had arrived home before me which was unusual for him. He usually was not in town during the week, let alone arrive home early in the afternoon. My husband ran out the door as I exited the car looking greatly distressed. My first thought was that Susie, my youngest terrier, had gotten out, and we needed to start out after her. My other thought was that due to the storm of the afternoon Lady, my other terrier, had gotten sick, as she is gravely afraid of storms. My husband grabbed my shoulders as if to keep me from entering the house. I said "What is the matter?" He simply stated,""Boy is dead!" "No, No", I screamed, "He was fine this morning. He ate his breakfast and was barking for more food when we left."
How do I define my Boy? My love, my life, my child, my son? I do not know. Most people are not dog-people, so having as close a relationship with a dog as I had with Boy is hard to define.
I have no children. Boy was the closest to a child that I will ever have. Boy was my Father's dog. My Dad had a stroke when Boy was a year old, and I have had him since. My Dad passed away in 1989, making me promise to always take care of Boy.
Boy died at 14 years and 8 months old. Boy was diagnosed with Cushings Disease, a liver disease, when he was approximately seven years old; and in May 1995, he was diagnosed as diabetic. He was on a special diet and medication, and had two insulin shots each day.
Why did I keep Boy going? Partially, I guess, I was selfish; but true to his breed, Boy made the decision to go on. Time after time, he would bounce back as if nothing was wrong with him. He was a feisty little dog, barking for his food, master of the dog household in pecking order. He always demanded and received his way with me and the other dogs.
My veterinarian performed a postmortem and assures me that Boy did not suffer, that his heart just finally stopped. We buried him on Wednesday in a Pet Cemetery. I know that he will never be sick or suffer again, although I will for some time to come.
Unfortunately, no one on this earth understands my feelings for Boy. The people whom I work with think that I am stupid for caring so much for a dog, spending the time and money that I have over the years. My husband cares about Boy, but even he can not understand why I am so upset.
In closing I found a poem that has helped. I consider it Boy's testimonial to me. The author is unknown.
Don't grieve too long for now I'm free
I'm following the path God set for me
I ran to Him when I heard His call
I wagged my tail and left it all.
I could not stay another day
To bark, to love, to romp or play.
Games left unplayed must stay that way
I found such peace it made my day.
My parting has left you with a void
So fill it with your remembered joy
A fiiendship shared, your laugh, a kiss
Oh, yes, these things I too shall miss.
Be not burdened with times of soffow
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow
My life's been full, you've given so much
Your time, your love and gentle touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief
Lift up your heart and share with me
God wanted me now, He set me free.
Submitted by Lou Olinger
Monty born in New Jersey City Travelled all around the world from NYC to the Valais in Switzerland Made it really big in Biel Was taken away from his weight, Martin and Alexa Now resides in Montana with two bloody women But one day will come back Bibi good boy - rest in peace
Tammy My Love
September 1984 - January 27, 1996
Its been one month today, since you went away my love. I miss you so very much my love. Each time I go for a walk or a ride in the car I feel very sad and lonesome because you were always there beside me my love. I have your pictures hanging in your favorite places my love, but I can still see you lying in your dog house or just sitting there waiting for me to come my love. Somehow I think if I just close my eyes you will come back my love, but I know you won't because God has taken you to a place called Rainbow bridge where you can be happy and well again my love. I lit a candle for you last night my love. What a beautiful glowing candle amongst the stars my love. A beautiful glowing candle that says, "til we meet again my love".
To all the companions I've lost
Penny, you were my first dog. You came to us when I was so young that I don't even remember it. You and I grew up together. We spent a lot of time together, with you following me and even running away with me. We had snowball fights, which you usually lost since you couldn't pack a snowball or throw very good, but you put up with my youthful mischief wherever it led us. I cried for days when you finally were put to sleep after old age ravaged your kidneys and you could no longer stand or keep from wetting yourself. You were a good dog and I still think of you.
Chipper, you were an average looking blue parakeet, even though you didn't know it. We had you for about 10 or 12 years. I'm sorry you almost never got out of that little bird cage, Chipper. Just when you were getting on in years, my mom gave you away to friends of ours. I was 17 or so and never home, and mom wanted to find you a better home I guess. I'm sorry I never saw you much after that. I'm sure you had a good life and I wish I could have been there at the end.
Jose and Mitzy, you two scraggly ol' mutts. You adopted me when I lived off base in the army. Jose, you always waited for me to come home right in the middle of the road in the trailer park and any one that wanted to drive through either had to go around or wait until you decided to move. When my wife and I were down to collecting soda bottles for the 2 cent refund so we could eat, I just had to move back on base. I got a good home for you Jose, I'm sure you had a good life with my sargent. Mitzy, I don't know what happened to you. I'm sorry I had to leave you with neighbors, but you were a tramp when you found us and you probably just moved on. I loved you both very much.
Puppy, I don't even remember your name but your memory brings me the most grief and guilt. I only had you for a few short months, but during that time, I loved you a lot. You fell sick suddenly and I was so broke I could barely eat or pay the rent, and I neglected taking you to the vet. You died in the living room, next to my chair and that memory still haunts me to this day, 24 years later. I'm so sorry. You deserved much better than I gave you. Please forgive me.
Boogie, I saved you at the humane society but I let you down at the end. For 12 long years you were my constant companion. You went everywhere with us, whether it was just to the corner store or across the country. You never complained when left to wait in a cold van and you were my best friend. When I finally had to move out of our house and into an apartment where dogs weren't allowed, I couldn't find an old dog a home. I did what I thought was best for you by letting you go to sleep for the final time at the vet's office. At least you were no longer tormented by the florida fleas that drove you to itch yourself raw, but I still feel guilty for just ending your life like that. I hope you too will forgive me.
Dobie, you big clown! You had the biggest heart of any doberman or any critter that I ever knew. You saved a kitten's life by dragging me (which you were very good at doing) over to a curb where I found a wet and injured kitten. You treated that cat, and others to come, like it was one of your own. Even with those giant teeth and clumsy paws, you were so gentle with animals and people alike that it was hard to believe. Along with Boogie, I had to leave you behind, but being a young doberman, a home was easy to find. I visited you once there but it was so hard that I could never go back. I thought it was best that way for both of us. I hope you understand, and when the end came, as it surely did years back, I hope someone that loved you was with you. I wish it could have been me.
Dillion, I don't know where you went, but I hope when you never came back, it was because you found a good home. Dobie missed you as much as we did I'm sure. You were his favorite playmate. We'll never find another cat like you.
Nikki, we had to find you a home when we moved, just like Dobie and Boogie. I don't remember what happened, but the neighbors seemed to be a good choice, and I hope you lived (and maybe still live) a good cat's life.
And finally to Sidney, our little ferret. I don't know why, but the loss of your life was the hardest loss I faced. I cried for days, and even three years later, I still cry sometimes when I visit your grave in the pet cemetery. You were the sweetest little critter I ever knew and at least you lived a long and happy life. I'm so glad I could be there at the end and be the one to put you in your final resting place.
To all my pets - I did my best.
Seymour, the Veiled Chameleon (1995-1996)
To buy a pet, first we must pick it:
One chameleon among others and crickets.
We chose Seymour that day
'Cos we were amazed
At his tongue--- How fast he could flick it!
On his plant home he moved slow and stilty,
Among ficus leaves grown kinda wilty.
One day he seemed duller,
He gave up on color,
And then became more and more tilty.
Goodbye Seymour, our chameleon friend.
We hoped you were on the mend.
We weeped and weeped
When we put you to sleep,
Still mastering the skill to blend.
We love you Seymour!
Frank and Liz Wu
In Memory of Bartholemue Ernesto Regueiro-Escobar
"He was a brave, beautiful specimen of green iguana. Unfortunately, he is dead in physical form, but, he will always live, in the dearest part of my heart. Wherever you are, we love you Bart, and we hope you are okay"
Epitaph For Pocahontas
Pocahontas wasn't smart, attractive, or soft and cuddly. But she was an original pet. Poki was a water dog, a neotenic salamander larva. She was about eight inches long, and a slimy gold color. She had four webbed feet and large scarlet gills protruding from her head. Whenever I came into the room, she would swim to the top of her tank, looking anxiously for food. I always gave her a little worm or two. I got another pet (a newt), but I still miss my "Hungry-ugly". - The Caretaker
Elmer - 1984 to 1996
I hope that you will find space for this on your page. Elmer, sounds like a funny name for a cocker spaniel who entered our family to be our first show dog. We bought him sight unseen while we lived in Alaska from a lovely lady in California. He arrived by plane at the tender age of five months. He was all legs and ears and we wondered at our decision. But he grew up and became the picture of grace. How he would fly over the ground, moving with effortless motion. We loved to stand ring side and watch him. He became a champion and came home to become King of our house. We called him Elmer Fudd and it fit.
His favorite toy was a fuzzy fake sheepskin slipper, and he would lie on the couch and dare any of the other dogs to take it away. We nursed him through several illnesses and a lingering heart condition, but he responded to medication, and we had him longer than we ever anticipated. I came home last Wednesday to find he had gone to sleep. I think that was his way of saying thank you for taking such good care of him. He made his passing as painless for us all as possible. With tears in my eyes I said goodby, but I know that someday I'll see him again. Jill and Bill Eshenbaugh.
Leuk, Sweetie and Taz
To our three loved companions
LEUK, SWEETIE AND TAZ
Your stay with us was short because your stay outside was hard, and you contracted feline leukemia. We loved you ALL and miss you a lot.
SUPIE (poodle 1972-1986)
You were my first, my little doll. When you came home, you were a small bundle of black poodle fur. Our first night together you found your way into my bedroom (I thought the door was closed) and into my heart.
Although your human grandfather complained about you joining my life, he soon became your number #1 fan. He fed you all your favorites--especially green beans and was always ready to play. Even in his dying days, he worried about you. You placed a heart in his casket.
Years later when it was your turn to go to Rainbow Bridge, our hearts were sad. But we know that you and grand dad are still enjoying green beans and those constant games of tug at the glove.
ARNOLD (cat 1979-1980)
You spent so little time with us that we hardly got to know you. Our fondest memories were you on the back of my chair at the window swishes your tail as I sat in the chair doing crafts. You demanded your water to be fresh-directly from the faucet.
TUT (cat 1981-1995)
From the beginning, you were the king. You were secure in your life and didn't fret what came your way. Your little brother Prince Ram and sister Princess Isis may have tormented you, but you reigned in your own quiet way.
You never complained, even when we knew your time with us was short. Although you wanted to go to Rainbow Bridge, you waited until the time was right. You didn't leave until you had our permission and a precious time to say good-bye.
Schiester -- 1966 - 1976
Schiester was a black and white border collie. The smartest person I’ve ever known. (He could probably spell his name correctly, if he could write.)
My college roommate swiped him when he was a tiny puppy begging at a drive-in restaurant. My girlfriend loved him so much she convinced my roommate she would be a better mother. For ten years and four states, Schiester survived chewing up the harness wires under my dashboard, sneaking off to neighbor’s pools in the middle of hot summer nights to swim, making himself obnoxious to every dog in heat, and frequently licking the same ice cream cone as my wife (yes, the former girlfriend).
He loved to have his picture taken. He would talk to me if I failed to show him his Polaroids.
He had a healthy appetite for everything: dog food, table scraps, bones, and washrags. He’d kill for Hershey’s Kisses. He never got fat or lazy.
He loved Beethoven. Whenever my wife played the Moonlight sonata, he’d move under the keyboard, close his eyes and raise his nose in the air and sing, softly at first, with crescendo to the top of his howl, almost in the right key. If anyone laughed at him, he’d stop and leave the room.
He recognized my Triumph sports car and loved to ride in it with his nose in the wind. He thought he’d like to jump out of it at 50 mph too, but he soon learned that could be painful. He would sleep under the car to be sure he would be taken for a ride whenever I left. When I sold the Triumph to a neighbor, Schiester moved with the car. He always came home for dinner and bed, and any loose Hershey’s Kisses.
He’d always wag his tail in circles when he’d see me, then he’d jump in my lap and lick my face. When I had the misfortune to get divorced, Schiester missed me so much he would wait in the middle of the highway at night for me to return. One night, someone else was driving. I miss him. If only my singles apartment had let me have a dog instead of wild girlfriends. (But that’s another story.)
Bob Schlotman -- Somewhere in Florida (without pets)
Chopper and Others
Chopper, you are missed more as the years go by. Of course, February is always harder since you made your journey to rainbow Bridge in February of 1993. It seems like such a short time ago that I met you. Jill had you out of the kennel and bounding towards me that blustery winter day at Pet Welfare, the no kill shelter. My fiance was leaving for Saudi, and you were going to be my companion. Those liquid brown eyes still haunt me. You ate a wall, a door, and countless clothing items, and bit the obedience instructor, but you were terrific. You always knew when I needed a comforting lick. I knew you had problems when I adopted you. You had been brought back countless times as a fear biter. Over the next two years, I thought we got over most of that until that week. You bit two people you knew, and then you began to growl and bark at nothing. I had to choose a road that was not easy. I made the decision to put you down. We later discovered you had Rage Syndrome, and you would only have gotten worse. Chopper, I miss you, but your spirit is at peace for the first time in your life, and you are running free with the wild winds of west Texas, where I buried you. You changed my life and taught me so very much. You introduced me to Pet Welfare. I ended up working there for the next two years because of you. You helped countless animals through your pain. Chopper, I will meet you at the Bridge. Watch out for Comet, the TB race horse who never had a chance. I had to have Comet put down after rescuing him from the racetrack. His pain was far greater than drugs could control. Teach Rocky all your tricks... Rocky was my Rottie pup who was stolen and then killed for trying to come home. Sam... my very first cat -- a big black guy, who was the best hunter around. When he got to old to hunt, he went to my neighbors and stole the rats and the traps they were in. Romeo, a young kitty killed by a pack of dogs. Cleo's kittens (she appeared on the doorstep and delivered a litter of horribly deformed kittens). Oliver, Jessicas foal who died a swift and painful death from an unknown virus. Marly, the rabbit, who was just too friendly and killed by an intruder in my home. Irish (1988) a mare who finally found peace, after a long and drawn out battle against founder. To all of you my friends know that you were loved and know that I will meet you one day. You are all chasing mice, eating grass, and running after balls in the rolling green pastures at Rainbow Bridge--never again to be hurt or in pain. You all came to me willing and gave so much of yourselves. Each of you took a piece of me with you, but you gave me a piece of yourselves in return. My home is still a shelter for others, and this is done in your memory. I love you all, especially Chopper and Sam. You each showed me a trait that I would like to have or have more of. Whether it be courage or tenacity, you all shared with me. You all loved unconditionally, and for that I will always be grateful.
Until we meet again, Via con dias.
Pete: You were my First Old English Sheepdog. You gave your love, stability and protection to me. I will never forget those long, long walks we took. You would always listen and lick my face to show me you understood my sorrow. Pete, because of you, I now have Four Old English Sheepdogs... Alex, KC, Jillian and Bidin. Thanks to the precious gift you brought into my life, I will never, ever be without one of your breed. Pete, while I love these pooches dearly, none will ever take your place. Please keep an eye open for the fellow OES's, Alex and KC are getting up there in years... And they will soon be joining you to romp in those fields of never ending clover that you so loved to run in. Pete...you are forever in my heart...
Burt was the best friend anyone could ever have. He was a 16 year old Labrador Doberman. He was the most beautiful, kindest and most loving dog I have ever known. It is so hard for me to come to grips with his death. I am 17, and we have had him practically all of my life. He was always there for me. He would have risked his life for me. I remember when my sister was born, he would run to her crib whenever she'd cry. He was our protector.
Burt, you are truly my best friend. Please know that I love you more than anything, and you will be missed. We may get another dog, but you will never be replaced. I just want to hug you one last time. I miss you.
Jake Thomas-Richard Negrette
Born 9/10/74 -- Died 11/20/88
A dog with a heart and soul more humane, courage, strength, and life than any living being could even achieve. Having saved the life of a little girl from being kidnapped to being watcher and protector of his friends, Thomas and Richard Negrette, throughout their childhood. His nobility far outweighed any I have ever known. He was not a mere animal being taken care of, but a person, a family member we all cherished. His spirit will forever be with us and will be sorrowfully missed. He was indeed better than Lassie; he was never acting...
"...and with love, courage, and grace -- We all strive for a mark in the lives we touch."
Thomas Negrette, 21; 1996
My Bloodhound Memphis
On February 25th, l996 my darling Memphis passed on from a heart attack in his sleep. He did not pass on alone, for his sister Beulah Mae was by his side, and in the morning she was sleeping with her paw on his neck. Memphis was a red fire bloodhound, who weighed 130 pounds, and was only six years and nine months old. It came as a terrible shock to Beulah and to us, because we never thought that we would have him for such a short time. He was unique and is greatly missed, and he will remain in our hearts for the rest of our lives. We will be getting another puppy for Beulah, but it won't be a bloodhound. They are not easy to train, and I just feel that I need an easier breed, although the thought of never having a puppy with those huge paws and floppy ears again, pains me. On the mountain where we walked, and he ran off leash every day, my fellow dog lovers were greatly saddened by his passing, and they eased the shock with their kindness, expressed in words, wonderful notes and flowers. In the spring, we will be planting a tree on the mountain in his memory. He has been cremated, and he is with us, in the room that he called his own, with his chain and tags hanging over his urn.
In 1983, when I moved into this house, it had been vacant for many months. The backyard was overgrown and the garage was full of junk. I had been here for about a week when I began to notice that a small brown animal would streak away up the yard when I went out the back. It took a long time for this small brown streak to realize that I was not going to hurt it, and I began to actually see that it was a very scrawny, very tatty cat. After a few months, I went out one day to find that the small brown streak was actually two small brown streaks, and with time and feeding they began to differ to the point where I could tell them apart. One was blacker and young, growing fast, a male -- this one I called Fritti. The other was Zarko, an elderly and very sick-looking small male. Fritti grew and prospered and became quite tame and very healthy, but moved on as stray tomcats tend to do. Zarko, however, gradually moved inside, even though he snarled his hatred at me on sight. I began to sneak up on him while he was eating, and stroke his rough, lumpy fur. He would growl and hiss, but he put up with it and slowly began to seem more relaxed. One day, after about 18 months, I gave him a drink of milk, and when he had finished, he wandered up to me at the sink and suddenly leaned against my leg. It was quite astonishing. I have never known a cat so wild, so full of loathing of humans. He never adjusted to shoes. He always hated shoes, especially black ones, and was only comfortable near my feet if they were bare or almost bare.
Some years after that came another coup. He snuck onto the bed one night while I was reading and crawled slowly up. I held my breath; he advanced to my chest, sniffing as he went, pausing nervously. Then he suddenly leaned forward and gave me a tiny lick on the forehead, then snuck back away again. After that he gradually relaxed more and more and would crawl onto my lap at every chance. But he was never well. Several of his teeth were missing and his jaw was damaged, probably from a kick. He would hold his meat down with one paw to tear and pull at it, so his claws were often jammed up with shreds of meat, and I had to gently clean them for him. His tail was broken in so many places it was corrugated. And his kidneys were shot, which was why his fur was brown and dull. He smelt like yeast and was often sick after drinking milk.
In August 1990, when he was about 9 or 10 years old at least, he suddenly became very ill, listless and swollen, and he began to piddle in the house. I was very sick myself with bronchitis, so a friend took Zarko to the local veterinary hospital, where he passed away from kidney failure on the 7th. I will never forget receiving the phone call that day... feeling so guilty for not visiting him -- for not taking him to a small local vet instead, where he would not be so terrified. But I was bedridden myself. What could I do? Zarko, you were very special to me, and I love you still. Wherever you are now, I hope your eyes are bright and your teeth sharp and your coat glossy, and the lady cats adore you as much as I did. I will never forget you.
- Secretary, shmecretary: she's only in it for the glory