Tim has a cute video of her in the original post.
Check out Timeout for Art: Through A Child’s Eyes by ‘Z’ over at Zeebra Designs and Destinations.
We knew this day was coming. The average lifespan of a retriever is 10 years. Tom-dog was 14 years, 8 months when we said good-bye today.
He came home to our youngest son many years ago and was the grand-pup of our first retriever. In the learning hands of a growing boy he was trained into an outstanding hunter and companion.
When his boy grew to manhood, left for college, got married and started his family, Tom stayed with us. In the years that have followed, this magnificent family member has been greeted by 3 rowdy grandkids that he loved dearly.
Tom-dog always loved kids. It is only fitting that Tom-dog’s grand-pup, Jake, now resides with Tom-dog’s first person and family.
Today is All Saint’s Day. I once had a wonderful golden retriever with today as her birthday, we named her All Hallow’s Tessa. A well bred, well trained, loveable girl. But this is not about how well she hunted or the number of spirits she lifted when visiting nursing homes and the sick.
This is about how she changed the course of a little boy’s life.
When placing puppies from a litter we scrutinize each possible owner with an application and references. Since our dogs are high energy bird dogs, almost all owners are hunters or families that include dogs in activities.
Such was one new owner, a young boy soon to be 11 years old. He had waited for a puppy and proved to his mom that he was ready. Of course. she knew she would have to provide a safety net. The application was in and approved before the pups were born.
We assist our owners in pup selection. We spend weeks with the pups and know their personalities. Truth be told, the puppies choose. Milo would pick up his puppy last.
I often post photos of pups online so the new owners can watch them grow. Everyone liked the little boy with the blue ribbon, his photos were most commented on.
The day came for pups to go home. One by one the new owner’s came. Each time little blue boy sniffed the air, walked about ten feet from the other pups and just laid down. He was waiting, these were not his people.
Finally Milo came. His mother got out of the car. I will never forget her words, “We have a problem.”
She went on to explain. Milo informed her at breakfast that the little blue boy would be his pup. God told him in a dream.
I smiled. I told her it all worked out, little blue boy waited for Milo.
She grew pale and said, “But we don’t do God.”
I smiled again, “Apparently, Milo does.”
While we spoke, Milo slipped from the car and his puppy met him in the grass.
Milo told us he looked up Tessa’s name and read about All Saint’s Day. So when in his dream, God told him the little blue boy was his puppy, he believed God. His mom was visibly shaken as she took care of the paperwork. Nothing like an awakening to rattle an atheist to the core. Been there. A door had opened, Milo boldly walked through. His mom cautiously followed.
God slipping a little bliss through the back door.
Bella arrived for her visit on Friday. It is almost 3 months since her sire, Hawk, suddenly died. Bella’s litter was born shortly thereafter. She is almost 10 weeks old.
When I saw the litter, she caught my attention, she has her papa’s soulful eyes. The litter owner chose to keep her. I would have made the same choice. There is something very special about a puppy. Something very healing. A puppy oozes bliss.
When I had a bad day of bone pain, Hawk would lay at my side. It was easier to breath through the ache. I often wondered if he would be big enough the help steady me as the bone disorder destroyed my ability to walk.
Earlier this year when my old girl died at 16½ (very old for a retriever), he spent the better part of two weeks staying by my side. Neither of us knew at that time that death would separate us so soon.
These passing weeks I have been haunted by dreams of his sound as he struggled for breath. In the palm of my hand I can still feel the cessation of his heartbeat. There was nothing we could do to save him. We could only help him pass when the struggle became suffering.
There was a moment, when his gaze held mine and it was clear he knew he was dying. He worried about me to the end.
Our pets are not like children. They are not people. They hold a different place in our hearts, their own place. Some people may not understand what I mean, that’s okay.
So, today, as I see the similarities to Hawk in his daughter, I can’t help but have that ache tug at my heart. I am not ready for another puppy. The time will come, but not now.
Bella is just here for a visit, she goes home tomorrow night. As you can see, she has her papa’s soulful eyes.