I fell in love with this hairy, red and assumingly friendly fellar the first time I saw him in his busy litter. This one sat himself apart immediately as the most interactive of them all. And the largest.

Two years and 84 lbs later, Chevy follows my every step, greets me with a muddy paw on my leg when I pull up after a long day at work, he is best friends to both the UPS/Fedex men and the local mailmen.  And he also is bent on gifting a heart attack to Bob the cat who reigns from his oak rocking chair on the front porch.  He’s sitting in the floor beside my desk as I type this.

Dogs are an integral part of most of our lives. Seems they used to be optional but now either you have a dog or you babysit a dog  or you have a cute stray that has chosen you to be their mate. Even though they sometimes may make you want to pull your shoe off and throw at em, dogs simply complete most of us.

Recently my sainted  sister had to euthanize our moms one eyed dog, Lilly.

Mom is now in assisted living and my sister had inherited the one eyed wonderdog. She had lost one eye in a previous, before mom, accident. Lilly had became completely blind in her remaining eye. Although it’s horrible to sit through, euthanasia was the humane thing to do for the poor constantly scared animal who would stand and just bark at a wall or fall of off things.  Lilly lived in 24 hour a day fear now and nothing could be done. Euthanasia was the humane thing to do for her.
Plus, she had a metal plate in her head. Lilly, aka One Eye (what I called her, to my mother’s disapproval) was certainly a sweet lil black Shih Tzu but she apparently had herself somewhat of a dramatic life before being rescued and landing in my mother’s lap that has always been a welcoming receptacle for a dog.  1 Eye had been a great companion dog for mom after dad died.

Charlie and meBut we all know when we get a dog that their lives are brief compared to ours. Some, more than others. I had a 3 legged dog Charlie when I was a boy that flew many missions in my back yard with me in my NASA capsule tent. On some missions Charlie and I were assisted in flighty by Tootsie, my sister’s dog.

I once heard someone, in a not-so-fabulous moment pick up their dog, seat them firmly in their lap and tell the dog, ‘get up here. I can say anything I want to and you won’t get your feelings hurt or get mad at me.’ And it’s true. You can tell a dog your most innermost secret crush, how you regret drinking too much one night or how you just want someone to sit and watch a movie with. I reckon you can tell your dog about killing someone and your dog would be out the door to help dig a fantastic hole to bury the body in to keep you out of trouble.

Dog’s complete us in a way that a human can. Friends and family can turn on you, but not your dog.  The wife can get mad at you for something you said LIKE something and your dog will stick right there with you and lick your woes away. That excited wagging of the tail serves as a reminder to just wipe it all away, whatever is bothering you.

We’ve all been blessed with a life that was God-given and He meant it to be squeezed dry; just wrang clean out of all the joy and the love and fun that we could possibly get out of it while we have this great gift.

As a boy, I knew then that I’d outlive my canine astronauts, but we had some fantastic voyages when we could; we surely did. 

You see, dogs are like our days.

They are numbered and to be enjoyed thoroughly with all the tail wagging possible.

Because we never know when we’ll have our last day or….  

Our last dog. 

That’s the best I can tell about  it.