Friday, October 1, 2010

Puppy Love

Something sad happened yesterday morning.  My sister's dog died at the young age of 7 months old.  C graduated in May and moved into her bachelorette pad, an adorable one-bedroom apartment.  Toby was her companion and roommate as he grew exponentially bigger over the summer.  I had the pleasure of meeting Toby when I was home in Kansas a couple weeks before our wedding.  He had a gorgeous copper brown coat, a hyperactive tail, and small ears perched on his head that bounced as he bounded around the room with an energy only puppies possess.  C loved her puppy, even as he marked his territory all over her new place and chewed up some of her favorite things.  (Ironically, Toby seems to have "inherited" some of his mama's childhood traits - we used to lovingly call C "Destructo" as she sometimes acted like a human tornado when she was young.)  Sadly, after a few wonderful but short months, Toby became sick with digestive issues and was in pain.  The vet found that Toby had a bowel obstruction.  Surgery was costly and not even guaranteed to work.  C had to make the impossibly difficult decision to let Toby go.

This incident made me think about our family dog who lived a long and full life.  Sport was an adorable, soft, loving beagle, raised from a 5 lb. baby puppy to an over-fed and much-loved 40 lb. old man dog.  We loved him, walked him, cuddled with him, brushed him, pet him, gave him tummy rubs and (secret) treats of meat and cheese, dressed him up, affectionately smothered him with our love.  Almost 11 years just didn't seem like long enough before we had to say goodbye to a dog who had essentially become our brother.

Sport at 1 year old
Some people aren't dog people... but there is something about dogs that touches hearts.  Dogs can't speak, but they communicate utter joy when you arrive home and they rush to meet you at the door.  They sense when you are sad and need a fur-coated shoulder to cry on.  They know when you are leaving for a trip (is it the sight of the suitcases? the act of packing? the anticipation in the air?).  They hear an approaching storm and follow you all over the house, quaking with fear at the sound of thunder, sitting right at your feet, even following you into the bathroom.  The wagging tail, the inquisitive tilt of a head, the wet and curious nose, the tender kisses of a canine tongue, the soft beating of a heart and warmth of a furry body cuddled against you, the vulnerable neck tucked into the crook of your own...  Dogs are there in their quiet way, just when you need them, a loyal friend.

All my love to the dogs out there, those who are living and those who are chewing gigantic bones in doggie heaven.  And much love to C - Toby was so fortunate to have you as his mama.


  1. Dogs give us an example of unconditional love. One joke I heard: If you lock your spouse in a trunk or your dog in a trunk, which will come out and kiss you? Dad

  2. Dogs are something else, especially puppies with their unconditional love AND energy! Who needs an alarm clock when you have a puppy to jump onto your face and lick you awake?

    For those of you who know Toby and Sport, picture this and you have to smile (I'm not a writer...Melissa would have done much better describing this.): Sport laying on top of the leather sofa, while Toby is jumping up and down waiting for him to wake up to play. Toby proceeds to get impatient after oh, two seconds, and starts licking Sport's ears and face. Sport proceeds to jump off the couch, knocking off all pillows, onto the next couch and falls asleep. Toby follows, waits impatiently and starts the process all over again. Those two are having a ball together up There! :)


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