Editor’s note: This was first published back on Christmas Eve of 2009. The world was a dramatically different place back then. Accordingly, it has been nuanced over the years since its first publication. The message it intends to convey, however, is timeless.
I have had dogs almost all my life. I remember my first dog,”Bucky”, who came along when I was roughly 8 and was gone less than a year later. I remember being devastated and, knowing me, probably inconsolable. I remember that he and I were Besties and almost inseparable. And I remember, most of all, that we were bunkmates… in bed or on the floor in front of the TV or out even out in the back yard under one of the shade trees, if there was a nap to be had me and my dog were having it.
In the time between Bucky and today, I have lived with and loved 19 different dogs. Without exception, each of these guys has made my life just a little bit better. Caring for each of them has also given my life more meaning and made me a better person.
Unlike being the parent of human children, where you can’t (and shouldn’t) pick favorites, the same can’t be said about your relationships with your dogs.
As each has come and gone, and I have designated one or the other as my favorite when I met Daisy I knew from the moment I laid eyes on her that she was quite different and very special. Blame it on her eyes if you like or blame it on her eternally happy disposition… Blame it on the fact that she is so incredibly attached to me and never wants me to leave her sight… but whatever it is, Daisy – over the three and a half years we have been together so far – is far and away the best dog I have ever had. So much so, in fact, that I taught myself how to make videos worthy of posting on YouTube so that I could do one in her honor. The good news? Our story has only begun.
in loving memory of an old friend: Scooby and I were together for nearly a third of my life. He made it to 119 people years, lasting longer than either of my marriages for what that’s worth.
He was a pain in the ass. He never stopped barking and never fully shut the hell up until he finally lost his voice. He considered the rules regarding only going to the bathroom OUTSIDE to be purely suggestions and not applicable to him.
He never stopped humping female dogs (fixed or otherwise), even though he was fixed at the tender age of 2, until the day he died.
He was a trash hound, and he always smelled like he had just taken a bath in a steaming hot fresh pile of horseshit.
He was always happy and full of life and fearless and resilient… and he was never sick.
He was run over by a car, trampled by horses, and damn near killed (more than once) by the very same pack of English Mastiffs that were his brothers and sisters. His crime? Stealing their bones when they weren’t watching. And, as fate would have it, he has outlived all of them.
He was loved. He was respected. He was admired. Scooby and I were together through some of the best and worst times in our collective and respective lives.