Companion Animals

Hutch Puppy: Posted : 08-16-12

Our beloved dog, the rambunctious Hutch, came to us from the animal shelter four years ago. It’s difficult to believe that, left behind at the shelter, his chances for survival would have been too low for a happy ending. Unfortunately, shelters across this country “put down” up to eighty percent of the dogs that go there. We are so happy that Hutch found a home and refuge with us.

More of Hutch Puppy can be seen at :


Starsky too was a refugee

Best buddies shortly after they arrived  …

Starsky at seven months …

Edit: January 2017:

Don’t we just assume that our dogs will keep on going, no matter what?  I guess that our rational brains know that someday they will leave us, just because their genetics don’t allow them to stay with us for our entire lives.

I always assumed that Starsky would be with us for a minimum of ten years.  It was just a rule of thumb I used (minus a little for bad luck) – and I never considered that it would be any other way.  Sadly, a few days ago we received the bad news that Starsky had developed canine lymphoma.  Incurable, inoperable, and always terminal.   He passed away just short of his ninth birthday.  He’s still with me, but as three pounds of disassembled molecules in an urn, upon which his picture is affixed.  Could it be that his spirit is close by?

You can never replace your best canine friend, no matter how you try.  A previous pet passed away, sending me on a mission to find a replacement.  It was futile of course, because each dog is individual and different, and each is bonded (or not) to his/her human companion in a very unique, special, and non-duplicatable way.  Nothing can ever replace that.  Yet, I have fond memories that are invoked when I look at a golden lab.  Some golden labs tend to represent more of the lab side, some more of the golden retriever side.  My late friend carried genes that leaned on the Golden side, with his nose and face being smaller, less square, more pointed. He always carried the weight of a heavy lab, running between ninety and a hundred or so pounds, every one of them loved.

My friend’s canine forearms were almost as long as mine.  He loved to “lock arms” with me when he was feeling especially like a bud.  He was always a bud.  A best bud. For years this was our special greeting. On the night before he died, he couldn’t stand up.  But from his laid down position, he raised his forearm and locked it with mine.  We looked into each other’s eyes.  Normally, in all those other times we’d done this, it would be only for ten seconds or so.  But this time he held my arm.  For two minutes we communicated what we both knew.  So long my friend, he was saying …

I couldn’t help myself, so I looked at some golden lab pictures on the internet.  Only a few passed under my eyes before I thought I was looking at my buddy again.  A younger version, but undeniably similar – in fact almost identical.  Yet – I know that replacement is impossible.  The shared memories, the bonding, the special times – are yet to be part of any possible future relationship.  Do I want the constant memory? Or is it better to have it another way?  Some would say that emotional tugs would be too difficult to bear, in light of the memories.  But that’s not a thought for me.  I like the idea that I might see two friends in one set of eyes.  It’s a golden idea.

RIP buddy.










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