Posted by: Judy | April 8, 2013

Tribute to my furry children…

I chose April 6th to celebrate my dog’s birth. It’s around the right time, maybe a little early, but who’s to know for sure, and who would contradict me?

For many years, people would ask me if I had any children, and I always replied, “Yes, one. She barks and wags her tail.” Then God saw fit to bless me with another furry child, and I would reply, “Yes, two. One barks and one neighs.”

They’ve both been gone too many years. I still miss them terribly.

My dog was my angel child. Sweet as the day is long, as I used to say. Gentle. Happy. Trusting. Funny. Smart. Beautiful. Adorable. I was so proud to be her mama. She didn’t care about the scars on my face or my extra weight. She didn’t care about my lack of financial success. She didn’t care about my lack of marital status. Truth be told, she preferred keeping me to herself. She went so far as to stand between me and visitors, staking her proprietary ownership of me. I shocked my counselor when he told me I couldn’t count on my dog to protect me and I told him I didn’t expect her to protect me. Protection was my job. Her job was to be my early warning system. She was around five years old when I taught her to bark at the doorbell and knocking. I often didn’t hear it. She would alert me when someone came home, so I wasn’t terrorized by the fact I thought I was alone and I wasn’t. When we were out walking, she would notice the person coming up behind us before I did. She was 75 lb and stood a little taller than knee level. Mostly black, with a few spots of white on her chest, her toes, the tip of her tail, and her nose. Compact, svelte. How many times I wished I looked like her. She truly was one of the most beautiful dogs I’ve ever seen. I loved walking with her and having people comment, “Great bodyguard.” I’d laugh and never tell them she was a marshmallow. She taught me so much.

My horse was… well, I told God I knew how to handle an angel child. What would I do with a problem child? He gave me my horse. As his previous owner like to say, “He was three-quarters Arab treachery and one-quarter American stubbornness.” He was 3/4 Arabian and 1/4 Appaloosa. He was smart and not easily given to trust. People would ask me how I could always be so cheerful, and I was explain, “When you start every day shoveling sh** the rest of the day can only get better. Sort of puts life in perspective.” For five years, I spent every morning going out to groom and grain him. As a child, I wanted to go horseback riding because I loved the sensation of flying on a horse. Nothing on the planet like it. My horse had back trouble. We didn’t do a lot of riding. I missed it a little but not a whole lot. The relationship with a horse when he chooses you is unlike anything else. Going riding at a stable you choose the horse or have the horse chosen for you. Owning a horse, if the relationship is going to work, sooner or later the horse must choose you. It’s an honor when he does.

They both made me a better person. Thanks God, for sharing a couple of angels with me.


  1. Thank you for sharing that. It is a beautiful tribute; you loved them well.

    • Thanks, Mary.

  2. Maybe you could find a new furry child? They really seem to have brought so much into your life, and you into theirs.

    • I would like that above all else. Unfortunately, funds are tight, to say the least. Not to mention NM would make my life… miserable. She’s given me permission to get another dog, with certain conditions. If the dog makes it harder for her to clean house, then I have to help her. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? It so isn’t. First, it implies I do nothing to help keep the house clean already. Second, I’ve watched her mop the floor with dirty dish water and complain about how dirty the floor is. Third, in all my life, I could never clean good enough for her. I don’t anticipate it changing now. Some day… ((Pandora Viltis))

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