Sunday, July 26, 2009

All Dogs Go To Heaven...2

I am participating in Weekly Winners, brought to you by Lotus over at Sarcastic Mom.

These photos were shot with the film version of the Canon Rebel. Back when I could grow delphiniums! They are my favorites, and one of the most persnickety perennials.

Meet Trouble. Or Trouble Elizabeth, as he was known when he misbehaved. He was our first Springer Spaniel. He was liver and white, and the cutest little "speckled pup" you ever did see. He was the best $50 we ever spent. He came from a litter of 14 puppies. It took forever to choose him, but I'm sure we found the very best of the bunch.

Uncle Lynn would take Trouble out to run in the morning in the winter, and then let him into the boys' rooms to jump on their beds and wake them up. He was very bouncy and had a very cold nose, just what little boys needed to urge them out of the sack!

One morning, I was in bed with coffee and heard the most terrible screaming. I ran downstairs, and it was Trouble. He'd jumped off the foot of the bed and his leg got stuck between the mattress and footboard. He'd broken his leg! Trouble became our second dog who received top-notch medical care at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine. So much for being a $50 dog!

We were about to take a trip to Florida, and Trouble had to come along, so he could have physical therapy 3 times a day. But that didn't stop him from swimming after a pelican in the Intercoastal Waterway. We all ran after him, yelling for him to come back. And when the pelican finally flew off, Trouble turned around. I don't know how many boats narrowly missed hitting his little brown head, bobbing in the water! We were terrified there was going to be an accident, right in front of the kids! But he lived to have many more adventures.

Trouble loved to go out on the boat. Here's a shot of him, with his ears blowing in the wind. Hey, spotters are supposed to watch the kids when they are tubing!

Trouble sat down on a step like people sit. He'd back up to the step and sit down, with his little doggy butt on the step and his front legs on the sidewalk, like this...

Trouble was a bird and bunny chasing machine. He couldn't help it. That was his job. He was wired to chase birds and bunnies like a fish is wired to swim. It's what he did. All the time. He couldn't help it. The door would open, and out he'd squeeze. There were days when I had to chase him two or three times! I was afraid to turn the corner, afraid he'd been hit by a car.

So we had an invisible fence installed. I doubted it would keep Trouble home. I was sure he'd make the decision one day that it would be worth it, and run. But he never did. Turns out Springers are softies. You cannot imagine the sense of relief when finally, at about 10 years of age, we could sit on the deck and have Trouble just wandering safely in the yard. Don't know how we got along without it for so many years. I know it saved his life. He could even watch a deer walk down the street, and not follow it. He would stand at the end of the yard, and hold a quivering point until the deer was out of sight!

Trouble was a dog of many nicknames. One of the last was Captain Underpants. He was dubbed this because he, shall we say "dripped" a little bit in the last year-and-a-half of his life. So I found a denim wrap at the pet store, and he wore it without complaint. He was still healthy and alert and interested and happy. He just dripped. And we could not teach our kids that pets are disposable when it gets a little inconvenient. Soccer Boy had just read the Captain Underpants book series, and the name stuck.

We learned a lot from Trubbie. That dogs are people too. That dogs can be great friends, and won't ever laugh at you or tell your secrets. And that when you get a puppy, you get a friend for life. And you owe him your best. And when he died last October, we planted an Autumn Blaze maple tree in his honor in the front yard. Bet there won't be a dry eye when the leaves change.


Rhonda said...

Oh, that was beautiful!!! They do deserve our best, don't they? Goodness knows that is what they give!!

Great photos too!!!

I'm going to hug my dog now!

Melissa B. said...

What a beautiful tribute! Trouble Eliz was a good ol' doggie, wasn't he?

freegal1000 said...

Such Superior Snaps, Aunt Julie! Love the one of Trouble on the boat. Did he ever want to go tubing with the kids?

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Lovely tribute!

merrymishaps said...

What a wonderful tribute to a beautiful dog!

Corina - Down to Earth Mama said...

Beautiful tribute!

•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

what a beautiful and fun tribute to a loved dog.Trouble was awesome.

Karen - Mommy to four sweeties said...

That made me cry. So sweet.
Just came across your site somehow.

Marrdy said...

What a beautiful story! And now I have tears running down my cheeks! You are right, dogs are human too! And I love that shot on the boat!