Ode to Dolly Joe, a Poem and True Story
We already had two dogs. One came from the Humane Society in Florida and had been with us over ten years. Her companion Slick came to us from the Texas Motorplex where we found him hiding in a culvert, afraid of the noise of the dragsters. He quickly became friends with Bucky who'd recently undergone heartworm treatment.
When we first began to build our house and move to the country, we began by spending the weekends mowing the pasture where our house would stand, setting up a tarp for shade and planning out our future dream house. What we didn't expect to find on Mother's Day, 1990, was a stray dog who'd taken up residence.
Buckwheat lived for sixteen years, a good long life for an eighty pound dog. We were lucky to have Lady, who'd joined our family and was there to comfort Slick when he lost his oldest and best friend. Lady had been covered with huge ticks when we found her. Sadly, she passed away six months later from Ehrlichia, a tick borne disease, also known as hemorrhagic fever. She was only five.
We were all devastated but Slick took it the hardest. He suffered with bouts of coughing and wheezing where he couldn't get his breath and began to demonstrate neurotic, needy behavior. We began searching for just the right pup to give him some much needed companionship.
Bucky, Slick and Lady
We were the first to arrive that Saturday morning at the Humane Society in Plano. We pulled into the empty parking lot and waited in the car for the doors to open. I had stopped by the night before, and looked over the dogs available for adoption. Two adoptees caught my eye as potential candidates. One was a small Chow puppy and the other, a miniature version of Bucky with beautiful, long black fur.
Dolly was the one that went home with us that day.
From the Pound my Dolly came.
We'd already picked a name.
Husband has himself to blame, Dolly.
Came to us as just a pup.
It was fun to pick her up.
Never was she late for sup, Dolly.
She was Queen of our back yard
She bossed Slick which wasn't hard
Bitey teeth that cut like shards, Dolly
Dolly liked to chew a rag.
Tug-o-war was sure a gag.
Slept with it in times of lag, Dolly.
Also known as Stinker-butt.
Named by Daddy, such a nut.
Loved her though she was a mutt, Dolly.
Queen of all that she surveyed
Turned me into her own maid.
Fetch my dinner, get it made, Dolly.
When our Slick tore up his knee
I had just found Buddy Lee
Dolly welcomed him with glee, Dolly.
Dolly liked to sniff the snow
We'd first called her "Dolly NO"
Changed with time to Dolly Joe, Dolly.
Some would say she's just a dog
Watch her run and chase that frog
Stubborn as a mother hog, Dolly.
Three Dog Nights
It was three years before another stray would find their way into our family. One day driving home from work, I spotted a pair of dogs running beside the busy highway near our house. I pulled into the rest area, where two wet and very friendly dogs came up to the truck. They feasted on the dry kibble I keep stashed under the driver's seat. One of the dogs stuck around and, eventually, got in the truck and rode home with me.
When I arrived at the house, the husband was headed out of the driveway taking Slick to the vet. He had hurt his leg and couldn't walk. We both looked up and saw the grass between our house and the neighbors was on fire. Out in the country, we depend on a volunteer fire department. The neighbors were already gathering to fight the blaze from a cigarette tossed into the dry grass.
Suddenly, there were three dogs in the household.
Have you ever had three large dogs at one time who lived in the house?
Dolly Joe, Buddy Lee, and Cookie Doe
Cookie came along right after Thanksgiving Day, 2000, adding one more to our trio of pets. She was running the street with a gang of hungry dogs in the neighborhood. Rescued by our neighbor, we took her in and someone else took in her litter mate, Nicole.
When she first arrived she was unused to having regular meals. When we fed her, she stuck her nose into the bowl so hard that kibble flew out on the floor.
The Three Amigos
Dolly lived a good life of nearly fourteen years before she succumbed to a splenetic tumor and passed in her Daddy's arms quietly at home.
Brother gave me his best tip.
Always keep stiff upper lip.
Never let emotions slip, Dolly
First night here she shared our bed
Hard to fathom that she's dead.
She'll live on within my head, Dolly.
I'm collecting Dolly tears.
May I please have some of yours?
She was with us fourteen years, Dolly.
Tribute to Dolly
Dolly, a blond Chow mix puppy, arrived on Valentine's Day 1995, weighed eighteen pounds and had a black tongue. She despised the UPS and FedEx delivery trucks alerting her family to their frequent acts of trespass.
Dolly was a dedicated and loving companion for fourteen years, always looking out for her fellow canines and humans. She is survived by her two best friends: Buddy Lee and Cookie.
Services were held on July 31, 2009 at the home of her human parents.
Ode To Billie Joe, Bobbie Gentry
© 2009 Peg Cole