Ode to Dolly Joe - Dog Rescue Stories
There were two big dogs already in the family. There was ten-year old Bucky adopted from the Humane Society and Slick, found at a drag race in Ennis, hiding in a culvert, malnourished and frightened from the noise.
Our neighbors took care of him while Bucky recuperated from heartworm treatment while she was supposed to remain quiet afterward. Once he joined the household, he and Bucky bonded began teaching each other tricks. He showed her how to graze in the bucket of kibble and how to catch treats. She taught him the stealth attack mode for the UPS truck and how to frighten the mailman when he dropped off the bills.
We began spending weekends in the country planning our dream house and building a barn. While we shoveled sand around the back yard, a stray dog wandered up to watch us work.
Her coat was matted with burrs and her ribs were showing. It was apparent she'd already had a litter of puppies. All day as we worked, she inched closer to us, testing to see if we were friendly. There were clear signs she'd been neglected. She was missing teeth and her skin was covered in parasites.
The next weekend, she showed up again and we couldn't let her just wander off hungry. We began feeding her until we could get her to the vet for her shots. Soon, she became the third canine member to join the family.
A Guest Arrived with the Delivery
Buckwheat had a good long life for a large-breed dog. She lived for sixteen years. When she crossed the Rainbow Bridge were glad to have Lady to comfort Slick when he lost his oldest and best friend. Sadly, Lady contracted Ehrlichia, a tick borne disease, also known as hemorrhagic fever. She was only five when she passed away six months after Bucky.
Slick took the loss hard, suffering bouts of coughing and wheezing when he got excited. He began to grow needy and became almost neurotic. It was clear he needed a friend so we started searching for just the right pup to be his companion. That took us to the Humane Center where we faced a difficult decision of which one to pick.
Bucky, Slick and Lady
We were the first to arrive that Saturday morning at the Humane Society pulling into the parking lot before the doors even opened. The night before, after stopping by to check out the available dogs, two 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. The Chow went home with us that day with a side trip to the veterinarian on the way home. Everyone in the clinic wanted to pet the little puppy's soft, blonde fur.
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.
Slick and Buddy
Buddy and Dolly
Dolly Joe, Buddy Lee, and Cookie
Cookie's First Scheduled Meal
Cookie came along just after Thanksgiving Day, 2000, adding one more to the family of pets. She was running with a gang of street dogs in the neighborhood, hiding out in an abandoned mobile home. Our neighbor called and asked if we had room for another one. He'd rescued two dogs that day and with five dogs already, needed to find her a home. Someone else adopted her litter mate, Nicole.
When she first came, she was leery of the other three, unused to having regular meals served in a bowl. When she first saw the bowl full of kibble, she stuck her nose into the food with such enthusiasm that kibble flew out scattering on the floor. None of the other three dogs even noticed. They just calmly munched their dinners and paid her no heed. It took a while for her not to look over her shoulder expecting someone to take her food.
The Three Amigos
One day, years later, Dolly collapsed in the back yard and couldn't get up.The vet said she had a tumor on her spleen that was likely malignant. At fourteen, he didn't recommend surgery.
It took only a couple of months for her to succumb to the tumor during which she showed incredible stamina and a kind temperament. She quietly passed away in her daddy's arms at home on a Sunday morning.
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 with a black tongue, arrived on Valentine's Day 1995, weighing eighteen pounds. She learned to despise the frequent delivery trucks and consistently alerted her family to their acts of trespass.
She 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
Since that time, two of the original four have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. It never gets easier but eventually, the fond memories and happier times out-shadow the sadness and grief of their short lived time on this earth.
Buddy Lee mourned the passing of his best friend for nearly six months before he also passed away. Cookie lived on to train another newcomer, a Lab puppy who brought joy and laughter to the all-too-quiet household. He shared in the wisdom of her knowledge for nearly five years, learning the house rules and how to enforce the routine schedule of treats and feeding. Now, he's training another newcomer.
© 2009 Peg Cole