Ode to Dolly Joe and the Gang
When we first bought property in the rural part of Dallas, we dreamed of the day we'd build our house and move from the suburbs into the country. We spent the weekends measuring out the plot where our house would stand, mowing a small area with our push lawnmower, setting up a tarp for shade and planning out our future.
What we didn't expect to find on the vacant land was a squatter; a stray dog who'd taken up residence awaiting our arrival. She came to us on Mother's Day, 1990.
We already had two dogs: one who came from the Humane Society and had lived with us for just over ten years. The second, Slick, was found one Saturday at the race track where we were competing at a drag race. He came home with us and quickly became friends with our senior dog who'd recently been treated for heartworms. We felt fortunate to have found two dogs that made such great companions.
Buckwheat made it to the advanced age of sixteen years, serving as Slick's first and best friend after he came to live at our house. His companion, Lady, was there to help him get past the loss of his oldest and best friend.
Six months later, Lady passed suddenly from a case of Ehrlichea, a disease transmitted through ticks. We were all devastated, but Slick took it the hardest. He began to suffer bouts of coughing and wheezing spells where he couldn't get his breath and sounded like a fog horn. He also demonstrated neurotic behavior, lonely from the sudden loss of his two best friends.
We were determined to find him a new friend and began searching for just the right pup.
Dolly and Slick
That Saturday morning when we went to the Humane Society, we were the first to arrive. The doors weren't even unlocked when we pulled into the parking lot and eagerly waited in the car for nine o'clock.
The night before, on my way home from work, I stopped in and looked over the dogs available for adoption. I spotted two potential candidates waiting to be chosen as his Slick's new companions. We both hoped they were still available.
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.
Have you ever had three large dogs at one time who lived in the house?
One, Two, now Three
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.
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.
Cookie came along later to add to our trio of pets, Dolly, Slick, Buddy and now Cookie, a stray found running with a gang of street dogs in the neighborhood. Rescued by our neighbor, we agreed to take her in and someone else took in her litter mate, Nicole.
And then, there were Three
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.
I'm collecting Dolly tears.
May I please have some of yours?
She was with us fourteen years.
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