Monday, April 29, 2013

Man's Best Friend ~ My Column from Sunay

Jilda and I’ve never had kids, but we’ve always had dogs. We’ve had as many as seven mutts in our yard at one time. Most of them were “throw-aways” that no one else wanted. 

These days we only have two dogs and they’re spoiled worse than most grandchildren.

Caillou is a collie that came to live with us last year, and Ol’ Buddy is a mutt we inherited from my mother-in-law Ruby when she fell and broke her hip. He’s old enough to be Methuselah’s Grandpa.

Both are great dogs with unique personalities, but when Jilda and I prepare to go out of town, they get “all snarkyfied.”

They know something’s up when we pull our suitcases out. Last week we were scheduled to play at a singer/songwriter event in Columbus, Georgia, and rather than drive home late at night after the gig, we decided to book a room.

Caillou had been outside but rushed in immediately when he heard the wheels of Jilda’s suitcase rolling across our pine floor. 

She left the suitcase open and went to the laundry room to fetch a few things and when she came back, the 80-pound collie was sitting in her suitcase.

She tried to coax him out, but he wouldn’t budge. It was almost as if he were saying, “You’re not going anywhere without me, missy.” 

I had to pull him out of the suitcase by his collar. He was not a happy K-9.

He is a beautiful animal. He’s particular — some would go as far as to call him prissy in the way he steps gingerly around mud puddles to keep from getting dirty after a rain.

But when I pulled him out of that suitcase, he shot outside through the doggie door and went under the laundry room through the crawlspace. 

The ground is an inch thick in red-clay dust. When he finally came out, he looked as if he’d been rolling in Nestles Cocoa.

Just before we left, we called them in to say goodbye and the collie was aloof. He acted as if he wouldn’t care if we were abducted by pulpwood cutters and tossed into a wood chipper.

Ol’ Buddy hopped up on the couch and looked at us with pain in his eyes.

They didn’t eat while we were gone. I can imagine the conversation they had with each other:

"I'm not eating," says Caillou.

Ol’ Buddy says, "We'll show ‘em, just wait until they see my ribs poking through my side like the child of a refugee."

While we were gone, they pulled all the throws and pillows off our couch and left them in the middle of the floor.

Both the garbage cans in our bathrooms had been turned over and the tissue was scattered like it had been blown from a confetti machine.

But once we walked in the door, they were thrilled to see us. Within seconds, the abandonment issue was forgotten, and they both just wanted to crawl up on our laps.

We've made arrangements for our niece to housesit with them when we go on our cruise this summer. Even so, I hate to think of what they’ll do to the place while we’re gone.


  1. Their unconditional love is amazing. They have so much to teach us! I miss having a dog in my life... lovely post.

  2. We don't have kids either, and like you we've always had dogs...and cats. I couldn't imagine life without them!

  3. I'm a dog man. Still waiting for the book.

  4. Oh my Rick that is too funny... wow... doggies can be a handful too... I have only had children and cats :)

  5. Awwwwwwwww pets really miss their humans when the humans go off somewhere longer than 5 minutes! Yes they do!! LOL!! Caillou and Ol Buddy are just adorable! Take care

  6. I love dogs. Growing up we had a very smart poodle/chihuahua mix...I know...That dog just loved my mom, and every time she'd leave him he'd prance across her side of the bed (forbidden territory) or pull something out that was just hers and chew it up. She had to start throwing him outside when she left. Not that it was cruel - it was Southern California!

  7. Oh, poor babies! We know just how you feel, all of you, my dogs and I. I think all dogs hate suitcases but I've never known a dog to climb in one. Now our cats, yes, even open ones that our guests have. That really goes over well.

    Ah, but the welcome home! Isn't that really why we have dogs, because of that welcome we get when we walk in the door?

  8. Funny story!!! thanks for the laugh :)

  9. Aw they know everything these dogs. lol
    I hate to leave dogs behind but then you have to worry and drag them around and people are all funny. Some like dogs some don't. I think the best place is home where they know what's up.
    Hard to get a good sitter who would love and understand them though.


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