I was going through some old photos today and came across this one. The poem is set to a 60’s some by the Troggs. The song is called “Love is All Around”.
The photo was taken in 1993 in my back yard.
I read an article on Buzzfeed.com entitled “10 Heroic Dogs that will leave you in Awe” http://bit.ly/1emuFSc And as the subtitle says: These incredible dogs will shock you with their selflessness. Their stories will truly amaze you.
Over the years I’ve read about a lot of dogs who either wake the family at night to warn of fires, bark at burglars, and even warn their owner about pending earthquakes.
Well, I too have a story of a dog who saved a life. Or at least extended it quite a bit.
This is a story about a little spotted dog (a Dalmatian) who was adopted at 8 1/2 weeks old. It was the cutest little thing, and it was so small and helpless when it started it new life in the city. It had no idea what it was doing or what was expected of it.
It learned quickly, and the dog and owner bonded almost instantly. The puppy seamed to be insightful even though it always wanted to romp and play. It loved to go outside and run in the yard but it was never to far away from it’s owner. If the owner walked out of the play area or toward the house, the pup would drop what it was doing and run toward him to make sure he didn’t loose sight of him.
Before long, the pup was getting restless and the back yard wasn’t giving this little guy enough physical or mental exercise. It was time to go for walks in the neighborhood.
After a week or two of leash training it was time to go exploring. The little guy was more than ready to go and with a extra high energy level he would prove to be a handful on occasion. The first few blocks were always a bit of a challenge. All of the new smells were overwelming and the excitement was more than the pup could take.
But that wasn’t the biggest problem!
The biggest problem was that the owner was a 2 1/2 pack a day smoker. By the time the two had covered about a 1/2 mile the owner was “hands on knees” gasping for air and had to stop frequently to catch some breath. Most of the time they stopped and sat on the curb and the pup would crawl up in the owners lap and lick the owners face as to say: “are you alright”… or … “what’s your problem, we just got started here”.
It was evident very shortly that something had to change. One of two things had to go! It was the cigarettes or the dog!
Well, the dog was cute, the dog was cuddly and dog was a great addition to the family. It also barked and kept strangers away. It also only cost about $1.00 a day to keep and at that time the cigarettes were about $4.00 a day. The clincher was that the dog was better for the long term health.
The dog’s name was Chip … and I was his owner! His love of the outdoors and his love of “the walk” led me to stop smoking and I have now been smoke free for 21 years. Chip has been gone since 2007 but he was my four-footed little brother for 15 1/2 years. He kept me going and helped me with a lot of things in my life. I will always be indebted to him for that!
As most of you long time visitors know, I designed and built a memorial garden for my Dalmatian Chip after his passing in 2007. Then Last year I added on to it after Neka unexpectedly passed away.
This past weekend I finished planting the 2012 Garden. This year the color for the garden will be provided by Snapdragons, Pansys, Alssum and Marigolds. I have also added a silver mound. I filled the greek urn in Neka’s area with a mix of Diantus. More color will be provided later in the summer by two Stonecrop plants.
Visit the Dogomine Memorial Garden to see the Photos. More will be added later when the flowers are in full bloom.
I wasn’t meant to walk alone, It wasn’t in His plan.
A friend he sent to earth one day, a wondrous little man.
We went through life together, my little buddy jumped and played.
We learned about each other, and ourselves through life each day.
From puppy-hood to golden years, his time still way to short,
the blessings that he gave, came from friendship and support.
One day he had to leave me, God called him to come home.
I miss and think about him, but I know I’m not alone.
As Man’s Best Friend turned Angel, he still watches over me.
His spirit lives with me. His voice the wind up in the trees.
I feel him at my side, I know he’s standing there.
I know deep in my heart, he was the answer to my prayers.
His days now filled with fun and sun, he waits around the bridge.
While another came to walk with me, to continue my voyage.
She was just as great in different ways, but many ways the same.
She only lived to please me, had no cares of cash or fame.
Her time with me was short, but as full as it could be.
I learned a lot from her, and she learned a lot from me.
She went to heaven way to soon, suddenly one day,
Now she’s with the others as they run and laugh and play.
Another angel got her wings, and now watches over me.
Together giving guidance, they allow my mind to see.
Today there’s yet another soul that knows my love so true,
I’ll give her everything she needs to be as good as two.
I’ll give her love and guidance ‘til she gets her set of wings.
She’ll always get the things she needs, happy life and everything.
When life is full of troubled times, and has me on my knees.
I know she’ll always be right there to calm and comfort me.
I can’t touch or hold my angels, like I would like to do.
But until that time comes again, her love now pulls me through.
Copyright 2011 – Michael Albee – All Rights Reserved
With Fall in the air and the overnight temperatures dropping into the low 40’s and high 30’s the gardening season is pretty much over for the year. But I thought that I’d share a few photos of this year’s memorial garden.
With the passing of Neka this spring, and some major wind damage shortly thereafter, her section still hadn’t filled in when these pix were taken. But you get the Idea.
Photo #1 is the Memorial Garden for Chip (my best friend for over 15 years).
Photo #2 is Neka’s Garden. She was only with us for 4 years, but in that short time she became a very special member of the family.
The “Dog-o-Mine Memorial Garden” has been created as a way to preserve their memory and to show just how much they meant to us when they were here with us.
For more information (and more pictures) you can visit the Dog-o-Mine Memorial Garden page at: http://www.albeedigital.com/memorial_garden/