In Memory of Those Who Have Gone To The Bridge
In memory of Red, the one who started it all.
This is the way it all started, way back in 1982. Red came to us when we lived on the lake. That was sometime in January, we don't remember the exact day. She was seen at a neighbors house by my wife when she went to work one morning. When she came home that day the dog followed her down the drive to the house. Can you guess the rest? The following articles are not in chronological order.
Today I have the sad task of writing about one of our beloved animals. She was the patriarch of our dog family. Red died sometime Monday night Jan. 9 1995. We had been expecting it for the last few months, but it was still awfully hard to deal with. You see Red had been with us for 13 years. Ol' Red we think was 15 years old. During that time she gave us lots of pups. None of which we wanted, at first.
Blackie, Brandy and Buster were from Red's last litter. Sparkey was a litter of one. Buster was the first to go 8 years ago. We don't know what killed him , it wasn't natural. He was about 4 years old. Sparkey was next, he was almost 10. Then Blackie less 2 years later. Then this year Red.
Now that leaves Brandy. She has seen all her family die and be buried here in the backyard by me and my wife. She laid near Sparkey's head and watched me dig Red's grave and you could see it in her eyes, she knew what was going on. So did Max, he was laying at Blackie's head and he knew to, because he was there when the two old boys were buried. In less than four years he lost three of his new adopted family.
We will keep remembering them all, and love the ones we have left. Brandy is the Old Girl now, and Max and Sambo will have to share a title of The Boys. Sabrena is in a class by herself, The Fat Cat. We love them all.
RED WE MISS YOU
1/82 She came to us. ----Died 1/9/1995
I started trying to write something for Sparkey the same day he died, and the following tribute took me two weeks, of trying every day to write. Short as it is, it's awfully hard to write when you can't see for all the tears.
Sometimes you never really know how much you really care about an animal till you lose one. We lost our old friend Sparkey last week. He was nine and a half years old. He died with myself and my wife by his side, down in the woods behind our house with his brothers and sister close by. We don't know what was the actual cause, but I can say with all honesty that we all miss him very, very much.
Sparkey was a mixed breed, but there could never be a pure breed dog that could ever mean as much to us as he did. He was the fastest dog, the meanest dog, when he had to be, and a very loving dog all the time. All our dogs loved my wife more than me and would come to meet her when she would come home. Most of the time, even in the rain, it would be Sparkey that would come to meet me when the others were not to be seen.
I feel guilty about the way I treated him sometimes. I never abused him but I could have paid him a little more attention than I did, but now it's too late.
SPARKEY I MISS YOU
Born 1/28/1983 -- Died 7/22/1992
I have written something after each one of our friends died and will put it on their respective pages. If it takes me as long this time as it did then, it may be a while before I get this finished.
Today is Nov. 20 1993 and it is a beautiful, but sad day at our house. My wife and I buried our old friend Blackie this morning. He had been missing for two days and we were really concerned about him because it wasn't like Blackie to disappear like that. I found him this morning as I was coming back to the house from getting the paper. I saw something dark in the edge of the woods behind our house, it was Blackie. Blackie was laying in the woods about fifty feet from where his brother Sparkey had been laying when he died last July. He was in a spot where he would lay sometimes. What he died from we do not know. All I know is we were not with him, like we were with Sparkey, but it did not make it any easier to handle. Blackie was a mixed breed dog that looked like a Lab. He was big, he weighed around 70 pounds, very gentle and very loving. We loved him very much, and we miss him very much.
Blackie was one of the last litter of pups that Red Girl had. She had nine pups and by the time we managed to find homes for the first six, we had became too attached to the last three to let them go. The three we kept were Blackie, Buster and Brandy.
BLACKIE WE MISS YOU
Born 4/6/1984 --Died 11/20/1993
Buster was one of the three pups of Red's last litter that we kept. He was a black and tan boy that that looked a lot like a hound. He was a fine dog that liked to run through the pastures with his nose to the ground, trailing who knows what. I never saw him catch anything, but with the Pack all running, what ever they were after couldn't slow down much. If it did, it was all over.
Buster took missing one day, something they did from time to time. This was before we understood how much better it was for them to be neutered. This time he was gone a lot longer than ever before. Usually the three boys would leave together to go "girling", but Blackie and Buster would come back home the same day. Sparkey was the "Alpha Male", and his rank always sent the others home. This time Buster was gone too long. We wondered if something was wrong. Blackie came back, but no Buster. Then Sparkey came home a few days later, still no Buster.
I spotted him on the side of the road one day as I was headed home from work. He was dead. He had not been there that morning. His collar was missing, and the poor boy was in bad shape. He had been dead for some time. Aparently someone had him penned up, and then dumped him, by the road where I was sure to find him.
I went back and picked him up, put him in the back of the truck, then Buster came home for the last time. I pulled the truck down near the back of the woodshed where I dug a place for him. I wrapped him in an old sheet and placed him in the grave and covered him. The rest of his family all gathered around to say their "Good-Byes".
He slept alone, behind that old shed, untill it was torn down. He was then joined by his brother Sparkey, then Blackie, then his mother, Ol' Red. Now the only one of his Pack left alive is his sister Brandy. His place started the Family cemetery. It is underneath two wild cherry trees, with two dogwoods and several big oak trees nearby.
We never could find out what happened to him or who did it to him. It is still a mystery to us, even untill today. If we had only known then...............what we know now.
Buster we miss you.
Born 4/6/84 --- Died Fall 1987