She Was a Good Ol’ Dog   8 comments

Kelly died today.

She was,  near as we could tell, around 13.

The official  diagnosis was a splenetic tumor.

Toward the end she could barely stand up…and even lay down.  I had to help her down the stairs and carry her back up…and she wasn’t a little dog.

Kelly was with me at my moskellyt recent performance…a Songwriters in Seattle showcase at the Couth Buzzard.  When I took my place to sing, she struggled to her feet from the table where we had been sitting and joined me.  She lay down at my feet and heard, once again, how she had, shortly after we selected her from the pound,  inspired me to write and perform songs again.  My first new song was, appropriately, “Life Goes Better With a Dog!”

She sat patiently through the entire set, waiting for the finale…the second song I wrote for her, “She’s a Good Ol’ Dog.”  It chronicled her aging and deteriorating condition.

“I see her getting older
There’s things she just can’t do
She takes the stairs now one-by-one
Instead of two by two…”

She was an adult dog when we got her.  My daughter found her sharing a cell in the back of the pound with a fellow inmate.  We took her to the play area and put her through her paces.  She aced the audition…fetching…coming…sitting…etc…most of which she conveniently forgot how to do after we took her home.

She had a variety of health issues including chronic yeast growths in her ears and privates.  I regularly had to flush the ears and apply ointment to all infected areas.  Her baths required medicated shampoo, which had to remain on her at least 10 minutes before rinsing.  It was the time she would invariably exact her revenge for the indignity by shaking off the soap and water all in my direction.  Her favorite part came after the rinsing and another vigorous shaking…when I would swaddle her in the towels and vainly attempt to dry her.  That took the better half of the day and lots of sunshine…in Seattle!

In addition to the family, Kelly had Murphy, my wife’s little fluffy white fellow-pound refugee.  Murphy was much younger and, being a little fluffy thing, more energetic.  He compelled Kelly to play…he kept her young…until she was suddenly old. This morning, as the time for the vet appointment was passing, Murphy did not eat.  Not even a piece of apple.  He can hear an apple being sliced in the next county and be underfoot begging quicker’n you can say “Yo, Rinny!”  Not today.

So, today, we took Kelly to a new vet, for a second opinion.  After his examination he basically  confirmed the original diagnosis.  The splenetic tumor, with internal bleeding.  Our choice was to take her home…and watch her get progressively worse…with painful complications, or let her go.  We were with her until the end.  The vet sedated her before administering the final injection.  So, she really did just go to sleep.  She was at peace.

The tears are flowing even as I write this.

I miss my dog

Tacoma Occupy-GK-Kelly2.Tacoma-Occupy-Kelly

“She’s a good ol’ dog
She’s a good ol’ dog
When she’s with me I never feel alone
She’s a good ol’ dog
She’s a good ol’ dog
Best damn friend I think I’ve ever known.
She’s a good ol’ dog…”

Posted May 11, 2013 by garykanter in Uncategorized

8 responses to “She Was a Good Ol’ Dog

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  1. So sorry. I know you will miss her. Your house will feel emty now with just one pup. How is Murphy doing? Love ya, Peggy

  2. Gary, it is so hard to hear of another friend losing their beloved dog, or cat. I am very sorry for your loss. She is feeling much better now and I am sure you did the right thing. I hope you can take some time off to process this and mourn your best friend. I am glad I got to meet her a few times. A sweetheart.

  3. Thanks, Peggy and Sally…she was special. So are you two!

  4. I am weeping with you, My Friend, making it VERY hard to type!!!
    THANK YOU SO MUCH for giving her SO MUCH LOVE and CARE!!!
    You made her life as wonderful as she made YOURS!!
    I just lost My Brother, Dave, a couple of weeks ago, after caring for him for about 9 months, because he had Parkinson’s, and that was sad… but I KNOW I’m going to be DESTROYED when I lose My Ivan Boy…except that’s NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN!!! LA-LA-LA-LA…I CAN’T HEAR YOU, REALITY!!!
    We will always remember Kelly, especially since you honored her memory with such a WONDERFUL Song!!!
    Come on over ANY TIME you need a Canine Fix…we’re doing LOTS of Dog Sitting, these days, and there’s PLENTY of LOVE to go around for EVERYONE!!!
    I’ve got to go spend time with My Kids, now…
    Much Love, My Dear ❤

    pamela suzanne burdwell
  5. Thanks for sending me the link. So sorry about your pooch. We have our first dog now for about 6 years and it is amazing how close you can get to them. Enjoyed your She was a good old dog song.
    Alan Molofsky

    • Thanks, Al,

      I got my first dog in 1973, when I was living on Prince Edward Island in the Canadian Maritimes. He was born in the house I was living in. I had known his grandfather in California…long story. We came across Canada together and then Seattle. He died a year later from a respiratory illness. Mary and I got a pup a year before we had our first child. Her stepfather said we were too immature and irresponsible to raise it. She half-raised our kids before we lost her. Then we got another pup who became our second super family dog until her own passing. That was the end of the family dog era. Sarah was out of the house. Mary got her little dog Murphy, a few months later I got Kelly. Younger daughter Carrie got a chihuahua (rodent) named Yoyo. Our kids grew up with dogs, cats, and assorted other pets. Mary grew up in a rural community in north central Washington, so she had dogs, cats, horses, etc. We missed it all in Bell Park. We’ll be in the DC area in Oct. Hope to see you then. Gary

  6. hey i remember Hornbeck… sucks that
    he had such a short life,

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