Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Farewell to Smokey

I've sat down numerous times to type this blog entry. I gave up each time when I couldn't seem to find the words. How do you say goodbye to a dog? A dog that was like a furry child to me. I still don't know, but I'm going to try.

We adopted Smokey 2 years ago. He was 7 months old and every bit a puppy. He was not always a good dog. We went through the normal puppy things like chewing, accidents, etc. There were many times I just wanted to take him back to the Kentucky Humane Society, but I made the commitment to Smokey and I do not take that lightly. Like I said, my dogs are like children to me...and you can't just "give them back."

In the past few months, Smokey had gotten so much better. He was good about telling you when he wanted to go outside, reminding you that it was time to eat, and he didn't stray too far from us....unless he was after a squirrel....or a cat....or basically any small creature. He was a tremendous running buddy. I never felt unsafe when I was running with my Smoke Dog. He would take down other dogs and I'm sure he would go after shady people too, but I haven't had any problems. In fact, Smokey could care less about other people....and generally didn't care if people were walking in front of our house...but there were times he would go ballistic about people around our house. And I would get kind of a weird feeling about them too. I think Smokey was a good judge of character. I don't think dogs "profile."

He really was a good dog.

That all ended this past weekend while we were in Tennessee for a visit. I had gone in the house to give James a bath and put him to bed. I let Smokey and Shelby out to do their business. It was dark and Michael was working on the horse trailer at my parents' house across the road. So, naturally, the dogs went over there. I was going to let them back in once I got James out of the bath, but before I got done with him, I heard very loud, very hectic barking...not Smokey's normal bark. I went to go let them in and saw Michael laying Smokey down on the carport. He said he had been hit by a truck. I got a phone and started calling our vet's emergency number, but Smokey was gone before I could get a hold of the on call vet. The truck was probably going 60 mph in front of the house...way too fast. And they didn't even stop. I think it's common courtesy to stop. You don't hit a 35 lb dog and not know something happened. But that's neither here nor there. 
We buried Smokey out back next to Chloe. I still can't believe he's gone.

He was very close with Joseph and it was very hard to explain it to him. I have always been very straight forward when it comes to death. He cried a bit. I don't know that he fully gets that Smokey isn't coming back. He has spent this week in Tennessee so I don't know where he is on the situation. I wasn't much older than him when our family dog, Belle, had to be put down. I remember it being hard, but I handled it ok. I sometimes think we don't give kids enough credit.

Shelby seems to be doing fine with it. We are having trouble getting him to eat just like we did before we got Smokey. He doesn't do as well running either without Smokey to pull him along.

I will miss Smokey. I have cried over him even when I thought I was done crying. I cried when I put up his crate and vacuumed all his hair up. I cried when I washed his bed. I cried when I read an article about a dog running a half marathon by himself. I cried when I took Shelby for a walk and realized it was the first time in 2 years that I have only walked one dog. I cried when someone emailed me a listing for a dog that needed to be adopted (WHO DOES THAT?! I'm in mourning...I don't want another dog just yet....I'll get one later, but I need some time). And I am crying now as I write this.

I'm going to leave this with some pictures of Smokey....I don't have many....he was very camera shy.

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