Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Do All Dogs Go to Heaven?

Sometime between last night and this morning, our nearly 17-year-old family dog, Gordo, died. I'm not sure if I've talked about him here before, but he was such a major part of our family for so long...
When I was 9 mom and dad decided to get a dog (we had one before, but had given her to some friends who had a large yard for her to run--she was a very hyper dog). Dad really wanted a Bassett hound, and mom would be happy with whatever dad wanted. So, we went to this house somewhere in Gulfport where they had advertised "full blooded" bassett hounds for sale. Now I did see a momma bassett hound and a male bassett hound, but I swear the puppies we saw had to have some beagle in them, or something! I remember all the little puppies running around, chasing momma, biting each other's tails, and doing all things adorable for attention. Dad would point to one and say, "What about that one?" Or, "Oh, that one is cute!" But, mom wasn't really interested. She just stood back a little with her hands on her hips eye-balling the rambunctious little troupe. Finally, she saw him. The shy little guy who was hiding under the porch bench--with just his nose and paws sticking out, "I want that one!" We took the little guy home and never looked back.
For a kid who had always considered herself a cat person, I was utterly in love with him. My friends and I would set up obstacle courses for him and on long road trips (driving cross-country in the back of a truck--with camper shell) I would set up a separate "bed" for him and make sure that he had snacks and water when I did. He was always friendly with our cats and even tried to "nurse" one litter when their momma was out on the "hunt."
One summer, when my family went on vacation to New Mexico, we left Gordo at home and R to "babysit." On their 3rd day, R was walking him down the street from our house when he was stung or bit by something. R called us in a panic because his eyebrow area had swollen up and covered his eye. R rushed him to the vet where the wound was drained and he was given steroids and antibiotics. He recovered quickly, but kept the scar above his eye that made him look like a pirate.
In his early years, you could convince him to do anything for a piece of cheese. As he got older, the tricks got smaller and the cheese got bigger. Around 10, he began to show signs of arthritis. But half an aspirin and a night indoors always eased his pains. At 11 or 12 the vet diagnosed cataracts. By 14 or 15 he was nearly deaf. But, he hung in there. Once my family moved to New Mexico, mom and dad always kept the thought that, "I hope he makes it through this one last winter." And, for 6 winters he did.
Now he's gone. My little sister, whose 3rd or 4th word was "bobo" (Gordo) will be sad. Our other dog, Pinta (11) will be sad. Everyone who knew him will be sad. But, I know he's finally comfortable and happy again. I love you Gordo!


At 7:01 PM, Blogger JustRun 's valuable input...

Sorry to hear about your puppy. When my childhood dog died, it was really tough. Maybe not for the dog only, but for all the memories, too. I think they must all go to heaven though- it seems right.

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Mon 's valuable input...

ahhh, sorry to read that, i think its the hardest thing to go through. I think they all come back as other pets. it makes me happy to think that.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger dr. zombieswan 's valuable input...

Oh, I'm sorry he's gone! Yes, in answer to your question.

All dogs go to doggy heaven, where there are bones to chew and bushes to sniff and cats to chase (the cats sign up for the duty... they find it fun).


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