All Dogs Go To Heaven

I’ve been following the saga of the severely injured Belle over at Willowtree.

It takes me back to the late eighties when we went through a nearly identical scenario with our beloved dog FreeBea.

You may have guessed by her name the price we paid for her. Nothing.

She and her adorable litter mates were sired by a black lab of questionable origin that jumped the fence. Her mom was a registered German Wire-haired Pointer. FreeBea inherited the coarse hair, but none of the wiry curls from the show dog. Her coat was a combination of brown and black, with an undercoat of brown when you brushed the wrong direction.

The following adjectives all applied to her disposition (and position) in our household: Happy, spirited, trustworthy, affectionate, and loved.

She was smart about potty training and never soiled in the house. She always squatted in a specific corner of the yard allowing for easy pooper scooping and lawn maintenance.

The same obedient nature did not apply to her chewing habit. Nothing was safe from her teething requirements – including shoes, panties, purse straps and toys. Dirty socks were a favorite target of her sniff, search, and destroy missions - especially if they were still attached to feet. We were all entertained by the daughter vs. dog dance that precipitated a FreeBea sock snatch and run.

A sleepy snuggle could be celebrated anywhere, but she favored the girls beds. They didn’t mind too much, until she pushed them off the edge.

She was very tolerant of the cats, even letting them rub against her or kneed her chest. Her eyes, however, followed every feline movement.

Unfortunately, our sweet tempered mutt was also a major klutz. There was the time that she escaped the back yard while the hubby was unloading railroad ties from the back of the truck. He didn’t see her in time and one caught her tail on its heavy drop and snapped off nearly 6 inches. Her waggy ways discouraged any healing. She ended up getting a bob.

The accident that is so burned into our memory happened one day when she followed the paper girl down the road. (Although we suspect the paper girl opened the gate and lead her.)

Fortunately, Hubby was home when the knock came on the door. A remorseful gentleman informed that he’d run over a dog- and the papergirl pointed him here.

Hubby jumped in the pick up truck and drove the two blocks to the sight. FreeBea lay on the side of the road, both front legs crushed by truck wheels in the gravel. Her tail wagged as Hubby approached and she made feeble attempts to rise.

He wrapped her in a blanket and sped away to the veterinarian, the same place that Karmyn was working part time after school.

FreeBea was lying on the table with the hubby and the medical staff attending her when Karmyn walked past the commotion.

“Oh!” she said, “that dog sure is in a bad way.”

She later said it reminded her of the scene in The Wizard of Oz, where the scarecrows arms were tattered by the witches evil monkeys.

Then she did a double take and said, “Wait a minute… THAT IS MY DOG!”

FreeBea spent many immobile days; the first week at the clinic and the next two at home, with daily appointments at the clinic for dressing changes

Being the sweet and loving creature that she was, FreeBea was always happy to see her new friends – and was very cooperative as they tended her wounds.

Finally, the mangled tissue healed enough to sustain plaster casts. Soon, she began to test her ability to shift positions.

During her convalescence it snowed about 10 inches and turned very cold.

We wrapped her legs in plastic and carried her outside for each potty break. Unfortunately, she did not want to squat near the patio. Slowly and painfully she would stiff leg her way to the far side of the yard, where she would wait for me (or whoever) to turn away for her privacy.

After completing her task she would whine and look sad until I donned my boots and retrieved her.

It took months for her to heal – as much as it was going to. Her scarred legs never bent again – and it was sadly amusing to watch her run around and do the stiff legged prance… happy once more.

She earned the nickname “Gold Dust” down at the Veterinarian’s clinic because of her propensity to get into expensive trouble.

I wish I could say she grew out of that stage. But, she didn’t.

Around the age of 11 she began acting strangely odd. We now know that she had a disease that some call doggy dementia. On her last day she escaped, Houdini style, through our six-foot fence. She was killed less than a block away from the site of the other incident.

Losing a loved pet is always distressing. But we were especially bereft, not being able to say goodbye.


katy said…
she sure sounded like an adorable girl with mischieve running straight through her.
our dogs show us how courageous they are dont they. x x
Willowtree said…
Hey back off sista! Doggy sympathy is my shtick. Get yer own scam!
fireflynights said…
It was fortunate that FreeBea recovered from the first accident. You showed a lot of caring in the way you helped her.
ChrisB said…
She sounds such a wonderful member of the family and it is always so very sad to loose a pet. You had me shedding a tear. I think you must have lost her around the same time as we lost Tamsie.
We both need tea and chat (you will see what I mean when you visit me)!
judypatooote said…
OH what a wonderful story....sad, but it proves dogs are like humans, they have feelings, and can make you so happy....your doggie was precious....I can't believe how many abused dogs the media has been talking about.... I have to turn away when they show the animals, for those big eyes looking at you, and I just want to bring them all home.... NICE POST PAMELA....judy
swampy said…
OH, Pamela! Just what I needed this morning: Sobs !
Those precioius pooches have such a way of wriggling into our hearts and their memories stay there.

This is FOR SURE a "Perfect Post." I'll be nominating you for it this weekend.
Claudia said…
sniff...poor thing!! At least she had 11happy years!!
Shelby said…
Oh I'm sniffling too. Eleven years of happy is wonderful tho. Our pets are precious souls, they really are.

In our hearts they always stay.

It's all good, except the sad. But then the memories are so special.
Rose said…
Oh Pamela I'm so sory. Sad story.
Karmyn R said…
I'm getting all weepy remembering Freebea. Dang hormones. Too bad you didn't have a picture of her running with her straight leg out.
heather said…
She's romping around with Kelly and Sidney right now. Someday, when God's ready to recreate the earth, we'll get to run with them again. Freebea will probably get to bend those legs again.
swampy said…
OK, I've tried TWICE to nominate you over at Petroville, and can't seem to make it stick.

Will try again later after a third cup of coffee.
MarmiteToasty said…
Its aways so sad and a loved pet dies.... heart wrenching.... especially if they dont die of old age...... but by illness or accident.....

Ive said when me cats go then NO MORE PETS...... but I know I wont stick to that lol

coffeypot said…
Losing a pet that has been with the family for over a decade is emotionally hard to deal with. But with doggie dementia coming on, she is better of where she is. I am beating the dementia thing, though, by refusing to do or say anything that needs to be remembered. I have'em all fooled.
Joy T. said…
Umm kleenex alert next time!!! Such a sad story but she was obviously well loved and very lucky to be in your family.
dawn said…
What a wonderful story. It is ironic that some dogs who don't have a high initial cost end up costing a lot. Ironically, they are often worth the most as well, in their love and affection and joy they bring to the family.
Sandy said…
How lucky FreeBea was to have you. And how lucky all y'all were to have her.

Thank you for sharing this.
What a beautiful tribute to your dog. What is with the dirty socks? I find socks all over the property!! I think my beloved Nikki had something like doggy dementia. (If you head south from Kennewick around Canyon Lakes golf course you will see a beautiful house that I think I helped build. The home of my veterinarian when I lived there!)
Hayden said…
heartbreaking and sweet, all at the same time.
ablondeblogger said…
Oh, poor FreeBea! Poor you!! That made me cry. :( I'm so sorry you had to lose her that way. She was blessed to have such a loving family.
Gattina said…
Oh that was such a nice story to read with my morning coffee ! What a dog ! She really was very special. It's sad that she had this disease. You know it also exists with cats I just have the case with my Lisa. She yowled during the whole night and also behaved strange, until I took her to the vet and she now gets a "happy pill" and is back to normal. I never thought that animals can get this too !
Thanks for the good advice what to do with the rests of our toxic roof, lol ! Very good idea !!
Kelly - PTT said…
Pamela - your animal posts are always so special. I've been meaning to write about my various animals for the past two years - and not really ever gotten to it. Great read.

Hey, it's my birthday today if you want to stop by;)
swampy said…
Hey Darlin'...thanks for leaving the words of encouragement for Jordan at the Tailhook Daily Briefing Blog...feel free to use that link to share the news if you wish.
BarnGoddess said…
what a story! she sounds like she was an excellent family dog....sorry you lost her the way you did. we still miss Elivs
Susie said…
Hi Pamela,
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story of your beloved pet. She sounds as though she was just a delightful and loving addition to your family.
As with any family member, goodbyes are never easy, but I'm very sure she's in a better place free from all pain..
M@ said…
Is that a photo of Karmen?
debbiemomof2 said…
Wow, Pam. :( Very sad and heart wrenching story. Poor little FreeBea. I'm glad that she was so loved by you guys, though, during her time here.
As a youngster I enjoyed my pets but living on a farm I never really got that attached to them. Later in life we had a small dog that lived with us for 17 years and I must admit I truly miss him. Every now and again we find ourselves looking for him. There better be dogs in heaven. Cats too, since ours also lived 17 years and the dog was the one who picked him out of the litter. They were the best of buddies. Thanks for the story.
C said…
I am sorry for your old loss - I lost a black lab that my parents had to put down when he was hit by a car and paralyzed. We could not afford to tend to a disabled pet nor did my parents think it was a fit life for a dog. My heart still aches when I think of him.
kitten said…
That is a sad, but sweet story. I guess we all have our stories of our beautiful pets.
Sometimes the Gold Dust FreeBea's are worth all the tears, headaches, expense and angst. To see such a happy creature and share a short time with it makes you love and appreciate more. I have two dogs that are Gold Dust dogs and I would not trade them for anything :-) Glad FreeBea had a family who appreciated her!
Jenni said…
This post made me cry! I'm so glad that first gentleman had the decency to find her owners instead of leaving her out on the road wounded that way.
Goodness. Now I'm all teary.
sirdar said…
Great story about a loved pet. I've had many dogs in the past and they eventually meet their demise. Some sooner than they should, some later than they should.
Susie Q said…
Now I am sitting here a mess. Okay, so what else is new but this time I am sobbing for your sweet girl and my lost fur babies and all those sweet pets who have gone one before us.
This was a wonderfully written story.
You have such a way with never fail to impress me.


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