Thursday, October 20, 2011

If Love Could Have Saved you, You Would Have Lived Forever

Once upon a time, a wonderful gift was given to me—a boxer pup, the pick of the litter, and we called him Clay. He soon became the “smartest” and “most well mannered” and “prettiest” dog that ever was. In fact, we joked that he could do no wrong in Mom & Dad’s eyes. And to be honest, I guess he didn’t! Mom told me that she can still remember exactly how he looked when he was set down before her in the parking lot the day they picked him up. She called it “love at first sight” saying, “I knew he was going to be cute—but I didn’t know he’d be THIS cute!”

And he was…the cutest little thing :)


And curious…


With the biggest “little” paws you’d ever seen…

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And he would look at you with such love…even if I was away at college and only got to see him for the weekend…

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He was so special. There are so many funny stories about him that there isn’t time to write about them all. Once he was stolen, went on a float trip and ended up in Missouri at at stranger’s house. After missing nine days I think it was, Dad was trying to prepare himself for the worst, but mom was not giving up. They drove in a storm a few hours and picked up their stolen dog and brought him home. Mom had a little flag pillow about the size of my fist that hung on a door knob inside our house. He LOVED that pillow. He would go get it off the knob and literally lay his head on it. She has pictures somewhere of that! But he really didn’t belong to me you see…

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He was mom’s dog…she fed him twice a day (with a spoon a lot of times) and grew him into a 95 pound dog. She hauled him around and watched after him. He kept her company and he loved her company in return.

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And he was Dad’s dog…He rode around in the jeep with Dad, sitting up so pretty and straight. He hung out in the shop and rode to Hop Rods in Cotter on Monday nights when Dad and his brothers were working on cars. He went to the river and went on walks. He was a true loyal companion.

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When I think about it, he was actually a gift to my parents…he was there waiting on the step when I got in my car and headed back to college after the weekend. He was there waiting when their girls were grown and moved away and they had an empty nest. He was there with Mom when Dad was traveling a lot. And as Dad experienced some of the toughest days he’d ever known at work over the last several years, Clay would be right there at Dad’s feet when he got home late of an evening, exhausted and bearing a heavy load. And whether he just laid there and watched Dad build a birdhouse or sat at his feet and brought comfort, his presence was soothing. He was the perfect gift for the season of life they were in. All of these pictures in this post were in his youth. He eventually turned gray and they learned a couple of weeks ago that he had an enlarged heart. They loved on him even more in the last few days because they knew they had just a short time. I’m so thankful I got to be home last weekend and see and feel him one last time.


Last night about 10:30, he died peacefully. Mom and Dad were there with him, just like they always were. He would have been 10 next month.

Ten years of companionship. Ten years of love. Ten years of fun. Ten years he never wanted for anything. Ten years of giggles and grins and laughs that he brought us all.

He will be remembered only as the best, greatly missed and always loved.