Photos and thoughts; Cars; 1950s; 1960s

Do dogs smile?

with 11 comments

Maybe this is a question that can only be answered by folks who own a dog.  I’ll bet if you are a “cat person” you might ask a similar question about felines.  Either way, if you think about the question and why anyone would ask it, it’s probably because you and your pet had moments of joy when you actually thought your dog was laughing (or at least snickering).

Just as anyone who lives in a family environment, there are times of laughter and joy, times of sadness and sorrow, times of stress and anxiety, times of mirth and celebration.  It all comes from living as a family and experiencing what families feel.

Right now I’m full of sadness.  My collie Sadie passed away today at nine and a half years old.  She was suffering from pancreatic cancer.  The last four days were full of caring, sleeplessness, pampering, petting, a little bit of anger, crying, more and more petting, giving solace, and finally giving in to the ultimate care a dog owner can give – to let them go lovingly and painlessly.

I love dogs!  I always have.  They bring joy and life into a household.

Six years ago I met Sadie when we were looking for a house to buy.  When my wife and I got to he house of what is now our current residence, there was a note taped to the front door indicating that there was “a very friendly dog out back on the Lanai, and let her in as you leave”.

We and the Realtor looked over the house for a bit, but when I stepped out back to check out the lanai and the pool area, I found the friendly dog.  A tri-color rough collie, tongue out and smiling.  I went out into the yard, checked things out – stuff home-buyers usually do and the she came up to me with a flippy-flopper in her teeth – and asking me to “play”.

I didn’t know her name at the time, but she dropped the flippy-flopper by my feet, and spun around a couple of times (smiling) and begging me to play.  I took up the game, and tossed the disc across the yard.  She – bolted across the lawn – leaping about three feet into the air and snapped the flopper in mid air!  I thought it was pretty cool.

We spent about forty minutes looking at the house and it’s features.   I spent twenty minutes of that time playing Flippy Flopper – and getting pulled into a man-dog relationship.

That evening we decided we wanted to buy the house so we asked our Realtor to draw up the offer to buy – and just kidding mind you, I said ” and throw in the dog with the offer – just write it in on the margin of the form!”

The Realtor didn’t actually do that, but about a month into the house buying process, we had an opportunity to go through the house once again, and look things over in greater detail.  Actually, I think it was on the inspection day.  The owners and Sadie were there and as I was getting information and advice from the inspector, the owner said to me:  “So I hear you’d like to have Sadie with the house”.  I was a bit shocked, but I said “I’d fallen in love with her on our first visit”.  I looked down at Sadie – panting in front of me – she smiled!  As time got closer to the closing date – we made arrangements for Sadie to say at the house as the previous owner left, and we’d see her in just a few hours as we stared to move in. 

A month or two after moving in, we had visits from my sisters in Connecticut.  They all had a chance to meet Sadie and she invoked whatever dog-magic she could and my sisters and families fell in love with her.  My younger sister is a real dog-lover – and I think Sadie knew it.  Sadie tried to crawl under her bed in the guest room to spend the night – we all laughed at her cunning move to sleep in with my sister. But that was Sadie – she was a smarty. Do dogs smile?  I’m sure they grin.

Do dogs cry?  Yes, they do.  Whenever I was upset or angry, she’d come to me, whimper and put a paw up on my leg and try to console me.  Sadie was afraid of thunder and lightning – she’d yelp and crawl on us to escape the bad storms.

Do dogs love children?  Yes, they do.  Although Sadie never had pups of her own, every time a new baby came into our family, she greeted it with love and tenderness.  As the little ones grew, they’d all want to play flippy-flopper with her – and kids and Sadie running as a pack across the back lawn – all with smiles on their faces.

Everyday for the last six years Sadie has seen me off to work in the early morning and welcomed me back in the evening. I’d scratch behind her ears and rough up her coat and kiss her snout.  (My wife asked me why I didn’t give her the treatment == I said “grow a long snout and a black nose, lick my face and your wish will come true 😉 ).  I hope you get the humor!

We literally said good bye and hello to her every time we left the house and came back.  We used to ask her if she “had any friends over while we were gone – that’s not allowed you know!”

Over the last six weeks we finally came to understand that she suffered from pancreatic cancer.  We made trips to the vet looking for the cause of her failing health.  A blood test showed an irregularity with her pancreas, and so this weekend it all came to an end.

We spent these last days trying to get her to eat.  She gave up on canned or dry dog food, and only liked boiled chicken breast.  They Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, she didn’t even want that.  All I could do is feed her ice chips, cool water, and try to keep her body cool.  Sunday she couldn’t walk anymore, and I’d have to pick her up to try and get her outside to pee – and then that stopped too.

We called the vet at 8:00 AM sharp this morning, but they were completely booked until noon today.  We put her in the back of the SUV and got to the vet just before noon.  We had to have a stretcher in order to get her into the vets exam room.  We all decided it was best to gently and lovingly let her go to Rainbow Bridge.

As the doctor administer the drug, we gently petted, and kissed her good bye – at 12:49 PM she passed on to what I hope is dog heaven – where all the dogs are smiling.

She’s smiling at Rainbow Bridge!
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. Her bright eyes are intent; Her eager body quivers. Suddenly she begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, her legs carrying her faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Written by sorrentolens

July 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm

11 Responses

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  1. dad,

    i’m so sorry for your loss; sadie was truly a part of the family, and it was incredibly clear that she was meant to be a part of your life, and that you (and mom) loved her very much. this was a really touching tribute to her; i’m sitting here shedding a tear for her too. do you think you’ll still plant a tree in her honor?

    take care of yourself, okay? we love you very much.

    rest in peace, dear sadie.

    love, tricia, peter and poppy


    July 11, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    • Right after we left the vet’s office, we purchased a gardenia bush – and planted it in the yard in the spot she loved to lay and watch the horses. I wanted a gardenia because of it beautiful scent. It will always remind me of Sadie.


      July 11, 2011 at 7:07 pm

  2. Paul that was the most beautiful tribute to a beautiful Sadie. There is a dog heaven and she is in a peaceful place to rest.
    Thinking of you


    July 11, 2011 at 7:56 pm

  3. Paul,
    Sadie was not just your dog, you were her human. You were meant to be together. You were lucky she was in your life, just as she was lucky to have you. She had a GREAT life and is now running, jumping and playing flippy floppy all day long, all the while wearing that “dog smile.”
    Dogs do smile for sure!
    Hang in there.


    Mark Kuczynski

    July 11, 2011 at 7:56 pm

  4. Hi Paul
    I am totally sure that all the dogs are in a happy place – chasing balls and eating and playing and drooling and doing all those fabulous dog things. And, of course dogs smile! And dogs bring us so much joy and help us remember who we REALLY are.
    I love the story about how you got Sadie and what a lucky dog she was to have found you to buy that house!


    July 11, 2011 at 7:59 pm

  5. Paul and Donna,
    So Sorry to hear about Sadie. Sweet Sadie, If love could have saved you….you would have lived
    forever. Be happy in heaven doing all things that dogs do.

    Mary Ann

    Mary Ann

    July 12, 2011 at 10:47 am

  6. Hey Paul,

    Nicholas read the story of Sadie. He’s satisfied he’ll be well taken care of:) Hope y’all had a safe and uneventful trip. We’d love to see pictures as he grows.



    July 16, 2011 at 2:46 pm

  7. What a wonderful tribute to your friend and loyal companion. Each morning I hug up my little shih-tzu, Moppet, and tell him it is wonderful we can start a brand new day together. Just like you, I’ve lost such a great pet as Sadie. It hurts so terribly bad. When I was but a child and lost such a pet, my father told me time is what it will take to get over the loss. Time indeed eased the pain, but not the realization of the cost of having such a loving best pal ever. The cost of having a great dog is grief for unconditional love is so short lived. Only if humans could learn to love, trust, and become as loyal as Sadie was, we would be living in paradise right now. Hang in there my friend.

    Preston Surface

    July 17, 2011 at 6:43 am

  8. This is a fitting tribute to your dear Sadie. She sounds like a wonderful dog, and I am sorry you lost her so young. It sounds trite, but it’s a reminder that we should treat each day, and every creature, with the respect and care it deserves.

    Danny Isaacs

    August 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm

  9. Dogs definitely smile. We are so sorry to learn of your loss. Just lost a good friend of our own this summer. Thank you for the wonderful post.

    Jennings & Gates

    September 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm

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