The house is so empty without her unconditional love, her snoring at night, and her incessant howling whenever a siren erupted within a 50 mile radius. I’ve become so used to knowing the time of day due to her nudging, and speaking, and wagging of her tail. At 6:30 AM and PM it was snack time, and 5:00 PM was time for her dinner. Our darling dog, Dokie, was a stickler for punctuality.
We looked at photo albums this morning, our beautiful canine and I. She rested her head on my thigh as I showed her photos of my two sons and her when they were all youngsters. Her best friend, and sometimes enemy, our beloved Jack Russell Terrier, Shaq, was Dokie’s bedmate, and the two would lie together on my son’s bed surrounded by Lego creations and books. Another photograph showed the two dogs dressed proudly in Laker t-shirts with the boys standing, smiling beside their four legged friends.
When we moved from the city to our new home up the coast, Dokie took one look at the half acre that was hers to parole and diligently went to work as protector of our household. I’ve never felt fearful of intruders, even though her bark was worse than her bite. Unlike her sister, Shaq, who saved us from a fire in our yard, another up the street, and many a salesman, the German Shepherd loyalty part of Dokie’s muttigree shone through – she was a love.
We’ve lost both of our dogs in the past eighteen months. Their lives were entwined through our children’s youth, teen years, and as they’ve grown into young men. I like to believe that it’s been through the love of our dogs, where our boys learned the importance of commitment and devotion, and of course, unconditional love.
Our family was not together in the house today when Dokie passed. It was just our angel of a vet and her nurse, me and Dokie. But our family’s love came through loud and strong as our lady departed this earth. There is nothing like the love and joy our pets give us throughout their lives and there is nothing like the sadness we feel when it’s their time to leave us. Goodnight, sweet, Dokie, go fly with your sister…