Our dog Smokey

Can’t sleep again, so thought I would write about the favorite dog in my life. We lived across the street from a large family of girls. The oldest one worked at a recreation center for the city park service.  A Volkswagen drove by the rec center and threw out a box of puppies and drove on.  Our neighbor brought one home but her mom said she couldn’t keep it.  The girl brought him over to our house.  This little pup had huge paws and melted our hearts immediately.  By the time my husband came home from work, it was too late for him to say no.  He also fell for this little German Shepard who we found out later, was part wolf.  

He grew and grew!  He was so lovable, the neighbors all liked him, as he hung over our chain link dividers to be petted.  He never jumped the fence although he could have easily just slumped over it.  He was the guard dog for our closest neighbors and they all had respect for his bark.  The people who came to check the meters knew to knock first so I could put Smokey in the garage or in the house.  He was very uncomfortable in the house.  He liked to be outside even if it was freezing and snowing.  

One time a meter reader came in the backyard without telling me.  I heard Smokey and went to check on him.  The man was frozen in fright but Smokey was laying down about ten feet from him.  He looked at the man and then me, back and forth, asking what to do.  He was this kind of dog, very intelligent with a gentle heart, but also my protector.  I let the man sweat a bit.  The signs on the gates clearly stated to come to the door first before entering the back.  I then said, “it’s okay, Smokey”, and he came over by me, never taking his eyes off the man.

We had three cats at the time, an old mother cat and two kitties.  They all came from the Dumb Friends League shelter at different times.  But they stayed inside and Smoke stayed outside.  I was on a special diet and ate a lot of baked chicken.  I had baked four breasts for meals and had them sitting on a cookie sheet on top of the stove.  Luckily because of that I locked the cats downstairs.  I came home from my walk and there was the empty pan on the stovetop. The door from the garage to the kitchen was open.  The wind had blown the door open and I’m sure the chicken smell invited Smokey inside.  He had come in and lifted those chicken breasts up off the pan so carefully you couldn’t even see any evidence of them being slid off the pan.  I had to laugh.  I’m glad they were boneless!  I went out and there he was, sheepish look on his face.

I loved this dog and still do.  In fact I get tears when I dream of him or think of his last moments.  He started walking strangely and I made a vet appointment right away.  We had a great vet, that’s another story…..he looked him over and wanted to do an exploratory surgery.  I took Smokey in and the vet took him back.  Just before he went through the door, Smokey looked back at me with this, “it’ll be okay, mom” look.  I’ll never get that look out of my mind.  I’m crying now just writing about it.  The vet called me a few hours later and said he had cancerous tumors choking all of his organs and    couldn’t   believe he was still even walking around.  He asked if he should wake him or let him sleep.  We chose to let him sleep.  I’ll never forget that look on his face.  He was saying goodbye.



76 thoughts on “Our dog Smokey

  1. Smokey sounds like an absolutely wonderful dog! We’ve had a few gentle giants and it always surprises me that the dogs that *could* be the most dangerous are usually the ones that seem to know what different situations require. I’m so sorry he had to leave you. I know how hard it is remembering. I just wrote about my last Service Dog and, like you, was crying as I did.

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    1. Freezer Meat. The problem on a farm is if you do make it too personal with any animal there is a possibility of becoming connected and you don’t want that. You never treat an animal poorly but you never treat them as anything more than animals either.

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    2. Yeah we didn’t make much off the wool and they had a tendency to die in the hot weather (and they didn’t like foxes) but they were great at keeping the step hills down. A couple of Llamas in with the goats and sheep protect them from foxes.


    3. Apparently it’s all milk in the country. WA is fairly self sufficient because of the distance but the eastern states dairy farms send something like 80% of what they produce to become milk solids which gets made into powdered milk for cooking , baby feed all those other thinks where you see milk as an ingredient.

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    4. Yep, forget about the whole “kids need dairy” my mum was all about us not drinking too much milk and giving us powdered milk because it was ‘healthier’. Even with flavouring in it it tasted like water, worse even that skim or lite milk.

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    5. Just got a chill thinking of it. The Carnation dry milk I had on hand to cook with if I ran out of milk was used for baking, bread mostly. It smelled horrible, I feel sorry for you having to (chill) drink it

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    6. That’s one of the reasons I can’t stand milk. My sister brought in fresh milk with of course cream on top, put in fridge. Before doing so she got a spoon of warm cream from the bottle. I came in the kitchen and she asked if I wanted ice cream. Of course I said yes and she chunked the spoon in my mouth. Ewww.

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    7. Fresh milk straight from the cow is terrible how people used to drink it is beyond me, it’s got to have all those things added to it (the things that probably cause cancer or your head to fall off or something), to taste good.

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    8. Here we only have two major players in the market that take it and they are driving farmers to the wall. The media keep blaming the supermarkets for the price wars and that they are forcing the farmers to earn less they forget the fact that with only two major player they have the farm gate price cornered and if they don’t want to pay more than 20c a litre they don’t pay it. It has so little to do with the supermarkets.

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    9. After having about 45 kids at last count πŸ™‚

      He did mention when his first batch of kids where young that looking back on his career and there was almost nothing he had done he could show his kids so he decided to change that.

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    10. He was shocking at first, but like everything else you get used to it. Like the movie I just saw, “Why Him?” All full of language but I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time.

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    11. One time my husband and I were arguing and I said something. He gave me the old speech, it seems to me using that language means you have a poor vocabulary. So of course my temper shot back, f you. I’m ashamed of it now, but my temper was at times, well, Never mind!

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    12. Yeah I have heard the same excuses, and I do agree a comment like “F U you’re writing sucks” is a sign of a poor vocabulary but if you can add to the same statement with why it sucks the FU doesn’t show a bad vocabulary.

      My dad used to tell us off for swearing by saying “Will you cut out that F’n swearing.”

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  2. Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.
    It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.
    I also suspect that we cherish dogs because their unblemished souls make us wish – consciously or unconsciously – that we were as innocent as they are, and make us yearn for a place where innocence is universal and where the meanness, the betrayals, and the cruelties of this world are unknown.

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