Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Remembering Scout

 by Barb Goffman

Thank you for coming to this memorial service in honor of my dog, Scout. You may have only known him online, but whether Scout licked your face in person or virtually, I’m sure you felt his love from the stories I shared of him. All the stories. All the time. I probably drove some of you to boredom at times from all my posts, but whenever I looked at him, I always felt a surge of love to him and from him that I wanted to share. And even now, though he isn’t physically with me any longer, I still feel that surge of love. I’m so happy to be able to share it with you one more time.

Scout was a Labrador/shepherd/malamute mix. He weighed about eighty pounds. His fur was like an Oriental carpet. From one angle he’d look blond. From another, he’d look light brown. He had white fur on his tummy, big brown eyes, blond eyelashes. In his puppy pictures, you could see a black mask on his face. He had a long fluffy tail that he wagged when he was happy; in his last few weeks, he used that tail as a rudder to try to keep his balance. 

He was the sweetest boy you could ever meet—as long as you didn’t ring the doorbell. If you did that, Scout assumed you were an invader here to kill us, and he would charge to the door, barking and jumping so he could bare his teeth through the window. In his final year, he couldn’t climb the stairs to the front door anymore, but he still maintained his job as the head of home security, standing at the foot of the stairs barking away.

Scout was a rescue dog. According to the records I received from the SPCA, he was found when he was eight weeks old, trying to climb into a lady’s car in a bank parking lot. (He always loved the car, both riding in it and smelling the wheels of any car around.) That bank was next door to a veterinary office, so the lady assumed he’d escaped from there. He hadn’t. My best guess is someone dumped him there, thinking the vet would find him and get him a good home. They called the SPCA, which took Scout in for a few months, raised him, and trained him, until he went to a family. He lived with that family for five years until they gave him back because he didn’t fit in anymore. Fools. But it was my gain, because my beautiful boy was waiting for me.

In case you didn’t know, Scout was a very smart dog. When I would sit on the floor and pet him, he’d sometimes sense I was about to get up. He’d place one of his front legs over my arm, trying to hold me down, forcing me to keep petting him. He understood a lot of words and commands, but most telling is he understood “Show Mama what you want.” Sometimes he wanted a treat and would walk to the treat closet. Sometimes he wanted to go outside and would walk to the door to the yard. His answer varied depending on what his desire at that moment was. That’s a smart boy.

Scout loved Dad's visits
Scout loved presents. He especially loved them if they came in a plastic bag. Whenever I came home with shopping bags, he’d meet me at the door to smell them, hoping there would be something in one for him. He somehow always knew when there was a bag with a new squeaky toy in it. He’d ram his head in the bag, pull the toy out, and try to make it squeak by pushing on it with his nose. If that didn’t work, he’d squeeze it in his mouth. He was gentle with his toys, so I probably didn’t need to buy him many, but I usually couldn’t resist the joy that overcame him when he realized I’d brought home a new baby for him. Sometimes I’d wash his old toys and give him one from the closet, but he could always tell if it didn’t have that brand-new store-bought smell, and he’d lose interest much faster.

Scout also liked store-bought treats. Processed treats, my friend Kim recently said, and she was right. When we’d visit his old friends with the SPCA, they’d offer him high-end treats, and he’d turn his head away. No highfalutin stuff for Scout. He adored Beggin Strips and T-Bonz and Milk Bones. In his final days, he stopped eating anything but the T-Bonz. They were especially soft. I’m grateful he could get them down.

Scout loved our backyard, which backs up to woods. He would run to the fence over and over, barking at the foxes and deer that live back there, as well as at the neighbor’s cat that sometimes roams the woods. When he was younger, before he got arthritis, Scout often lay on the grass in the fall and spring, keeping an eye on the woods. In the autumn, I’d sweep leaves off the deck, and he’d run around underneath, joyfully trying to catch them in his mouth. Scout especially loved chasing sticks. A stick on the ground was irrelevant to him, but a stick I’d throw was heavenly. (He rarely brought the sticks back, just chased them.) On his last morning, we were in the yard, and I picked up a stick. For a moment his eyes shined, and he looked so excited, like a puppy. I threw the stick, but he didn’t run after it. He wasn’t up to it anymore, but I loved seeing that light in his eyes once again as he contemplated it, even for a second.

Scout wasn’t afraid of much. He loved the car. He loved the vet. He loved going anyplace and meeting anyone new. We once went to the vet for a walk-in nail trimming, and when our turn came, one of the vet techs opened the exam door, saw him, and said, “Scout, I didn’t know it was you.” And, I’m not exaggerating, he strutted into that room as if he were saying, “Yeah, baby, it’s me. I’m here.”

One thing Scout didn’t enjoy was having his picture taken. It might be hard to believe, given the number of photos I’ve posted, but those pictures were hard earned. He didn’t like the Halloween costumes I made him wear or the elf hat I put on him each Christmas. He especially didn’t like his birthday crown. Most years, he wore the costumes just long enough for me to get a picture and off they came. But when it came time for his bark mitzvah last fall, he wore his yarmulke and tallit (prayer shawl) happily all night long.

I’ve probably gone on way too long, but I have so many memories to share. Scout was the best part of my life, and I pray that the people who say we’ll be together again one day are right. 

In the meanwhile, every autumn I will continue to have six weeks of celebration. That’s what Scout and I used to do every year, beginning on September 30th. That was the date in 2006 that I met him in person (I’d already fallen in love with him from his photo online) and filled out my adoption application. Two weeks later, on October 14th, he came home to live with me. Two weeks after that, on October 28th, when our required trial period had ended, I finalized things with the SPCA. And then two weeks after that, Veterans Day, November 11th, was his birthday (at least, that was the original vet’s best guess, so it’s the date I’ve always used). That’s six weeks, from September 30th until November 11th, with a milestone exactly every two weeks during that period. Every year, we celebrated each milestone and our joy of being with one another during those six weeks, and I will continue that tradition.

Scout may not be with me in person anymore, I may not be able to rub the fur behind his ears (so soft), I may not be able to tell him that he’s the best boy ever, but he knows that he’ll always be in my heart. Somewhere, somehow, he knows. I wish we could have been together forever. For the time we had, I’ll be forever grateful.

 Rest in peace, my dear sweet boy. Mama loves you.


sphericalfrictionlesscow said...

Barb, that was beautiful. Thanks for sharing the photos. I don't know you or Scout "in real life," but my heart has been with you in this difficult time. May Scout's memory always be a blessing....

Joni said...

I was never, ever bored with Scout stories and photos. He was a special boy in every way, and you will indeed see him again.

Dru said...


What a lovely tribute. I do recall all the lovely pictures you posted on FB to share with us. He will be missed.

L, Dru Ann

Ilene Schneider said...

Two thousand years ago, the sage ben Sira wrote: “Bewail the dead, hide not your grief, do not restrain your mourning. But remember that continuing sorrow is worse than death. . . . Death is better than a life of pain, and eternal rest than constant sickness.”
He was talking about our human loved ones, but the same can be applied to our animal companions. What do we want from a loved one? Loyalty, affection, empathy, companionship; we want someone who will love us unconditionally and make us laugh, someone who comforts us and keeps us from feeling alone. Those attributes can apply to our pets as well as our human families. And pets are part of our families.
In Judaism, there is a lot of respect for animals. We are forbidden from harming them or causing them pain. They are not allowed to work on the Sabbath. We must feed them before ourselves.
Each “dog year” is supposedly equivalent to seven human ones. The number seven is significant in Judaism: the seven days of the week, the seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuot, the seventh year during which fields lie fallow, the seven circuits a bride makes around her groom in a traditional wedding ceremony. Seven is the number of completion and renewal. After six days of work, God rested; we, too, work seven days and rest on the Sabbath. But then the cycle begins again, just as the cycle of life renews itself.

I’ll end with a quote from Proverbs 12:10: “A righteous man knows the soul of his animal.” Barb, you knew Scout’s soul. He completed you, and you completed him.

Judy Bobalik said...

A lovely tribute for a much loved dog. Scout was as lucky to find you as you were to find him.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Barb, this is a lovely memorial.Since we all knew Scout so well through your stories and pictures about him on fB, I appreciate the opportunity to have this lovely post, especially the picture of Scout and your father.

God bless.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

oh, Barb. This was lovely. Scout had a lot of friends around the world who followed him on Facebook. I, for one, thank you for letting us be a part of his life. He was a very special guy.

Unknown said...

A beautiful way to remember such a special part of your life. I never had the pleasure of knowing Scout in person, but I know I would have fallen hopelessly in love with him. I have so enjoyed watching from afar and enjoying all the wonderful moments captured in pictures and reading about Scout's antics and escapades. What a blessing you were to one another, Barb! I firmly believe that you and Scout will one day be together again. Until then, hang onto the beautiful memories and let them warm your heart.

Edith Maxwell said...

You were clearly both blessed to have each other, Barb. What a special animal friend to have. Thanks for sharing all those memories and hard-earned photos. I particularly like the Bark Mitzvah! Hugs.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Dear Barb, thank you for sharing Scout with us in a special way, through the Internet and this remembrance. Love truly is eternal. It brings a heaven on earth and a promise of peace and joy everlasting. How wonderful that you and Scout will always have each other.

heygoody said...

So sorry Barb.

He was great. And so are you, for taking such good care of him. Not cetain if this will post. I am a bit technologically challenged.

dina said...

I only got to spend a few days with Scout but I was so glad to know him. I know how much he loved you, Barb, and how much you loved him.

He will live in our hearts forever.

Barb Goffman said...

Oh, thank you everyone. Thank you for participating and for loving Scout. Thank you.

And thank you, Ilene, for your comforting words. As much as I miss him, I couldn't stand to see him be in so much pain after the drugs stopped working. So death was better than pain, for him, if not for me. And what was best for him was more important.

Nora McFarland said...

I lost my doggie-daughter last year. I know how hard this must be for you. Reading your post brought tears to my eyes because I could feel all the love you and Scout gave to each other over the years. This doesn't make it hurt any less, but you were both very lucky. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Sandra Parshall said...

You were so fortunate to have each other, Barb. As long as you honor his memory, he will never truly leave you.

Unknown said...

My thoughts are with you, tonight and for the fall remembrances.

Barb Goffman said...

I received this email from my dad earlier today. I don't think he'll mind if I post it:

Dear Barb:
Thanks for your email regarding memorial service this evening for Scout. Unfortunately, I know nothing about facebook or blogs or how I would proceed to get on either. I will therefore give you my thoughts and memories of Scout via this email.
Before I met him for the first time, I was told (I believe by you) to be careful since he does not take readily to strangers. Obviously, he immediately knew I was not a stranger. It was love at first sight, on both our parts. He was, from that first moment, my goof buddy and we remained and will always remain the very best of pals. It was only unfortunate that the distance we live apart prevented us from being together more often.
My dearest memories of him is of him looking up at me with our faces an inch apart, looking deeply into each others eyes and of him licking my fingers for as long as I would hold my hand out. His kindly face and his gentle nature will remain with me forever.
I felt really bad the last time I saw him because it was obvious that he was suffering horrendous physical pain. It was 100% the right thing for you to do to help him out of his misery and if he could speak he would most certainly thank you. He would also say thanks to you over and over again for being the wonderful mother you were to him for all the years you were together.
I smile at him each day. First, in the morning, when I go out on lanai to read the newspaper and his photo is right there in front of me and later, when I go into my office and see another photograph of him. Each time I can really feel him smiling back at me.
I will love you both forever.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Such a moving tribute, Barb. I understand how much it hurts to lose such a beloved and wonderful family member. Hugs.

Teresa Wilder said...

Oh, Barb. I just now read your memories, and I am crying. I know it was hard to write, but you did a perfect job of it.

Amy said...

Barb, Animals bring such joy to our lives. I'm glad you got to spend many happy times with him. I only got to meet him a few times, but he was a good dog. And he was lucky to find someone who cared about him as much as I know you did. Rescue pets are the best. They give back to us so much. Scout will be truly missed. Amy

Mary Ellen Hughes said...

Scout was clearly a very happy dog. I know you miss him terribly, but you gave him a wonderful, beloved life. Thank you for sharing some of that with us. I wasn't luck enough to have ever met him in person, but I came to be very fond of him in a way and am so sorry he's not with us anymore.

Polly Iyer said...

I love Ilene's opening quote. It's a gentle way of reminding us that the reason for our grief, though never forgotten, must find a place to rest. You were lucky to have Scout in your life. He was lucky to have you. Cherish his memory. Thank you for sharing his special gift to you.

Ramona said...

You were meant to be together.

A beautiful tribute, Barb, and I am sorry for your loss.

Bonner said...

Scout was a always very happy, well-behaved dog. I particularly remember the first time Scout visited my house. When he saw a new playmate, he was very excited and went right up the stairs to greet her.
Apparently, I had neglected to ask my cat, Mame, for her permission for Scout's visit. Scout was disappointed that Mame "declined" the opportunity to play with him. But, like the gentleman he was, Scout respected her decision, glancing at the stairs every now and again with a hopeful look in his eye. Mame was one of the very few who met Scout who did not benefit from get the chance to spend quality time in his company. I mourn your loss, Barb.

Barbara Fradkin said...

Barb, this brought tears to my eyes. How lucky Scout and you were to have each other. it's a cruel twist of fate that we humans outlive the dogs we love - I have lost two. But cherish the time he did give you, and the memories that will be with you always... Images of him at his funniest, most loving, and most exasperating. Such is a dog.

JJM said...

Count me as another who is crying. You had a very special dog, there. And, obviously, he had a very special person.

Amanda Flower said...

What a beautiful tribute to a special friend! Thank you for sharing, Barb!

Barb Goffman said...

Thanks, again, everyone.

I'm trying to stop crying. I don't want this to be a sad night. So I'm going to share some funny Scout stories.

Once we were at Donna Andrews' house for a barbecue, and somehow Scout ended up on the deck by himself with a plate of chicken on the table. Now, he knew he wasn't supposed to eat people food, but a dog only has so much willpower. I was watching through the window. He looked around to see if anyone could see him, missed seeing me, and then leaned closer and closer to that plate, checking again to see if the coast was clear, and then ... he licked the piece of chicken and jumped back and ran off into the yard. He didn't even eat it. Just one lick. I looked at the woman standing beside me and said, "Well, we have to throw that chicken away."

Aimee Hix said...

Scout will be waiting for you, Barb, I promise. He lived a lifetime of love in the years he spent with you. And I am happy to know that Scout and are both Scorpios, the sign known for loyalty,

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. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him 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....

Molly MacRae said...

All dogs go to heaven, Barb, but Scout was doubly blessed by experiencing heaven on earth with you.

Sandra Parshall said...

I hope you threw that chicken in Scout's direction!

Diane said...

Barb, Scout will always be with you. Always. And, thanks to you sharing photos and comments about him on Facebook, he will always be with many of us, too - in our memories and our hearts. I happen to think that all dogs and cats are wonderful and special. However, one that is a rescue always seems even more so. And, frankly, I can not understand someone who gives up their dog or cat. And no compassion at all for one who, even worse, abandons an animal. Neither is something I can understand. But those of us who get to have those dogs and/or cats in our lives are really, really lucky. They give so much more to us than we give to them. Scout was a part of you, and communicated his needs, wants and love without one word spoken. He may not have had the ability of human speech, but he certainly didn't need it to show his love for you.

And, by the way, he was a beautiful boy!

Barb Goffman said...

Another funny Scout story:

One Thanksgiving we went to visit my brother Ira's family in Ohio. There was no fenced-in yard there, so for the whole visit, he didn't have the chance to run, which Scout loved. So on our last morning, my brother took Scout for a run (I could never run fast enough or long enough for Scout, but my brother is in much better shape than me) on a football-length field. They started out running together. By the end, as they were coming back, Scout was in the lead, running his heart out, happy as could be. And he was practically dragging my brother behind. I laughed and laughed and laughed.

Sherry Harris said...

What lovely stories about Scout, his early days and your time together. I wish I would have met him in person but am glad I knew him through your stories and pictures. Thinking of you Barb!

Diane said...

I just read your story about the barbeque at Donna Andrews' house. You do know that there isn't another dog in the world who wouldn't have walked off with that chicken, don't you? A lick would have only been a teaser to them.

Sherry Harris said...

I am so glad you shared your Dad's email! I love that he has a picture of Scout on his lanai!

Cathymw said...

That was a very touching tribute, Barb.

You were obviously a loving, devoted Mom. That's obvious by your posts, the pictures, and how much you struggled to make the right decision with him at the end of his life.

I'll miss getting the Scout pictures and updates on Facebook.

Barb Goffman said...

Someone asked me earlier today about making a donation in Scout's honor. Any pet-related charity would be a lovely tribute, but if I had to choose one, it would be the SPCA of Northern Virginia, from whom I adopted Scout. Here is there information:


The SPCA of Northern Virginia welcomes donations made In Honor or In Memory of someone special in your life. Please include with your gift the name and address of the person you would like notified of your donation, along with the name of the person or pet being honored or remembered. Your gift will also appear in the next edition of our newsletter. For your convenience, dedication gifts can now be made online or by mail:

SPCA of Northern Virginia
P.O. BOX 100220
Arlington, Virginia

To make a donation online, click here:


Barb Goffman said...

Urg. The 22210-3220 at the bottom of my last post is the SPCA's zip code.

becky hutchison said...

Hugs, kisses and love to you, Barb. I know what it's like to lose such a beloved friend and family member, and it's devastating.

I LOVED LOVED LOVED Scout!! He was the cutest, smartest dog EVAH (well, except for my pup, Mikey).

I had the pleasure of hugging, scratching and playing with Scout a few times. It was such an honor!! I loved his bark mitvah party. I think he knew it was all about him that day. And why not? He deserved all the attention on his special day...and any other time, for that matter.

I'll miss him, but I know I'll continue enjoying your stories about Scout and think of what an awesome friend he was to everyone.

Rest in peace, big guy! You're missed an awful lot.


Ingrid King said...

What a beautiful tribute to your special friend. I love the six weeks of celebration - may they bring fond memories for you year after year. You're in my thoughts.

Diane said...

Barb, today I adopted my new cat, Luke, from the Fredericksburg SPCA. Well, today was the day I got to bring him home. It is a wonderful organization. And, I hope, some day you will honor Scout by bringing another sweet guy or gal into your life. They won't be Scout. As I mentioned before, I have had many over the years and each was different from the other, but no less special. And I really believe Scout will be there to welcome them.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how anyone who has loved a pet can read this with dry eyes.I had a Red Persian cat named Miss Priss who was in such a place in my life and I have never gotten over having put her to sleep, even though I knew she was so ill. God bless everyone who has a loved pet. Thelma Straw in Manhattan

Barb Goffman said...

Diane, you mentioned how Scout's willpower was unusual. Here's another story about that. One day I was opening a Chinese food carton of leftover white rice, and I was stabbing it with a fork, trying to loosen the rice, and it all somehow exploded. There was rice all over the floor. Scout looked up at me with pleading eyes, clearing saying, "Please, Mom, can I eat the rice?" He knew he wasn't supposed to, and he didn't do it until I told him he could. And then he was better than any vacuum you could imagine.

Unknown said...

Although every dog is special - some enter our lives, if even for a short period of time, and our lives are better for having known them. Scout was more than special.

He was a big, friendly boy who loved unconditionally - IN SPITE of his first guardians who unceremoniously "gave him back" to the SPCA after their human child was born. Scout held no grudges. Scout was able to love and trust again when he entered Barb's life.

He IS and always will be a testament to all that is GOOD about creation. It is no mistake that DOG spelled backward = GOD.

I am blessed to have memories of this wonderful boy all the way back to when he was a baby. Scout affected my heart profoundly - the first time he "broke" it was as I was walking away from him, having just left him with his new "family". He literally screamed for me as I was walking back to the van, and I cried as much then, as I do now. Letting go of someone you love is the most agonizing thing I've experienced about the human condition. Scout was so very blessed to have Barb as a mom. Her love for him burns bright in her words in his memory. Hugs to you Barb and thank you for this special gift of photos and memories of your dear boy.

E. B. Davis said...

What a beautiful tribute, Barb. I'm glad you had such a special dog in your life. People come and go, but a dog--a dog is forever. You were both blessed. Take care!

Unknown said...

For Barb and Scout

Just A DOG

From time to time, people tell me, "lighten up, it's just a dog,"
or "that's a lot of money for just a dog."

They don't understand the distance travelled, the time spent,
or the costs involved for "just a dog."

Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a dog."

Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a dog,"
but I did not once feel slighted.

Some of my saddest moments have been brought aobut by
"just a dog," and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch
of "just a dog" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.

If you, too, think it's "just a dog," then you probably understand
phrases like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise."

"Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence of friendship,
trust, and pure unbridled joy.
"Just a dog" brings out the compassion and patience
that make me a better person.
Because of "just a dog" I will rise early, take long walks and look
longingly to the future.

So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a dog"
but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future,
the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.

"Just a dog" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts
away from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday they can understand that its' not "just a dog"
but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being
"just a man" or "just a woman."

So the next time you hear the phrase "just a dog,"
just smile,
because they "just don't understand."

~Unknown Author~

Barb Goffman said...

Another Scout story:

One day he was eating his dinner when the doorbell rang. The worst of timing! He clearly was torn. It was his job to scare away whoever was at the door, but there was food to be eaten. I could see him debating what to do, and then he stood at the bowl, looked in the direction of the door, and barked three times. Then he ate a little more. Then he barked in the direction of the door again. Then he ate some more. A true compromise.

Barb Goffman said...

Wow, thank you everyone, again, for your comments. I'm feeling much better. And thank you for sharing your stories about your own beloved animals, and the poems, and your memories of Scout. It means the world to me that you're all participating in this manner.

Terry Parrish said...

For you Barb and for Scout.

The Story of the Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of Heaven the pets who left us play at the Foot of the Rainbow Bridge, bathed in sunshine's rays.

Lifetime woes are long forgotten all memories of pain erased, the sick are well, the lame made whole, as they romp their cares away.

Yet there remains a gentle tug, distant memories of loves and hugs, so while they play they also wait...for such friendships are forever.

Then your times come, and the vigil ends, two friends forever joined.

You stroll together - your final journey - across The Rainbow Bridge.

Poem by Sue Hillis

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Barb, that's a great story. I don't think I could decide as wisely as Scout did.

Logan said...

I agree with Bonner. Scout was a gentleman. And a good sport (the pink bandage, the costumes). And a great writer's meeting host. So,so glad he decided to keep you!

Unknown said...

Something that ALWAYS made me smile:
Whenever Barb would bring Scout back to a SPCA adoption event for a visit thing was certain...Scout would literally drag poor Barb across the parking lot to get there. I remember fondly Tony and I laughing so hard we would almost wet our pants !! Scout was one powerful boy !!

Alan Orloff said...

I only met Scout a few times (I believe he sniffed my crotch!), but I do know that he was very, very, very well taken care of. He was a lucky dog!

Lane said...

The Power of the Dog
Rudyard Kipling

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie--
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart to a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find--it's your own affair--
But ... you've given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone--wherever it goes--for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-term loan is as bad as a long--
So why in--Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

The Power of the Dog
Rudyard Kipling

Anonymous said...

This a wonderful tribute to your wonderful friend. No one is really gone who is remembered so vividly. Suzanne

Anne DeMarsay said...

Barb, I never knew Scout, but your affectionate memoir brought tears to my eyes. Thinking of you tonight as you celebrate Scout and his life with you. I'm one of those who's confident that the animals we loved and who left us too soon will be waiting to greet us at the Rainbow Bridge.

May you find comfort in the memories of your wonderful companion.

Leslie Budewitz said...

The sign of a well-loved dog: those of us who never met him still miss him.

Thanks for letting us all be part of your beautiful tribute.

Barb Ross said...

Barb, I am thinking of you and of Scout.

Their life spans are shorter than ours, which almost always means you're signing up for heartbreak when you take on into your life, but it si so worth it.

Barb Goffman said...

I'm going to sign off now, but I'll check tomorrow for any new posts. Thank you all for participating tonight and helping keep Scout's memory alive. I send you wags and woofs.

Jeanne B said...

Barb, This is an amazing tribute to Scout. I remember when you sent me a link to a picture of Scout when you were looking for a dog. I think we were supposed to be reviewing a proposal, but looking at a picture of Scout was much more fun:)! I have enjoyed your Facebook posts of Scout and your stories of him inspire me to be a better dog mommy. I am thinking of you....
Jeanne Bratlien

Karen Kurtz said...

Barb, I remember meeting scout for the first time when you brought him to the office. I got to meet him a few times and he was wonderful. You have both been true companions for each other. He knows how much he was loved because he loved you right back. I hope the beautiful memories you have of Scout will comfort you and make you smile.

Valerie said...

Sorry to read about your loss of Scout, Barb. We recently lost Dinah, our 19-year-old Siamese. Our fur-friends are with us for too short a time.

I must say that the puppy pictures of Scout are adorable -- they put me in mind of the puppy pictures of my daughter's dogs which we treasure as much as picture of her when she was little. I'm so happy to see that Scout found a loving home.

Carol R said...

I remember when you first got Scout, and how much joy he brought you. I do recall his love of the backyard, and his putting himself in charge of barking at all those wild animals back there that were lurking in the background! What a wonderful essay and beautiful pictures of him. I can see that he had a wonderful life with you!

J. D. Revelle said...

Scout lives on in memories and forever in cyberspace.

Amy Hallett said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Barb. You were such an amazingly devoted Mom to Scout. He was one lucky pup to have found you. I have no doubt he is still watching over you and barking every time the doorbell rings. Take care and sending hugs your way.

Laura Weatherly said...

Scout was a truly spectacular fellow. Such a sweet, gentle soul. I will always remember him sitting patiently under the table during our writing group. You were lucky to have each other.

Liz Mugavero said...

Barb, what a beautiful memorial. So sorry to chime in late but wanted to say that I felt like I knew him, just from reading your post. I'm certain you will be together again. xo

Unknown said...

Barb, Your love for Scout and his love for you is evident in each and every thought you've shared. Through this memorial, I feel the beautiful bond you two shared. I feel for you and share in a tiny portion of your pain as well as in the joy of your memories. Like many others said already, everything you did for Scout was in his best interest and he in a better place now. Sending you lots of hugs.