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Pets become family, but there’s never enough time

Ode to a good, good boy.

As I write this column, our dog, Dave, is curled up next to me with his cute little spotted head resting on my lap. Sadly, by the time you read this, he will be gone.

Nine years ago, I saw Dave on our local animal shelter’s website and fell in love. We had lost our dog Riley a few months before, and a house with three little boys needed a dog.

I don’t think Dave had ever been to the country. One of the first things we did was let him run around out back with the boys. He barked at hay bales, splashed in the creek, and bounced through the fields, tail wagging. Dave finally had a home.

Because he had been in the shelter for several months, Dave had some pretty severe separation anxiety at first. Nothing helped until the following year when a kitten showed up at our house and decided to stay. With Milo there, he wasn’t alone, and he was OK.


Dave’s shenanigans are the stuff of legends in the dog world. He broke into the refrigerator on multiple occasions, eating everything from steaks to an entire slow cooker of chicken fajitas. No trash can could keep him out. “It’s a good thing you’re so cute,” we’d often say.

Dave actually helped a couple of times when we had cows out. I know it was accidental, and he was just standing in the right place at the right time, but he was pretty proud nonetheless.

Time just gets away. In the blink of an eye, our boys had grown up and our dog had grown old. He started slowing down and losing weight, and we learned he had cancer.

Our hearts were broken. Dave has been part of our family for half of our children’s lives. He has provided comic relief, stress therapy, and protection from rabbits and the UPS man.

My husband, Jayson, summed it up it best. “Pets are the ultimate form of credit,” he said. “You pay at the end.”

When that payment comes due, it hurts, but they’re worth the price. Good boy, Davey. Good boy.

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