In 1983 at the Country Music Awards, Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson sang the song, “To all the Girls I’ve Loved Before.” This song has significant meaning to me because I always substitute the word dogs for girls. My song is dedicated to all the dogs I’ve loved before. “We’re glad they came along.”
We moved back to Barbourville in 2006 after both Russ and I retired from working in Florida for 25 years. At the time of our move, we had one cat. That was it. Very soon after moving and getting settled in my family’s old home place, a sweet medium sized dog followed Russ home one day. Sirius, named for the dog star, had many wonderful virtues, but she had a very bad habit of visiting neighbors’ doorsteps and carrying off their belongings. Once we found a woman’s girdle obviously pulled from a clothesline and the chewed up remains of a rubber baby doll. One day Sirius went too far in her game of Finders Keepers when she carried home a dead chicken. Not long after that incident, the sweet, baby doll stealing dog came down with a horrible gastric disturbance. The next morning we found Sirius dead.
So every time a new dog comes into our lives, I think back to this song. We have had many dogs come in and out our door. Spike, Lo-Chi and Lucy are the dogs living with us now, but there have been several others who are no longer with us. For all the dogs we “once caressed,” and we are saying that we’ve “held the best”, a registered Boxer, a pure bred Pug and a German Shepherd mix, they all “helped us to grow, we owe a lot we know, to all the dogs we’ve loved before.”
Spike and Lo-Chi, both abandoned, somehow found their way into our lives. Lo-Chi, the full bloodied Pug, is now a pampered Princess who has her own special throne cushion and devoted human. Spike, our precious German Shepherd mix, before he came to live with us had been shot and badly abused. We know this because of a caring neighbor who first rescued Spike and kept him from additional harm. Lucy, the Boxer, was our first grand dog, and has during thunderstorms attempted to turn herself into a lapdog. Even though
Lucy is adorable and loving, she hates brown especially UPS brown and all vehicles labeled US MAIL.
To all these dogs that once were someone else’s pets, we’re glad they came into our lives and cared for us in times of our own personal sadness and despair. These dogs have filled our lives with sweet carefree abandon and will always “live within our hearts” of all the dogs we’ve loved before. “The winds of change” turned these three dogs into our beloved family members who just happen to have four legs and chase squirrels.
Thanks, Hal David for the borrowed lyrics.