Sadly, last night, we had to let Smokey go over the rainbow bridge after his battle with kidney failure and other health problems. He has filled the last 15 years of my life and Meri's with nothing but pure love, we will miss him deeply and with empty hearts. But he had a good life and it all started when my wife at the time, Kay, brought him home one cold Feb. night in 2003. He was so small and the two cats we had at the time, let him know real quick that it was their home and their rules... but as Smokey got bigger, those rules got changed.! They all got along after that, even to eat together and sleep together at times. Kay let him have an old shoe once and I told her not to do that, that she was letting him know that it was ok to chew on shoes, she said "it's an old one, he'll be ok".... Ok... until he got in her closet one time and when we found him, he had chewed on 5 of her best high heels and only the left shoe at that!
He never met a stranger , but he was highly protective of those that he loved. When Kay was found to have cancer, he got real protective of her and he didn't want to leave her side. Once when friends of ours were over to visit with us after one of many stays in the hospital for Kay, she was laying on the couch and Smokey right there with her, the lady got up to walk over to Kay to show her something and Smokey came off of the couch at her, barking and showing his teeth. This was a friend that had been around him many times, but I guess she moved towards Kay a little too fast for his taste and I had to grab him and let him know that she wasn't going to harm his Mama. He was so lost, as we all were, after Kay died from the affects of the cancer and the treatments, he would look for her everywhere.
As he got older and loved to ride with me everywhere, I would have the radio on listening to Rush, I noticed that whenever Rush would be talking about "Obama", Smokey would start barking.... I figured out that it was the way that Rush was saying Obama... as "O-Bama"... I'd look at him and say "Smokey, what do you think of O-Bama..?" And he'd start barking like crazy and with a mad look on his face.....! He did not like Obama, but he thought even less of Michele..! And it hit me, that's why he only chewed on Left shoes..! He hated anything from the Left side of things....! Good Dog..!
Then, we met his new Mommy, Meri and he...and I... fell in love all over again, even to the point that he would greet her as she came home from work with his tail wagging 90 miles per hour, wagging so hard that his whole little body would shake from side to side... me, I could come in the house after being gone and he'd run up to see what I had for him, if I had nothing, it was back on the couch he'd go..! But Meri's dog, Angel, she was the one that loved to greet me and would become my new shadow.. but we lost Angel to liver cancer in Nov. of 2015.
And he had a love for chicken and chicken livers, as we found out once when I had been to the store and brought a rotisserie chicken home for supper that night,. As us guys try to do, I had 8 bags hanging off of both arms, trying to get in the house and up the stairs loaded down and Smokey and Angel trying to get up the stairs beside me at the same time... I knew I had that chicken on my right arm, so I hauled all of those bags up on the counter and set the left arm load on the floor and went back to get the rest out of the truck. Angel followed me back out, Smokey didn't.... So when I came back up the stairs with the rest of the bags, who had his head buried to his shoulders in one of the bags...? That's right, the chicken had been in my left hand, not my right and I screamed "SMOKEY" and when he pulled his head out of that bag, the chicken was dropping from both sides of his mouth.! He knew he was in deep dodo then, so he stuck his head back in that bag with the box of cooked chicken and hauled butt under the table with it...! He pushed that box across the floor with his head in it and cleared all the chairs to get as far under that table as he could..! This was his only hope of getting the rest of it and I did get it back from him....well, some of it anyway! I sent Meri a text to let her know that if she still wanted a rotisserie chicken for supper, she'd need to stop at the store and get another one..!
So now, we have lost our two older friends, but the love for fur babies has not left either of us. We have Bailey that we got from a rescue a couple of years ago and Rufus last Feb. But I told Meri and the Vet's last night as I held Smokey and they injected the meds, that I would not say goodbye, but I'll see you later my little buddy..... I'll have an empty place in my heart for him that will stay with me and I could write a book with the 15 years of memories, along with the good times and the not so good times, but I need to just let it go at this and..... I Love you my Big Dog....
(Our deepest thanks to Dr. Bentley and Sarah Smith from Sugar Hill Animal Hospital for staying late for us last night.......We can't said enough good things about our Vet's..!)
Date of Birth: 12/28/02
Date of Death: 01/11/18