Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 26, 2018

Empty Nest: Dog Stories

By Curt Swarm
Curt Swarm

I shouldn’t be surprised at this.  I have received more feedback about my columns pertaining to the loss of Holly Dog and the acquisition of Buddy Boy, than I have of any of my other columns combined.  The feedback has come in the form of sympathy cards, e-mails, phone calls, and personal condolences/congratulations.
The following are a few examples:
I just read your article about your dog. It really touched my heart. My dog is 14, will be 15 in September.  She is a lhaso apso/shitzu that I got when she was six weeks old.  I know the day she will no longer be here is coming too soon and I’m dreading it.  I have always said I won’t get another Buddy Boy dog, I can’t have my heart broken again.  I loved your story.
May I share a dog story with you?  I had a bichon frise who had us all wrapped around her little paws. She had been having seizures for a while and was 19 years old.  It was a blistering summer week, but dad was determined to ready a grave on his farm by my grandpa’s antique swing (unbeknownst to me), because he knew her time was growing short and didn’t want to deal with frozen ground if she lasted until winter.  Mom said he would measure her when she was stretched out sleeping (also unbeknownst to me) so he could build her a little casket from his oak trees.  It even had brass handles on it!  So, he quietly worked on this in his shop.  That Dec. 19th, God took her to romp and play pain-free.  Nineteen years with her!  We placed her in the lovingly made casket, put her in Dad’s red truck, and had a little service at the pre-prepared burial site.
Hello Curt - I was so saddened when I read your newspaper article “Farewell Holly Dog.”  Being a dog person I cried for both of you as I empathized with the intense emotions one feels when a better part of their life leaves them.  May her memories keep you company and bring smiles and laughter to you until God allows the two of you to resume life together once again.  In the meantime, I pray that you will know your heart is capable of great expansion and you will once again adopt into your life a new beloved best friend.  I will miss Holly Dog’s adventures.  You are both in my prayers.
Curt, I am deeply saddened to read that your beloved Holly Dog is with you no longer. I am sincerely sorry to hear this news.  Holly was a very unique Jack Russell, she was not the typical “dog on crack” that seem to be the personality of most JR Terriers.  My heart goes out to you for losing your companion. This news has touched me deeply, I am sincerely sorry to hear of your loss.
Curt, I have had a schnauzer and a lhasa apso over the years.  Both died of old age.  Loved them both dearly.  Hope you tell us more stories of Buddy.  I was so sad to hear about Holly Dog.  So happy you adopted Buddy.
Speaking of Buddy, the big news at my house is that Buddy Boy may not be a mutt after all.  Mary and I went to the dog show in West Burlington and saw a purebred that was the spit’n image of ole Buddy Boy.  It’s a French breed called a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, or PBGV.  The nickname for the dog is Saber Tail, because of the white tip on its tail.  Yep, Buddy Boy has that white tip.
Buddy Boy’s been step’n real high since he learned he’s a “French pedigree.”

Have a good story?  Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at curtswarm@yahoo.com, or visit his website at www.empty-nest-words-photos-and-frames.com.