Sunday, January 23, 2011

Odie and me

Larry wrote me the sweetest poem and I just had to share it!  He's such a doll baby and writes me poems all the time but this one, this one...well, I'll let you be the judge.

She loved her baby dolls
and a country music band
but the love that made her cry
was the one that licked her hand.

She would walk and he would run,
they wore that dirt road out,
laughter she still hears because
what is Boo without his Scout?

He had a table scrap smile
and a t-bone steak heart,
there wasn't anything
that could keep those two apart.

Too fast came the last goodbye,
gone, her furry little friend,
no wet nose and wagging tail,
but he loved her to the end.

Like shrapnel and a tattoo,
she was wounded and marked
by the half-breed heartbreaker
who jumped and ran and barked.

A stray mutt one day appeared,
you learned to call him baby,
he wasn't much to look at,
your mama called him crazy.

A new love you found that day,
he said his name was Larry,
then you made him wag his tail,
this man that you would marry.

When too fast he'll say goodbye,
he will look up your old friend.
They'll tell each other stories
over and over again.

We will jump and run and play
'til the Pearly Gates you see,
waiting for Jesus to bring you
to be with Odie and me.

This is the only picture I have of my Odie. Biting a flea on his tail!  He was born the summer I turned 13 and died of heart worms in March of 1988, at the very young age of eight.  He broke my heart and I've never had a dog, cat or pet of any kind since him.  I promised him when he was dying that I'd never love another dog.  Ever.  And I haven't.  I may not ever.  I still cry when I talk about him.  He was the runt of one of Reckless' many litters and was the most beautiful golden color I'd ever seen, almost yellow, and since I was a Garfield freak back then, I named him Odie.  I remember walking with him down Pine Road behind our house and he would always walk ahead of me a little bit, scoping out the place, making sure it was safe.  I would play with him by just stopping in the middle of the road and he would turn around and come back for me and just stand there beside me until I was ready to walk again.  He never failed to come back for me.  He was the best dog, companion, friend.  When he got sick and Dr. Derrick told me I needed to have him put to sleep, I just couldn't.  I went to pick him up at the vet and as soon as he saw me, he jumped up in that pen and started wagging his tail, so happy to see me.  I said, "Come on, boy, let's go home."  I got some pain pills from the doctor and put Odie in the back seat of my Chrysler LeBaron with the velour seats and we stopped by C-Mart and I got a pack of bologna.  Odie loved bologna.  We went home and for the next few days, I wrapped a pain pill up in a slice of bologna and fed them to him.  He died one afternoon while I was at work, right there by the back door.  Daddy buried him out near the old railroad trestle where we used to live.

This dog has ruined me for pets!!  Everybody says I need a pet, I need a dog, I need a cat, I need something.  I just can't bring myself to love another one.  I made a promise to him and I know that's silly and since Odie was so full of love and life, he would want me to love another dog.  I just haven't yet.  And it's been 23 years!

I made a promise to Larry, too.  I'll never love another man.  I'm a one-man and a one-dog woman!  :)


  1. This made me smile and cry - and then both together.

    I had Sandy...he was killed by a car when he was 6...I was 22. He was my first dog, and 3 days later, when I was still in shock from his death, my sister had found a litter of Lhasas in the suburbs of Toronto, so we all drove down together (Beverly Hillbillies in my dad's station wagon, packed to the hilt) and brought back Toebi. Toebi was sweet, and was 3 months old when we got him; my firstborn nephew was 6 months old, so they grew up together. Toebi was the dog who welcomed my babies home. Toebi was the dog who showed me how lovable it is to raise a dog (I was just too young, with Sandy). And Toebi was the dog I had to decide to put down. It broke my heart too, Ginger.

    I went to an art convention a month or 2 after putting him down. I was in a mall one night, with my sister, and something pulled me toward a store of collectibles. I never would have seen it. I went in, and I was pulled toward a shelf in the back. There was a ceramic dog there, a puppy...with angel wings. I wanted it so badly, I knew it was a sign. I thought it would be out of my reach, money-wise...but it was only 17 dollars (and my birthday is a 17)...I bought it..and it's my Toebi-angel..I felt this sense of peace like never before...

    I hadn't had a furry friend in the house for 5 years when, in 2001, I was suddenly filled with the longing for one. I ended up with a cat - never did I think I'd get one, but one day, at my art supplies store, a cat she was looking after made me see how I could open my heart to one. So I got Spirit at the SPCA. (I blogged about him - have to get that blog entry out and share it - you'll love it!). I got a cat because my mom was not well and I knew I couldn't be home with a dog to train one. Cats are very self-sufficient.

    Well, I had a dream one night. Spirit, Toebi and I were swimming in the ocean. A huge wave came along and brought us all closer to the shore. But Toebi stopped. He gave me a look that made my heart jump, and he started to swim back toward the horizon. I knew just then that Toebi was sending me a message: he approved of Spirit, and knew I would be okay. I woke up with tears on my cheeks but feeling at peace, again.

    3-1/2 years ago, Theo came into my life and I knew it was time for me to open my heart to another dog. And I can say - with some guilt but not much because he was sent to me - that he is the dog I was meant to have. He is quiet, and well trained, and smart and just wants to please us...and I know Toebi approves.

    But I have pictures of Sandy and Toebi in my kitchen, and one of Toebi after a grooming right here in my den...and they are never far from my heart.

    I understand, though, your not wanting another dog. I think that if it is meant to be, another one will come into your life...when it's right.


  2. Very touching story and a great poem. Sounds like he was the very best dog ever.

  3. Ginger, That is so sweet and thank Larry for that one. Odie was a special dog amongst many Reckless gave us. I know how much he meant to you. Love you

  4. I was just SQUALLING reading this!! That poem is awesome and sad and sweet and so many things all rolled into one. We loved our Odie!! And you can love another animal and still love him. There is lots of love in your heart to give--loving another won't diminish what he meant to you. You're right--he *would* want you to love another animal. I miss him, too, and loved him so much. But having pets brings so much joy to our lives. That's something I know he would want you to have. Love you!!