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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Value of Pets: One Special Little Dog

For those of us who have pets, we know what a commitment it is to care for them. Depending on the pet, yearly health check up vet bills, vaccines, and monthly pills can be costly.
Add to that obedience training, toys, food, litter pans, scooper's, collars, leashes and such and you can easily spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars each year. My fish are much cheaper to care for but with the cost of electricity going up they may soon fit into this category as well. So what kind of pets have I had?  I'll leave you hanging until another post. I want to tell you about the very special little dog pictured above.
One of my good friends who moved away to warmer weather just had her heart broken with the passing of her “White Tornado” recently. I knew this little 20 pound wonder who's name was Pukak (Pronounced Poo-ka) for several years and have watched while both the dog and mom/owner, Anu (pronounced Ah-noo) become a great Pet Therapy Team, a Dancing Team, A Rally Obedience Team and Best Friends. Even though she was a small girl, I know that my friend’s house feels 4 times larger with her gone. I know that my friend is putting together meals for her and part way through realizes that her best girl is not there to feed. I know that tears fall from her eyes as she picks up the food and water dish and puts away the grooming supplies. I know the pain of walking down the streets alone where once she walked her "White Tornado". My heart goes out to her as she struggles to wake up and get on with her day without her little companion.

It is all so hard and many people will never understand and may say to her “She was just a dog, go to the shelter and get another one.” Yes, she was a dog, No, she was not JUST a dog. She was a member of the family who never complained about the long hours that they worked, or if dinner was late (OK she would let you know if you were waiting too long before feeding her but not in a mean way). She would not complain if the bed was not made. She loved without question and gave 110% of her love and attention to her parents. My friend worked hard to socialize – train – take care – and make this little one the special little girl that she was. I have several cute and funny memories of her sitting by the front door with Becke looking through the screen at us in the front yard doing something that I didn’t want either dog into so they were safely watching from a distance. Look at the smile on the faces of both dogs in the photo above. Pukak enjoyed her time here and was a joy to all.
Pukak (on the left) with our dog Becke 

I have this picture of her and our cat, Luckie, sitting on the couch together (something that didn’t happen at all before. Luckie needed to give her permission to anyone with 4 legs wanting to share the couch). My favorite memory of her is when she had to go out to “do her business" she would give that “Harry Eyeball Look” which really meant “Hey lady, get a clue and open the back door or you will be sorry!”.

Pukak had a job, she was part of a wonderful Therapy Team. Her body would magically change when she got to the hospital where she was a therapy dog. She stopped barking, walked taller, brought joy to the people she visited and was able to get up on the hospital beds and really get close to visit. She didn't stop at visiting the people in beds - no not the little white tornado, she visited the staff as well!  Her love had no bounds, she gave it all and when she was done for the day, everyones life had been touched by her small frame.

Pukak doing what she did best - warming hearts with her cold nose.
We value our time with our pets and the time is never enough.  I know my friend is waiting to be reunited with her little " White Tornado". R.I.P. Pukak whose full name was August’s First Snow CGC, PTD.   Pukak. Run, Play, Chase, Bark and get on the couch; we will see you soon.  Say hello to Falcore, Shadow, and Luckie for me!

For those who have pets, you understand the connection between them and us and you fully understand how my friend feels right now. For those who have never had pets, I’m sorry, you may never understand how much having a pet can enrich your life.

"Until one has loved an animal as part of their life, one's soul remains unawakened."

Anatole France


  1. I know our dog feels like a member of the family. I talk to her like she's one that's for sure. There's nothing quite like the love of a dog for its owner and we definitely feel their absence when they're gone. Sorry for your friend today~

  2. Our dogs, over the years, have always been members of our family. They enriched our lives and leave a big hole when they are gone. I'm so sorry for your friend.

  3. Thank you Joyce and Nanato4 for your comments.

    As our teacher, you Lynn Marie, were instrumental in Pukak's Rally O, freestyle, and most important, therapy dog training. You helped me shape Pukak into the wonderful dog she was.

    Best of all, you were her beloved auntie Lynn Marie who my sweet girl absolutely adored.

    I also believe our Little White Tornado is now tearing across heaven chasing Luckie, Shadow and Falcore, happily barking her head off once again.

    Thank you for this lovely tribute to Pukak. I will treasure it always.

  4. Lynn Marie this is a beautiful tribute. you have a heart of gold. I remember Pukak when I first started working at the kennel. This is so sweet, thank you for sharing. I'm sorry for Anu's loss, but she gave Pukak an amazing life!

  5. I feel for your friend over the loss of her beloved dog; they do become part of our family and her Little White Tornado seemed like she was such a blessing to others in the work she did at the hospital. I know she will be missed for the longest of times!

    What a beautiful tribute you did in her memory.


  6. What a beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes just to read it, as I can so identify with the pain of losing a beloved companion. Pukak was obviously a wonderful dog, and my heart goes out to Anu.

  7. That is sad news. At our house they are family and when they leave us we miss them so very much. Praying for the comfort of your friends heart.


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