For many of us, pets are part of the family, and our lives are enriched by their love and companionship. And when they leave us, the loss creates a void that can stay with us for a long time. Some of us are fortunate to have many years with our pets, as I did with my beloved Alix. She gave me 17 years of love and laughter and loyalty. She’s been gone nearly that long, yet I think of her every day and talk about her often. She lives on in my heart and in my writing (she’s the inspiration for Sweet Pea in the Waterside Kennels series).
Since the first book in my series was published, I’ve offered readers and fans the opportunity to share photos of their own pets. You can see those dogs on the slideshow here on this site. I’ve been honored to hear stories from readers and fans about their own much-loved pets. I’ve learned there are many ways to honor the lives of our pets, from stories to eulogies to memorial statues to photographs and more. Over the next week or two I’ll share some of the stories and information that’s come my way, beginning with the story of Scooter which came my way via email from Johnny Compton and his wife–both dog lovers who “read all the dog related mysteries we can find.” He sent photos of their Beagles. Here’s his story:
Scooter passed away one year ago yesterday. As you may have guessed, we are Beagle people. Living in rural area where we have a big fenced yard, dog door, where barking is not a problem (one of our neighbors raises German Shorthair Pointers), and plenty of wildlife plus domestic livestock to keep them busy, Beagles work out very well.
We got Scooter when he was ten weeks old, the runt of the litter but the little guy stole our hearts when we first laid eye on him. We brought him home with us and we all bonded almost instantly. He loved everyone and every other animal he met. When he was about three months old, we got Skeeter (eight weeks). He only took a short while to accept her and the two for them bonded. Scooter turned out to be a 15″ Beagle and weighed just over 30 pounds as an adult (Skeeter is 13″). He loved to ride and let me drive “his” pickup when we went on a drive together. He was funny, loved to play but I could always see the wheels turning in that sharp mind of his.
He met his early demise as the result of an encounter with a deer. The doe had jumped our yard fence with a fawn outside the fence. Scooter was at the back of the house and probably surprised her. All we know is he came flying in the house with a small cut right between his eyes and after a month of treatments and pain medication, he went down due to severe pain and we had to have him put down. He probably wanted to befriend the deer as he had tried many times in the past.
He is missed and we now have Bree to help fill the void.