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Doggone, Augie, Bow Wow and Fetch. Happy Birthday, Good dog.

Written By | Jun 25, 2020
Augie, Golden Retriever, Hank

The Daily Mail posted a story about a Tennessee dog. Not just some dog. But a dog named Augie. The oldest Golden Retriever on record who just turned 20. That approximates twice the age of the average Golden Retriever. And he looks beautiful. I doubt he has a political bone in his body. But I know that every bone and joint certainly loves his owners.  And it probably is certain that he is loved in return.

Some wise guy (not me) once said that a dog is the only animal who will love you more than he loves himself. For anyone who has had or has now a dog, this truism is revealed day by day. And certainly, never doubted.

For those same fortunate people, there are certainly some among them who have lost a dog. Maybe by accident, maybe by sickness and weakness in old age. Almost certainly some of those people have issued those fatal words to the Vet: “Okay, I guess we need to put him down.” Then the heartfelt moment when you look into the eyes of that loyal guy or gal for the last time and say goodbye.

Why put ourselves through this. One of Kipling’s most oft-remembered poems is  The Power of the Dog. The most memorable line being:

“Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.”

Kipling’s is only one of enumerable dog poems—check various sites such as The Poetry Foundation if you don’t believe it. I even wrote one for my own special friend, Hank. I may share it later. He’s looking at me as I type.

Augie, Golden RetrieverI look at the face of Augie and I see kindness ingrained in his face. I see wisdom simply from years piled up. I see a soft kerchief around his neck, symbolic not of ownership but of love. And a knowledge that at 20 he knows that he has stretched the days that God gave him.

Someone once asked C.S. Lewis if he thought animals would be in Heaven.

Lewis replied that if God thought it was important, they would be.  I suspect that if God didn’t think dogs were important, He wouldn’t have created them. And they were created. They didn’t evolve from some primeval slime. Arf, arf!

I once had a friend who told me that she just wanted to live long enough to outlive her dog. She then said, “Isn’t that the silliest thing?” I didn’t reply but remember thinking: Nope, because that’s probably just what he’s thinking. He wants to care for you as long as you live.

When I visit my son on his farm, the first to greet me are my “grand-dogs”: Joe, Molly, Odie, and Little Girl. Just four old rescued “misfits.” Love ‘em all.

Looking at that beautiful face of Augie and it looks important. It is not the importance of his having been a working dog, or his obedience to come, or fetch or heel, or any commands he has obeyed. He has obeyed those commands because he wanted to. Because obedience to his masters is his will. His dedication. His love and sacrifice.

Personally, I hope he lives another 20. See ya, Augie. Bow wow, Good Boy.

Okay, Okay Hank. I’ll post it. This is Hank.  And this is his song.

Augie, Golden Retriever, Hank

Hank the Wondrous Dog

Song of Hank:

He rises each morn,

To follow with care;

To the kitchen for chow,

His black and white hair.

Outside for his squirts,

And a dump with great flair,

He returns to the house,

His black and white hair.

While I coffee with news,

He lies by my chair.

Within comfort and reach,

His black and white hair.

We walk mid-morning

To the sun’s early glare.

He struts and prances,

His black and white hair.

He rides in the car,

While I go here and there;

Proudly sitting behind me,

His black and white hair.

Our park trip is later,

Which forbids any snare.

He jumps and frolics,

His black and white hair.

As I work at my desk,

He curls at side chair.

He rests in a heap,

His black and white hair.

As night becomes late,

Like a soft honey bear,

He gathers by my bed,

His black and white hair.

Paul Yarbrough writes novels, short stories, poetry, and essays. His first novel. Mississippi Cotton is a Kindle bestseller.

His author site can be found on Amazon. He writes political commentary for CommDigiNews.

Paul H. Yarbrough

Born in Mississippi, now calling Texas home, Paul H. Yarbrough is bringing his writing talents to the political arena. Yarbrough has completed three novels. He is also the humorist behind the weekly column, Redneck Diary.