Kenneth, born and raised in the South, resides in Hamilton, Alabama. He enjoys sharing his unique perspectives on life through his writing.
People Are Prone to Say
well, so and so was his time to go or if he hadn't got sick, he would still be here. Oh yeah? How on earth did you get so enlightened? Tell me. I'd love to know. I mean. Here is life and death and what happens between and then you call the shot and tell me, a dumb mortal, just where this living, breathing entity is going? Please tell me that you did not go straight to Heaven and ask God for instructions.
I'm here to open your eyes. Life has more than one story, and more sides than one. Even the animals are prized-creations of The Maker. We best take that into consideration. Take "Ol' Shotgun,' for instance. He was what you call a rare breed of dog. People knew it. Other animals knew it. Without one sound being made. "Ol' Shotgun" not only stood his ground, but took it.
The early morning when he was born, there was a heavy frost on the ground and there was little activity in his rural abode. "Ol' Shotgun" was not one to take-on, so he didn't. He just stood the cold and eat what was given to him. Other animals around him would complain and run after strangers for comfort. Not "Ol' Shotgun." He was happy where he was.
"Ol' Shotgun" Was Needless to Say, Special
when he came to that age of curiosity. He was quick to learn scents, tracks, and sounds. "Ol' Shotgun was an expert tracker even at his early age of one. And no one dared get in his way. Not because he might take into them, but because he was highly-respected.
When the scent of a rabbit caught "Ol' Shotgun," he was as fight as most lightning bolts. He not only charged at his foe, but all but outran this swift catch. And that he was a pro. Catching his master's dinner because in his day, jobs were scarce. But "Ol' Shotgun" never felt sorry for himself. He just kept on working, growing, and getting stronger until the day came, he stood taller than the dogs in his neighborhood. He was so muscular and intimidating that it took him one growl and the confrontation was over. That was "Ol' Shotgun's" way.
When our children grew to school age, "Tim" and "Annie" were escorted by "Ol' Shotgun" without being ordered. It was so amazing how he would be at the front door each morning before the kids walked out and there he sat wagging his tail and having that smile on his face. "Ol' Shotgun" knew that it was time to guard his master's children. And yes, he excelled with colors. That was "Ol' Shotgun's" way.
One thing that might be considered would be the way that "Ol' Shotgun" would protect our children. This dog, (who was more than just a dog) feared no one, not man or beast. One morning he was escorting our children to school and up came a couple of bullies, real mutt's with no class, and they began to growl and bark at the threesome. The children were so scared. Then "Ol' Shotgun" walked toward the two mutts and in a flash, they were history. The mutts had not thought that "Ol' Shotgun" knew the streets as well as the woods. There was not one time that our two children as well as our family were not threatened anymore. Yes, that was "Ol' Shotgun's" way.
Then The Cruel Sun Arose
to the darkest day that we realized that "Ol' Shotgun" was moving a bit slower than he was accustomed. We didn't make a fuss. We only thought that he might be tired from his guard work from the night before. But the more we watched him, the more signs we knew that his pace was a bit slower than usual and his sight was a bit dimmer than it used to be.Then at that moment, we became terrified. We all grew up with "Ol' Shotgun,": the Super Dog which no one defeated him ever. No one, man or beast, all but life itself.
Life. That invisible form that affects all living things. The invisible form that we cannot see, but can feel. And "Ol' Shotgun" was no exception. Life was the only enemy that he had and he did fight (life) as well as he was known to do.
But after that the sun arose on "the" day when "Ol' Shotgun" did not awake to the new day. He was just resting in his basket where my wife had placed a soft blanket for him to sleep on years ago. it was "Ol' Shotgun's" home.
Our hearts and lives were shattered. We never made any attempt to take care of him because we were devastated at the thought: "Ol' Shotgun" was gone from this life. And no amount of cheering such as: we know where he is and he will never be replaced, did not make any of us feel any better.
The fact is that "Ol' Shotgun" was more family than a dog. And only special dogs like him only walk through our lifetime once.
March 14, 2021__________________________________________________
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© 2021 Kenneth Avery
Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on March 16, 2021:
So sorry to hear about your pup! I know how hard it is to say goodbye to our four-legged family members. Hope you'll be comforted by your wonderful memories!