Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Hometown Shootout -- Childhood Memories

Childhood memories – A BOY AND HIS DOG

Brian’s dog was Sally. He grew up with her. We all loved her. She had a long happy life – 120 or more in dog years. Last Friday we had to let her go. But I don’t want this to be a sad blog. Brian asked for pictures of her and I am putting together “The Complete Sally Photo Album” for him for Christmas – or before since it will not be a surprise. And this childhood memories photoshoot is the perfect time to share some of those good times…even if there is some sadness in doing so.

Bagman put this shoot together for us, noting that passion isn't always without tears.

Sally was a gift to Brian from Santa Clause – at least we believed that Brian still believed in Santa then. I spent Christmas Eve half-sleeping and half-playing with her on the floor in the basement of the house we had then to keep her from yipping and ruining the surprise.

Brian looks like he’s not sure what to think in this photo. We said, “We’ll have to think of a name for her.” I expected we’d discuss possibilities for a couple of days, but Brian didn’t hesitate. “Sally!” I’ve asked him where he came up with that name but he doesn’t know. It was just her name.

It didn’t take him long to lose his reticence around her.

When Santa fell asleep, he fook my old film camera and started taking picture of her himself

And everywhere that Brian went the dog was sure to go...

And when birthdays came, we didn't have to think very hard for a theme for a birthday cake.

Sally could be wild

Sally loved the house in the country in the hills of North Carolina

But above everything, she loved Brian

Day or night

She loved to take walks with Karen and I

But above all, she loved Brian

And Conner got to meet her when he came along.

 While her heart belonged to Brian, there was one time she always shared with me...the late night walk before bedtime.   Every night we'd walk around the backyard, wherever we lived, and, for some reason, that was kind of my prayer time, looking at the stars.  Although her nose was usually to the ground, sniffing a million nocturnal things, I always thought she kind of understood as well.  

Now, I go to the backyard at night and look up at the stars.  I'm sure that one of them is Sally smiling down at me, probably wondering why I'm missing out on the fun of sniffing out moles.


  1. That was sad but also a celebration of the love of a pet and the importance of her in the life of Brian. Without a pet, how can a child learn to love animals. Thanks for the photo history. It was great.

  2. Thank you. Bagman, Butler and I also just realized that it is Thursday. But we can't figure out how to reschedule this without deleting I'm probably even earlier than Australia.

  3. LOL yes it's even Thursday here ....just going to bed 10pm.....

    Your post brought a tear to my eyes.

  4. A lovely tribute, Mark! Dogs can be such perfect companions.

  5. Heart wretchingly beautiful. It is true 'man's best friend'. I would not be without mine. She is better than a man any day! Ha!

    BTW saw on your profile a fav book of yours 'The Shack' and soon to be one of mine, I am thinking.I was recently (yesterday arrived) sent such from America and am already half way through.Full of window openings within.

  6. These little furry creatures with the four legs wiggle their way into our hearts so thoroughly that we are amazed how much we love them.

  7. Awesome tribute to Sally and the love she had from a wonderful boy and family. I just loved it so much.

  8. That was a beautiful, tender and loving post Mark. Dogs weave their little wet nosed, waggly tailed way into our lives and our hearts and become part of the very fabric of our lives.

    Please thank Butler for all the work he did on this one.

  9. Mark I am glad they found you. Maybe that is why your days are mixed up. That was a long time to have one doggie. Amazing that the grandson got to know him. We just lost a granddog. Lucy passed away last Sunday, exactly one year from the day Ethel passed. The kids are broken hearted. A wonderful Friday shoot.

  10. OK, now I'm an emotional wreck.

  11. What a lovely walk through love and family.

  12. Awww that is just beautiful. What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing this!! Sarah

  13. touching story. I can see in the pics her aging slowly. wonderful post. very cute dog also!!

  14. I really love everything on this post. This is a complete compilation of Sally's memories. Sally and Brian both grew up together. Thanks for sharing their transformation and wonderful memories together

  15. That is a beautiful memory book you assembled for Brian. What a lovely thing to do! That Sally survived so long is evident in the family of love that surrounded her. A classic childhood doggie tail, (tale) Mark. Sweet beyond words.

  16. Hi BBM

    my thoughts are with you at this time of missing Sally. Dogs take up a big part of our lives and therefore leave a big hole when they go. I still go out and chat to Kealia under the frangipani tree...

    Happy days and Vale Sally

  17. There are tears in my eyes. Yes, there are. This is the most touching post I've had the pleasure of finding today.

    Pure sweetness in every scroll.

    Thank you :)

  18. Yep, I agree with Heather. Very touching and such a pleasure to read. Sweet dreams Sally. She's chasing that rainbow in heaven now.

  19. oh very touching ^.^
    from now and then... : )

  20. what a wonderful post. very moving. great photos and wonderful memories your son (and you) will always have. dogs are wonderful companions.

  21. Very touching story. I think a childhood shared with a much loved pet it somehow richer than any other. Thank you for sharing the story.

  22. I suppose a good cry is good for the soul. This weeks shoot out has become a lump in the throat kind of read. Yours is one of the best. There is nothing, NOTHING as good as a story of a boy and his dog except maybe man and his dog. 120 years old, is that not wonderful.

  23. I normally never ever post comments on blogs. This is my first time visiting your blog and this post about Sally and Brian has pulled on my heartstrings like no other. I thank you for your post and Brian is a lucky man to have had such a beautiful and loyal dog as Sally. All of those tender moments....

    Thank you for making my night so much better. I am now going to go back and read more of your posts.

    Thank you again for writing this.

  24. What a beautiful story and so many memories. Sally was a lucky dog, and Brian a lucky owner.

    I think my favorite photos are the ones so similar with Brian and Sally as youngsters and again grown.

    Thanks for playing this week ♥

  25. A beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful tribute Mark.

    And above all she loved Brian!

    Big hugs to you mate.
    Big, big hugs.
    Peggy xxxx

  26. What a wonderful, noble life. How lucky she was to be so loved.

  27. That was so touching- such a sweet tribute. It makes me miss my childhood pup- Chappelle. He was a black lab and was my heart. I still miss him.

  28. Sally was so dignified and elegant - even when she had all four paws in the air and was in Brian's arms.

    You can see the love she had for Brian - and your family.

    This was a beautiful tribute.

    Super big bear hug from me...

  29. What a wonderful post, my friend. I feel your pain. We lost our dog of 14 years five years ago. We still miss her. Her favorite toy, a mere rag of a pink bear, stitched up several times, sits beside my computer desk - her favorite place to be whenever I was working.

    And every time I see a Yellow Lab, tears come to my eyes. We do get attached to our animals, don't we?

    Email me when you can.