Captain was a large Springer spaniel red bone mix. (And a few other breeds) He looked like a large Springer spaniel with a long tail, liver and white in color about 50-60 pounds. He was truly a special dog. We got him just before I got off active duty in the Navy in 1979. My future wife at that time kept him at her house with her parents.

He was the smartest dog I ever had or presently have. I could put a biscuit on his nose and tell him to “watch it” and he would go cross eyed and drool looking at the biscuit on his nose until I told him to get it. He would flip the biscuit in the air and catch it.

He would ride in my passenger seat in my truck with his head out the window and his ears would flap in the wind. When I had a bad day at work, he would sit at my side and give me that look to tell me don’t worry, work sucks but you will get through it.

We would take him to the Delaware River to go swimming with us. He loved that. We called him “claws” when he did the doggie paddle to keep up to us. We had a good life together for 13 years. He was my buddy, the home security protector, and kid protector/watcher. My daughters and wife loved him too.
In the winter he would lay by the wood stove and when he got hot and started to “smoke” he would turn over to warm the other side.

As he got older he would slow down. We knew that some day the inevitable would come.
I didn’t want to think of it because he was my buddy and I couldn’t imagine being without him. I wanted him to live forever. But I wasn’t being realistic.

In 1981 he woke us up when someone broke into our house. He was no attack dog but he did his job and alerted us. I was scheduled to go away the next day with the Navy Reserve, and my wife was a wreck after this incident. Captain was a hero! He would protect my family when I was away on active duty.

Well the time came when it was time for him to go to a better place. That night I could tell it was just a matter of time. I made him as comfortable as I could. He was in the kitchen on a bed and he was so weak he couldn’t move. He didn’t appear to be in pain but I knew and he knew it was time to go to heaven.

I heard him moan late at night so I went down stairs and stayed with him for awhile. I took some water from his bowl and put it to his mouth. He was too weak to take it but he looked at me with those big brown eyes as if to tell me it was alright. He was dying and he was trying to comfort me. I still think of him. He was my buddy.

We now have a Sheppard, collie, husky, dingo mix. (Or something else who knows) and a Beagle someone dumped because she was gun shy. My daughters named them Daria and Jane after a cartoon they watched as kids.

They are good dogs and my new buddy’s. The beagle came around and is a good family dog. I think someone beat her because she would cower if you put your hand out to her.

She gained weight and looks good now. She thinks she is a big watch dog because she will run to the fence and bark when people walk by and then look for Daria for back-up.
It’s really funny to watch.

Now she is one pampered puppy. She sleeps in my lap when I watch TV or work on the computer. When I get home from work she jumps into my lap and gives me that “look” and makes me feel good and relaxed at the end of a hard day.
She still gets scared when she will wag her tail and it will hit the wall or something else and she will scare herself.
She still gets scared with sharp noises or thunder and lightening. But she is getting better.

The big dog Daria thinks she is a lap dog also. But at 55 pounds, my lap can only take so much.

Both dogs compete for attention. My wife makes home made dog biscuits for the dogs and they love them. They are really spoiled.

Dogs have a funny way of pushing into your life and making you love them. They make you feel good after a bad day at work or when you feel down. I think they know what they are doing. Dogs are really a gift.

Ray from NJ