A short story about the dog I had growing up. My dog Catcher was a mutt. Half cocker, half beagle. When I came home from my very first day of first grade in 1971, there he was a little ball of fir, rolled up sleeping in his bed on the patio. I was an only child and lived in a neighborhood that didn’t have allot of other children and I instantly had a new best friend. That dog and I grew up together, through grade school, high school and then college. Fast forward to 1986, when I graduated from college and then went off to be an officer in the US Navy. I was fortunate enough to live close enough to my parents home that I could easily visit on weekends when I wasn’t out to sea or on duty. Old Catcher had been though allot in his life, a more than a few mishaps and near misses. His hearing was poor, he had cataracts, and he had started to lose a bit of bladder control and his face had turned from a wonderful brown/black to a stately white.


My parents and I debated putting him down, he seemed so difficult in his moving around, he’d even trip walking through the back yard on occasion. He always knew it was me when I came home to visit. He couldn’t see or hear, but that nose was as good as ever, and he would bounce around like a puppy during the duration of my visit. In fact every time that my mom and dad thought about putting him down, he seemed to have a good day, none of us could bring ourselves to do it. I’m so glad I didn’t have to make the decision you did Mark, Fast forward again to 1989. We had a particularly bad winter storm, lots of wind and rain, and he went through the fallen down back fence and drowned in the neighbors swimming pool (ironic since he loved the water so much). I got that dreaded call on a Saturday morning from my Dad, telling me my dog had died. Fortunately I didn’t have duty, and was able to run home. I walked in the house, and a grown man and navy officer brought to blubbering tears, seeing his lifelong friend laying out in the back yard, at long last in his final sleep after 18 years of faithful companionship. Fast forward almost 20 years later, and I still have dreams where my dog is right there with me, my best friend, who has never gone away.

I have a new dog now, Maxx, along with two cats Burger and Itty Bitty. Maxx is the first dog I’ve owned since Catcher. He is a great dog and brings me much pleasure. He was rescued from the Humane Society, after being returned twice previously. Third time truly has been the charm. All he has needed is some structure, discipline and love and he has become a dog as wonderful as the one I spent almost half of my life with. Here’s a picture of Maxx and the cats. If anyone ever wanted to commit suicide by dog, all they need to is mess with the cats with Maxx around. He is the big brother of the house and he doesn’t like anyone or anything messing with Burger or the little white cat.


Jerry from OR