Mark, I think your dog series is awesome. This is the obituary I sent to the Mayor of Honolulu shortly after I retired from the Marines in October of 03. I think I will always miss my mutt Dozer.

Dear Sir,
On Mothers Day of either 1994, 95, or 96 we adopted an old dog from the Honolulu humane society. At the time we thought he was about seven years old or so. He was very skinny and had been abused we believe. The ladies at the shelter were very concerned that we might not keep Dozer. You see he was older, seven years, and we were military. They were afraid that we might be forced to abandon him as we moved away. It took two interviews that day, but in the end the concerned ladies relented and Dozer came home with us.

Eventually our Hawaiian time ended and the Marines sent us to California, then to Texas, then back to California, and finally back to Texas to retire. Thru this time Dozer was with us. He never did put on any weight. Many vets visits later determined no real problem, he just wasn’t the type to eat much. As our grade school kids entered high school and college Dozer began to show the signs of being elderly. He slept more, and was a bit short tempered (but not violent) with our cats.

This past summer, we found an abandoned lab/mix puppy wandering the streets and took her in. She didn’t eat and threw up a lot. ON the second day we took her to the vet and he said she had parvo. We could not afford hospitalization so we took her home after receiving a subcutaneous iv of fluid. The issue was in doubt for three days. But Bella survived. Part of her survival was that Dozer didn’t leave her alone. He hovered about her like a concerned parent.

After her recovery, Bella repaid Dozer’s kindness by being the child he never had. They played and roughhoused outside and made sure the family cats knew who was in charge inside. With Dozer’s advancing age, we think Bella’s affections helped him in some way.

Two weeks ago, Dozer took a turn for the worse and we decided that it was time to let him rest. We think he was somewhere between 12 and 14 years old and had been with us at least half of his life. He was never alone from the time we got him until his time to sleep. He was an adored member of the family by me and my wife, and our three kids. Everyone cried that day. Even the animals acted different. It was obvious that a member of our family was missing.

I wanted to let the kind ladies at the humane society know that they did a good thing by looking after Dozer until we adopted him. I wanted to thank them for their concern and care. And I wanted to let them to know that, as the story ended, the trust they showed by letting him come home with us was not misplaced. I tried to find an email or web address but couldn’t. Could you please forward this to the Humane Society located on Waialae ave? Thank you so much.

very respectfully,
Phillip from Texas