Freeway The Dog (in photo) grew up with my kids. When they got old enough, one of them asked “Dad, why do you call him ‘Freeway The Dog.'” And I told them it was because he had the same middle name as “Smokey The Bear” and they told all their friends the story from then on.

Anyway, when Freeway was about 10 years old, a burglar came into our house — WHILE WE WERE ASLEEP IN BED. I guess Freeway was sleeping too because the burglar made it all the way to our bedroom before Freeway heard him and started raising heck. The guy took off with Freeway in pursuit but he got away — because Freeway had to stop at the end of the driveway where his underground fence was. I shudder to think what might have happened if not for Freeway The Dog.

Freeway lived for 15 good years — but in the 16th year, he became very sick and miserable — couldn’t get up the stairs — the usual suff — and he was getting worse. I’ve seen dogs get so bad they couldn’t even move to go to the bathroom and I didn’t want that to happen to Freeway.

Well — the time came — about a year ago — it was difficult — nay, BRUTAL — but I made the decision and cried for days. We had him cremated and keep the ashes in the house. My wife and I vowed we would not get another dog. We still talk about him a good bit.

Well, a few weeks ago, the people down the road from us got this little dog (Sandy.) They made the dog sleep outside (on a huge, heavy chain attached to a tree.) My wife used to go down to feed the dog at dusk because she was visiting them one day and noticed its food had flies in it. She would untangle the dog from around the tree eand talk to it while it ate.

One day the guy told her they were going to take the dog to the pound because it went “wild” if they let it in the house and it jumped on their kids etc etc. So my wife came and told me the story — so now Sandy lives with us — and you know what? — she’s not wild at all — I can already tell she’s going to be a great dog.

Rick from NC