Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Friend of the Family

A good friend of ours passed away a short while ago from a complication of health issues but most relating to old age. Sometimes the body just wants to give up and end the long passage of time when memories of youthful legs and a strong heart are far too distant.

The friend was our dog ‘Pebbles’ who had been a mainstay of the household since 1995 when our daughters fell in love with the Golden Retriever at a Christmas parade in the city of Victorville. Pebbles had been busy leading a group of youngsters down the wide boulevard advertising the need to adopt abused and uncared for animals.

You see, Pebbles was one of those animals. A beautiful golden haired female canine with the brightest dark brown eyes, penciled black lines about her eyes like an Egyptian Pharaoh, and a majesty that made one wonder how anyone could have been cruel to her but cruel they had been and here she was prancing down the street in front of PALS. A non-profit agency which took in unwanted animals and gave them to families in want of man’s best friend ensuring they would not be harmed again.

The idea of someone intentionally harming an animal is hard to imagine but unfortunately it does happen on quite a regular basis and then it is agencies such as above which lends a helping hand bringing some sanity to these abused animals by finding them good homes.

Pebbles was such a dog! At one year old she came bounding into a family who loved animals. Into a family who understood the close bonds which a dog can bring with them and to share with the pack.
Dogs are pack animals whose only job is to protect, love, and care for those around them. Of course, stories can be read about those aberrations within the canine world of animals turned killers but that is generally caused by an indecent owner with a perverse sense of hatred.

Dogs are humans’ closest allies.

To prove this point one only needs to look at ancient burial practices. According to Darcy Moray, zoo archaeologist from the University of Tennessee at Martin, the oldest convincing case occurred "In Germany, about 14,000 years [ago]. Not only was the dog buried, it was part of a human double grave," (Archaeology, November 8, 2006). Furthermore, Moray continues, the oldest evidence of this human/canine bond in North America is between 9000 and 10,000 years old, with dog burials documented from every major land mass in the world except Antarctica.

There is no doubt dogs are close to humans being first domesticated from wolves roughly 15,000 years ago and that bond has simply grown stronger through the eons, leaving an almost inseparable bond between the two species.

Even Wikipedia – the "go-to" place for anything knowledgeable within reason: “Many scientists believe that humans adopted orphaned wolf cubs and nursed them alongside human babies.Once these early adoptees started breeding among themselves, a new generation of tame "wolf-like" domestic animals would result which would, over generations of time, become more dog-like.

So, is it any wonder humans and dogs get along so famously? It’s a social bond which stretches back through the ages leaving one the master and the other the ever obedient and loving friend.

"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace." - Milan Kundera

We bade farewell to our close friend knowing she had served a faithful life to a loving family. A family who will never forget her and cherish all those memories of a young Golden Retriever bounding over snow, sand, and through the house causing all kinds of mischief to the laughter of those who loved her.
I think I will miss the mischief the most.

Pebbles on Patrol
Our Girl on Vacation in Yosemite
For more information on canines please look up Christopher Reilly’s piece on the internet: ‘Why Are Dogs Man’s Best Friend? 14,000 Years of Companionship.’
We Miss You, Too, Little Fluffy One!