Friday, May 08, 2009


"think of the saddest thought you can possibly think of, the saddest thing in the world, then look into the eyes of a dog, and he's is feeling that right now. You can see all the sadness in the world in the eyes of a dog"
george carlin

I was riding my bike in to work this morning. I bought a truck last week, but I rode the bike in this morning, for old times sake, and it's a good thing to do now and again.
But that's not what this post is about.

This post is about the dog I saw on the side of the road. He was dead, struck by a car in the night I suppose. It was a Short-haired Pointer, with red ears and a white coat, and a pointy tail that stuck out at an obscene un-natural angle this morning. He had not been a beautiful dog, even with those red ears, but being a dog he was by nature, beautiful.

As I passed by him I could almost see his life as it must have passed...a puppy with that new puppy smell, falling over those floppy red ears, bounding and stumbling his way to his water dish, only to spill water everywhere.
Then learning to play with some little boy somewhere, running after balls and sticks in a constant springtime, and being told not to jump on people, licking faces laughing in the sun.

Later in the summer, laying and panting in the shade, ears pricked for that certain sound of a certain motor pulling into a certain driveway, and running to the fence, towards the scent long awaited, tail wagging so hard his head moves in opposition, like a counterbalance to such a complete joy that remains unknown to a mere human.

Then in the fall, when footballs and hunting gear come out, and the musty smoky smell of drying leaves and November in the air; maybe he was a hunter, perhaps he was a warm spot on a couch for a nice woman who chilled easily. Maybe he was just a good tackler, chasing the boys of the neighborhood at play, wishing he could throw the ball instead of just stealing it, clasped in his teeth like a prize pheasant. Whatever he was, he was eager to do his red earred part.

I couldn't help but think all this as I passed by this animal. I thought somewhere there is a boy missing this dog, or a girl, or even a man somewhere that has lost his best friend. They likely don't even know it yet, and are still expecting a familiar scratch at the door, or to see him back in the backyard, chasing squirrels or sleeping on top of his doghouse in his ignorant blissful doggie way.

And it occurred to me that if there is a Doggie Heaven, that it must be some kind of place! Can you imagine?
Ear-scratchin', belly-rubbing, pettin' lovin' touchin'.
Barking, licking, jumping, pawing and panting going on all the live long day!
It all seemed so poignant an hour ago. Now these thoughts just seem a little silly having written them, but do you know what remains?

This is what remains:
It is a very good thing to ride your bike in to work, now and again.

Addendum: A friend of mine saw this post the next day. She called the pound and found who the owner was. She then contacted the owner, a little handicapped lady, and shared my story with her. It seems the dog was her companion, and named "Birdie". My friend said she and the lady had a wonderful cry over the phone.
It is a good thing to do, riding your bike to work now and then.


Water Baby said...

I believe there is a doggie heaven!

SkippyMom said...

Pet lovers call it the Rainbow bridge where your beloved pets wait for you.

Bullet you know I just got a new doggie and your post made me cry. I must be a silly pet person [and I have kids!] but I still miss my first Chess and my dachsie Boomer....and your description wasn't silly. It was spot on.


GEWELS said...

This wasn't silly at all!
I passed by a dead dog last week and became so sad at the thought of it's owners looking for him and then finding him like that.

How sad! You need to take Twister back!

West Texas Insomniac said...

Your post brought back many memories. Here's the "Rainbow Bridge" that SkippyMom spoke of...

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

red dirt mule said...

it's this sadness factor that gets our dog Oscar out of a lot of trouble.


bulletholes said...

WB- I didn't till today!
Skippy- I did not know about the Rainbow Bridge. I had a dachsund named Dodo. Dodo has been waiting a long time for me now, but I guess that is the way of the dog, to wait so patiently for its friend.

Gewels, thanks, I kinda knew it wasn't silly, but it helped to pretend it might be a little bit, cuz I cried after I wrote it.

West Texas- Well, i got a glimpse of the bridge without knowing it was there. thanks for sharing that...made me cry again...we are gettin' pretty sloppy around here I guess.

Hey Red! I think I have misquoted Carlin a bit, but its not far off.
OscaR! I bet he's a good dog.

West Texas Insomniac said...


Last post on this subject. This one's tough...I had a spaniel that lived to be 17 years-old. We kinda grew up together...he was around from when I was 19 to my mid-30's. We did everything together and he got to see a lot.

In 2001 he had a stroke. I took him home but he had no quality of life. But he'd been around so long, all my friends were his friends. So I set a date to put him down, and everybody had a chance to come by & see him to say "goodbye". The night before I was supposed to take him to the vet for the last time, a car pulled up in the driveway...a car he recognized by the sound. It was my g/f at the time, and we hadn't been on the best of terms...She just said she "knew something was wrong" and needed to be there.

She laid on his blanket with him for hours, just petting him and talking to him. She helped me carry him upstairs and we put him beside my bed. BH, he died in his sleep that night. And nobody will ever convince me that he was "saving me" from having to do the unthinkable the next day. Anyway, that's how I found the Rainbow Bridge...I can't tell that story without getting a little "leaky" myself and don't share it often. But I felt like it fit. tb

Water Baby said...

Pal was my doggie when i was little. I only had her for a few years, but she was so sweet. One night she got out of the back yard. A truck ran over her, I hope she is waiting for me on rainbow bridge. I also hope that I have more than one loving friend waiting for me.

Minx said...

I lost a cat on a very busy road a long time ago. When I found him he still had a mouse in his mouth ready to bring home for supper! I doubt if he went to heaven!!!

Anonymous said...

Great story and well written as usual Mr. Bullet.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't even read this post, that's how much of a softie I am. But I'm certain it was touching. Still, to emotionally distance myself, I'm going to spend the rest of the day humming "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road."

Hey pal. UF Mike

bulletholes said...

Hi Minxy! I had a cat brought me a fresh rat one morning. Real nice.

B-Man! I know you got no time for a pet, do ya?

Mike,Mike,Mike...i know...all us cynics are cream filled. its our fuel. loudon wainwright III...i like him....
His song "The Man who Could'nt Cry " fits here, I think. i put up the lyrics this week.

leslie said...

That was one of the most sensitively written pieces I have read about a dog.

" a counterbalance to such a complete joy..."

Bravo, my friend.

David Kanigan said...

OMG. My heart sank reading this. So moved by this post. Thank you for sharing.