Friday, January 18, 2008

Farewell to a (furry) Friend

Almost 15 years ago I sadly said good-bye to our beloved dog Broozer who had been a part of our family longer than me. The house felt empty without a dog but I don't think any of us were ready to think about another pet.

Ready or not, a few months later, during the fall of my junior year of high school, we found Pokey. My younger brother, Mike, and I were at our respective soccer practices when a strong thunder storm opened up and everyone scattered. Mike and I had both noticed the dog that had been running around the field over the past few days and were worried about him. After we got home we talked it over with our mom and headed back over to the field. If he was still there and willing to get in the car with us, we'd bring him home until we could find his owners. Of course we fell in love with him and were sad when a few days later we figured out (thanks to some helpful cross country runners who had also been visited by Pokey) where his owners lived and realized we needed to take him home. I don't know how accurately I remember the scene, but in my head I picture the house as being out in woods, run down and dirty and a little scary. We showed up with the dog and immediately they said "oh yup, that's Pokey - he ran away a week ago." At least now we knew his name. They didn't seem especially thankful that we brought him home and he didn't seem especially excited to be back. I noticed they had rabbits in pens on the porch and asked how Pokey did with the rabbits. To which they responded "dunno - we just got 'em a few days ago." Hmmmm.....maybe they weren't expecting him to come back.

My mom was either oblivious or just ignoring their luke-warm welcome and was gushing all over Pokey and how much we loved him and wondering where they had got which they responded "do you want him?" I don't think any of us expected that so I'm sure there was a short pause but I think as a group we said "yes, yes" and got out of there as quick as possible before they could change their mind.

That was almost 15 years ago and Pokey has been a part of our family ever since. He was a bit of a scaredy cat - I mean dog - scared of the vacuum cleaner and the heating vents. Before he was fixed he had a little problem when he got excited or happy that we liked to refer to as "red alert, red alert". Sorry that I had to type that, but it's a part of my early memories of Pokey's life with us. My mom and Mike discovered that he could howl so they would howl at the top of their lungs and he would eventually join in with them. It was often embarrassing for me because they enjoyed demonstrating Pokey's talent in front of anyone - usually my friends or boyfriend.

But most of all Pokey loved my mom. We all went away to college and eventually got married and he remained my mom's constant companion (besides my dad of course - but he worked all day whereas Pokey stayed home). Where ever she went, Pokey followed. He definitely got a little jealous when the grandbabies came along and took away some of his attention.

Yesterday was a sad day as my mom said goodbye to Pokey for all of us. He was a good and faithful dog and he will be missed.


Erin said...

How sad. I'm not sure what we're going to do when we have to deal with our dogs/cat dying. We should have lots of time left, but they will be the dogs that N. grows up with, so i'm sure it will be hard when the time comes...

Cindy said...

Tell your mom that I am so sorry. I can remember when my mom called and said Annie had died and that was a really sad day. It isn't fun when you pet leaves you behind. They really are part of your heart and life. Somedays you love them, some days they eat the cake off the counter and you hate them, but most days they are there and just having them there is the best of all.

Dawn said...

wow -lots of posts since the last time I've been on! and have you seriously read 5 books in '08 already?!
sorry to hear about pokey :-( that's one of the reasons I don't want a dog - I just can't stand saying goodbye to them! I've had 3 dogs so far in my lifetime and have had 3 tearful goodbyes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Megan for saying what my heart is still too heavy to say. It also need to be know that Pokey had a remarkable devotional life. He would be at my feet every morning when I had my devotions. As it got more and more difficult for him to go up and down the stairs, I would feel so bad because I'd run down to the kitchen to reheat my coffee and he would follow me down, only to have to turn around and climb back-up the steps. Mom

Suzy said...

I'm so sorry. Pets are so much a part of the family and it can be terrible to loose them.

renee said...

awwww, Megan I'm so sorry....
Nancy, I'm so sorry.... I loved Pokey - the few times I've met him. What a good doggie... and part of your life. He will be missed. I never knew that story of how you got It was meant to be that you took him home with you. He had so much love given to him by the Koerber family :)

Tasha Antonia Hoover said...

Thanks Meg for sharing the beautiful story of how Pokey came to be your dog... I had never heard that before. Pass my condolences onto your mom... I'm so sorry :( Love you.

Kevin and Amy said...

Oh Koerber family, you have my sincere and heartfelt sympathy. This beautiful memorial to Pokey brought back so many memories of our childhood dogs...Ernie and Smoky. Only people who have had dogs know just how deep the sorrow can run when you have to say goodbye. My heart aches every day as I look at my sweet Luther pug...I cannot face the day where I might need to make a difficult decision about him. He's my first love and my true love. In fact, we're expecting our first child in July and I'm really not sure that I'll ever love any human as much as I love my dog. Please don't report my to CYS...I'm sure the maternal instinct will kick in at some point!

Anyway, thank you for sharing about Pokey's life. It sounds like you really saved him from a potentially difficult and miserable life and gave him a beautiful home and family. I know that he was a true friend to each of you and I know how empty and sad your house will feel for a little while. Cherish his memory and be thankful for his influence and sweetness. I'm honestly sobbing as I think about how hard it must be to lose him.

Thanks for the beautiful memorial and the reminder of how special our pets can be to us.

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