Wednesday, April 21, 2010


It has taken me a while before I could find the courage to announce the news that "SOX" was no longer amongst us. It is with deepest regrets that I have to say that I had him put to sleep three weeks ago.

This was one of those hard things that a "dog lover" must do but in his case, it was even harder because, not only was a great sleddog, he was a true and most loyal friend. You see, my little sack of dynamite was real hardcore on the trail and like my second shadow, following me around on the property.

Throughout last season's training period, I noticed that he was favoring his hind quarters, sometimes his left leg, sometimes his right. We thought it was a temporary injury but the vetenarian confirmed that he had a genetic condition called "Hip Displasia". Of course she sent me on a further guilt trip when she added that the heavy mileage we put these mid-distance dogs through didn't help but what can you do? Anyway, the hard decision was taken and he is no longer suffering.

He will be laid to rest (once the ground thaws) with his other departed friends and a "white pine" tree will be planted to mark his grave. Knowing "SOX" and the energy he had, that tree will grow big and tall and his spirit will continue to bring joy to us for decades to come.

A friend of mine figured that the following might bring some closure and I guess if there is such a place then I'll try even harder to be a good person. Let's face it, I'd be pushing my luck,showing up there with sixteen dogs in tow. = -)


A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them. After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer,
he saw a man at a desk to one side.
When he was close enough, he called out, 'Excuse me, where are we?' "This is Heaven, sir," the man answered. "Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked. "Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up." The man gestured, and the gate began to open. "Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked. "I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets." The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book...
"Excuse me!" he called to the man. "Do you have any water?" ''Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in." ''How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog. "There should be a bowl by the pump," said the man. They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree. "What do you call this place?" the traveler asked. "This is Heaven," he answered. "Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was Heaven, too." ''Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's Hell." "Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?'' "No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind."

Thanks "Bert"

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