To all the dogs I've loved before by Syndi Powell

There's just something about a dog, isn't there? Maybe it's their cuteness when they are a puppy. Or the wagging tail. Or those eyes that look at you with such longing and tenderness. Or the way they love unconditionally. Don't get me wrong. I love cats too and have owned one (my dearest Diva below), but dogs have a special place in my life.

I've loved many dogs in my life, starting with my very first, Midnight. I had been afraid of dogs before this, and my Uncle Mark decided that our family deserved a dog. He adopted one from the animal shelter, a black lab terrier mix. He was the runt of the litter, so he was tiny. But he was ours for more than fourteen years. He had the lovely habit of passing gas then running out of the room, leaving the odor behind.

After he died, I didn't want a dog for a long time. But then that itch started, and my sister Sherrie and I adopted a beagle from the animal shelter, Kohlby. He looked as if someone had put black eyeliner around his eyes.

My other sister Sue and her husband adopted Furio, a black lab and German shepherd mix who loved to play fetch. A year after, he was joined by Phoebe, a black and white speckled short hair Australian shepherd who was the laziest dog ever. Once babies joined their family, they were both very patient with them, although my sister worried that Phoebe would lay on one of her babies. They also adopted Gracie Lou, a high energy dog who died too early when her spine broke after a tumble on the ice. Then along came Shiloh, a beagle who loves to bay at you to remind you that he's got his eye on you. They recently adopted a black lab named Cody, another high energy dog who loves to jump.

After my sister Sherrie got married and had kids, they adopted Rocky and later Ladybird. Ladybird was the sweetest dog I've ever known. She would look at you with those sad eyes and lick your hand as if to say, "I love you so much it hurts." After Rocky was gone, a pit bull mix named Reno joined the family as a temporary foster dog, but he won over their hearts and became a permanent part of the family. He's another sweet dog that loves to shower you with affection.

When my mom met my step dad, he brought along two dogs as a package deal. Evie was a blond Bouvier de Flandres which seems to be Belgian for huge dog. Bella, a poodle terrier mix, despite being the smaller dog ruled the roost. She had no problem reminding everyone who was the boss. They were joined by my stepbrother John's black Bouvier, Pinot, when he was on business trips. When I was living with my parents and getting cancer treatment, he liked to stay by my side. If I was taking a nap or resting in my room, he'd walk down the hall and poke his nose in the room to check up on me. Once Evie and Pinot died, Katie entered my parents' lives. She's a brindle Bouvier with a lot of energy. Two summers ago, we tried to teach her how to fetch using a Nerf gun. We loaded the gun with Nerf balls and shot them towards the back of the yard, but she wasn't interested in running after them. She was more content watching them sail through the yard from the shade of the patio. The picture below is from last year, still in her puppy stage and still growing.

At my house, I have Ceasar, a brown and white Shih Tzu whose picture started this blog entry. He's taught me a lot about life and faith. For example, he whines when he wants something, but I know that what he wants isn't good for him. That made me think. How many times have I whined to God about something I wanted but didn't get because it wasn't good for me? Too many times to count!

In my two upcoming books, Their Forever Home and Soldier of Her Heart, dogs play a part of the story. In the first, the heroine takes her blond Bouvier Evie to work with her for protection. In the second, the hero suffers from PTSD and gets a black lab Phoebe as a therapy dog to help him. It was fun to remember the dogs they were named after and giving some of their quirky habits.

There's just something about a dog! What about you? Are there dogs in your life that make you smile?


  1. We had a dog when I was in my teens that ostensibly belonged to my much younger brother but in reality, this dog only knew one master...our father. He (the dog) knew when my dad would be coming home after work and always went to the garage door where he waited patiently. Sure enough, minutes later the rest of us would hear the car pulling up into the driveway. Years later I read an article about the special hearing ability of dogs and that they could even distinguish the sounds of certain engines. This all made sense as our dog never ran upstairs at passing cars, only when my dad was due home. I highly recommend a book called “Inside of a Dog” by Alexandra Horowitz (I think!) Dogs are very cool! Loved reading about all of yours Syndi!

  2. Aw, those faces! Yes, something special about a dog. I knew a dog named ladybird, who was also a sweetheart. Can't wait to read the books!

  3. I love cats and dogs. You are so right about whining to God. Too many times I catch myself doing this. Sigh, I just keep learning over and over. I am so glad that He is patient with me.

  4. What a great post. I never owned a dog, but my daughter has, and I've become much more "easy" around them. I had some bad experiences as a child that made me really afraid of dogs. I'm glad I'm over that, because they really are wonderful creatures! I've put them in books and so enjoy it. Love you pictures.

  5. We always had pets growing up since I was a veterinarian's kid. At one point nine great Danes, three Siamese cats and a pug. True to little dogs rule, the pug did. They played with us, protected us and loved've stirred a lot of wonderful memories.. thanks!

  6. I'm a huge animal lover. Right now, I'm mom to two cats and a dog. I often include dogs in my stories. Rarely a cat. I need to change that. Only seems fair :)

  7. I loved this post. We only have cats, but a few dogs have created warm places in my heart, too. I'm glad Pinot was there for you--he probably still is.


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