Sunday, March 30, 2014

"He Wasn't My First Choice but he was hers..."

Our Kid-Lover
Esa, our smooth Collie Mix, came into our home first and as such, made it quite clear she would be choosing a second canine, if one was to dwell, in her/our house. After biting, dominating, paw-punching and humping the first two humane society dogs we had chosen, we became keenly aware the choice we perceived to be our own, was undeniably hers. Thus, after the first two attempts of choosing a second canine on my own, I loaded her domineering butt into my car and took her to the PetSmart Humane Society monthly extravaganza so she could make a selection. Gordie caught my eye and hers. He was eight weeks old, found in a wood pile with his litter mates, and covered with more than 25 ticks. Once we ask to see him, he instantly rolled over to submit to Esa, exposing his fragile underbelly. Esa towering over him, keenly looked up to me as if to say "he is acceptable and therefore shall be allowed to co-exist under my reign." Boy, did she know how to pick em.

He turned out to be the most obedient, jubilant, family friendly, cat loving dog we had ever known. Indeed, as Esa had recognized, he was submissive and always seeking only one thing: approval. Esa's daily assertion of authority involved paw-punching, riding Gordie like a pony and gnawing the cowl of his neck. During their fifteen years together, Gordie loved every bit of her attention-good or bad!

Only once during our sixteen year relationship did we ever witness Gordie exhibiting any type of dominance and it was pathetically toward the gigantic stuffed teddy bear pictured below. We won the bear at a Circus but Gordie made it his bitch: riding it like a pony, chewing on its' ears and sniffing it out regardless of where we hid it. The bear got so nasty from Gordies defiling, we finally had to pitch it. Gordie spent a week looking in every crevice of our house before finally relenting.

Our Senior, March 2014
In my heart, I believe all pets are good, delivered to us with the endless ability to unconditionally provide love. Everyone says they have or had a great dog. Maybe it is because we see them as such a reflection of our own ability to rear and raise. But, I would argue, there are very few GREAT dogs. Great dogs, once-in-a-lifetime dogs, if you are blessed-kind of dogs, are rare. His gentle ways are sorely missed in our home and I continue to listen for his shuffling paws, reaching for a cold nose kiss and long for the sight of his beautiful coat lounging in the sun of our backyard. Gordie IS a Great Dog. I have no doubt, he is in heaven with Esa, where she is riding him like a pony, once again.. Gordie Howe Collins 1998-2014 R.I.P.
Gordie & I, First Camping Trip, Northern New Mexico, 1998


  1. Gory was a great dog, but will always be part of our family memories!

  2. Pets are just as much family members as anyone else. May you find peace in your wonderful memories.

  3. Remember him basking in the sun hoping to catch a glimpse of a sly rabbit trying to hide it was a favorite pasttime