Doug the dog, and Father’s Day

Today is a day I often lose track of  on the calendar. My own father passed away 14 years ago, and it’s still a relationship I am trying to work out somehow. I have written quite a few posts about it here in the blog, my issues and struggles that continue to this day.

But all my memories are not unhappy ones. We shared the love of our dog Doug, a 120-pound hound mix my dad adopted. Doug had been a stray, roaming the farm fields of Missouri and eating out of garbage cans. He’d been shot at, survived heart worm (that my dad nursed him through), and ate anything left out on the kitchen counter, including an entire Thanksgiving turkey once.

I took him in after my dad became too sick fighting cancer to take care of him. We had a few of our own wonderful years together. Too few, as is so often the case with large dogs.
It’s hard now not to think of my father without thinking of Doug, and vice versa. Although Doug and I ended up having a more loving relationship, we had a some issues, too. Like his eating my socks and underwear when he first came to live with me. That earned him a crate, and quickly changed his ways.

Doug was smart and handsome and a bit rough around the edges. People often crossed to the other side of the sidewalk when they saw him, thinking I had a werewolf on leash or something. But he loved his human family with unfailing devotion.

In short, for me, he was the best dog ever.

And I’m happy to have that memory of him with my dad, too. It was common ground for us, loving Doug, a place where we came together and agreed, for once, on something: that Doug was one of the best things that ever happened to us both.Today I think of him and my dad, and the short space of time we shared together (in this life, at least).

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