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dog portrait of trouble

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I have quite a story to tell. To begin, at my tender age of 1 year, I am convinced that being "man's best friend" isn't what's it's cracked up to be. I didn't feel like anyone's friend. Even my owners decided to name me Trouble. Perhaps if they had given some thought to a name it would be something different. I wasn't any "Trouble". I was, however, in trouble. Thankfully things changed. That's a good thing for me.

If it had gone according to plan, I'd still be living under the porch of the old farmhouse, surviving on short rations thrown out in the yard or various goodies I'd find for myself in the fields. Each day was pretty much the same. I was quickly learning about neglect. Was I destined to be ignored and unloved? Another bad sign was the "For Sale" sign at the farm. What was that all about?

One day, quite unexpectedly, a car came down the driveway. Without saying a word for fear of punishment, I timidly left my post from under the front porch and slowly walked toward the visitors. A man and lady stepped from the car. I could tell at once that the lady was a kindred spirit by one simple act. Instead of peering down at me from a great height, she crouched down so our faces were more or less at the same level. I had found a friend!

I'm not positive yet what brought these two people to me, but I had a feeling the man was in charge. I would flatter him - he may be harder to win over to my side than the lady. While they were here at the farm the three of us went on a really long walk. I led them all the way around the boundary of this farm that is my home. The longer the walk with them, the longer I could be away from the others at the house. I could for a moment forget my plight. I was having a wonderful time. I showed these two new friends how to enjoy walking through the woods and into the fields. Then, just as I was beginning to forget my fate, we were back at their car. The lady gave me a big hug as she told me good-bye. My new friends, named Wally and Kim, drove away. I stood and waited in driveway, hoping by some miracle they'd return. I would certainly take them on another walk and perhaps we'd stop for treats. I wouldn't catch a mouse again - Kim didn't seem to appreciate it as much as I'd hoped. I thought it was a nice gesture.

Suddenly one evening I felt more alone in life than I'd ever felt before. The farmhouse was dark, my owners had driven off without me and they never looked back. I was abandoned. I didn't know it then but it was a turning point. Not too much later a car came down the driveway. I hid under my porch not knowing who to expect. Perhaps it was the owner returning and I faced an immediate threat of punishment. No - I'm mistaken. I recognize the voice calling to me. It's Kim, and she's here with Wally. They've returned! Do they want to go for another walk? It's really dark, I hope they brought a flashlight. It would make it much easier for them to follow me. I came out from under the porch and again Kim crouched down to greet me face to face. I even dared to say hello with a quiet bark and a peck on her cheek. I wasn't allowed to talk with the owners, but Kim is smiling and enjoying the conversation. I am starved for attention and shamelessly roll over on my back and she happily gave me a tummy rub. Wally came over to us with a flashlight (good man!) and is motioning for me to come. I'm being asked to get in their car! They want me to come along. I took just a moment to decide what would be in store for me if I went along. Given my present lodging, care and feeding arrangements (or lack thereof), it could hardly get worse. To leave this place behind was no hardship. Kim is being very insistent that I go, but I'll play a bit aloof and make Wally carry me to the car and put me safely inside. It's a good way for us to bond.

My first night was spent at an animal hospital. I had no idea what a "vet" was. I had never been to one, never been given this kind of care. I guess Wally and Kim wanted to make sure I wasn't sick. They needn't worry. I was just emaciated and in need of a loving couple. How my life would change. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect such a life that was unfolding before my very eyes. I have a new family to call my own. Wally and Kim brought me home and "home" is my old farm. Even though the old house with my porch is no longer here, it is the same farm. They had purchased the farm and built a new home just for me! This is heaven.


Trouble died in 2002 at the age of 11 years old. Kim chose this beautiful poem in remembrance:


I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the diamond glints on snow,

I am the sunlight on ripened grain,

I am the gentle Autumn rain,

When you awaken in the morning's hush,

I am the swift, uplifting rush

of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not think of me as gone....

I am with you still, in each new dawn.


Thank you, Kim, for your wonderful words that truly touch the heart.