"In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks."
John Muir

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

One of A Kind

It has been one year.
I've missed him each of the past 365 days.
Today I owe him a tribute.
But it's still so hard.

Shoeless Joe.
Best. Dog. Ever.

He was just a pup when Jack fell in love with him. 
It happened at summer camp in Massachusetts. 
 One of those summer romances, you might say.
These two buddies returned to camp 5 more summers
and he worked hard to keep the waterfront clean.
He took his job seriously.
Watch out geese, beavers and muskrats!

Shoeless loved those beach days
and was always glad to find water of any kind.
It was quite the shock to discover the Gulf's
salty water was very different from the lake.
But it still had birds to chase so all was well.

Texas summers were much hotter, too.
A quick learner, he found ways to beat that heat.

We had fun teaching him tricks. 
He balanced biscuits on his nose, gave high-fives, rolled over--all the usual dog tricks. 
But he and Jack were quite the comedy team.
He'd sit at attention, silent, while Jack asked the questions:
"So, Shoeless Joe, how was your day?"
Shoeless:  "Ruff!"
Jack:  "And how does sandpaper feel?"
Shoeless: "Ruff!"
There were more questions, but you get the idea.
They put on an amusing show, let me tell you.

This funny video downloaded in a strange way,
but it shows Shoeless going out to get the paper from the driveway each morning.
If Jack happened to still be in bed, I'd tell Shoeless
to take the paper to him and he'd dash into the bedroom, leap on Jack's chest and drop the paper right there.
He lived to please us.

No fluffy little doggie sweater for this boy!
God gave him a warm, thick coat.
His black curls were soft and silky.
When our rare winter days hit central Texas
he was happy to roll in the snow. 

I don't think he would have minded
 many more winter days like this one.

Shoeless Joe had no need of leashes or fences.
He kept his eyes out for us on walks through trails and woods.  He could go for miles and miles, leaping and running.  The question, "Wanna go?" had him on his feet and ready before the words were out.

His quiet, patient ways were precious to have around.
We hardly ever heard him bark but his dear eyes communicated so much to us.

Even the times he was left alone,
he wouldn't get into mischief by seeing what was in those pretty packages, jumping on the furniture or checking out the kitchen garbage.
I don't think getting into trouble was in his nature.

He was the child of our empty nest years
yet when a grandbaby showed up, not a hint of jealousy or irritation came from our gentle boy. 

One of our daughters described Shoeless as
"made of love".
And he was as sweet and good as he was a beautiful boy.
He gave us his very best.
All the time.
He showed us what true, unconditional love really is.

A friend shared that he was a "one of a kind" dog.
He left us way too soon and the hole in our hearts was so large that it still hasn't healed,
even a year later.
He was our sweet boy.
Our Shoeless Joe.


  1. Oh Shoeless how I miss you too. No matter how long it was between my visits you knew me and loved me when I would come "home".

  2. That post was so sweet, but it made me cry. He was a wonderful friend and such a good boy!

  3. Yes, he was a special friend! carol