Our Echo
Title, story type, location, year, person or writer
Add a Post
View Posts
Popular Posts
Hall of Fame

The Dutch Progeny

Story ID:7832
Written by:Kathe M. Campbell (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Broken Tree Ranch Montana USA
Person:Corky Sue
View Comments (6)   |   Add a Comment Add a Comment   |   Print Print   |     |   Visitors
The Dutch Progeny

The Dutch Progeny
by Kathe Campbell

We allowed ourselves less than twenty-four hours bereveament. Some folks would view it impetuous and insensitive needing to replace a beloved friend so soon. But to a pair of dog lovers in our seventies we dared not let too much time pass us by. Losing any number of precious animals had been a part of living and dying on our ranch, but none had struck us harder. The older we were, the harder we fell while holding our girl close at the veterinarian's - two old fogies unabashedly allowing tattered souls to choke back mournful tears, then letting them spill.

Our beloved Keeshond had brought years of uncompromising joy as a herder and steady companion. At the shelter her dark liquid eyes had pitifully begged, "Please folks, take me home with you," and we had been smitten. None other would do, this Dutch barge dog, this silver and black treasure who asked nothing but to work, sit close and be loved unconditionally. She guarded us and our critters for fourteen years and never left Ken's side when he fell seriously ill.

We left our veterinarian that morning with instructions to cremate and drove north five hours to take care of essential business. As the miles rolled by we struck up happy Keeshond chords, recalling our smart and devoted girl in-between helpless and woeful weeps, and it was a dreadful scene.

Red faced and hankies handy, we stopped at noon for a sandwich and a city newspaper. Finding too many downer headlines, I single-mindedly glanced at the want ads under "Pets." Finding the rare Keeshond was probably a silly notion, but in fierce loniless and desperation one grasps foolishly.

There before my readers was an ad by a veterinarian dog breeder three hours south with one male Keeshond left in his current semiannual whelp. Could it be? I picked up the cell phone to ask if the pup was still available, and he was, but to please come before eight p.m. Somebody up there had His eye on two old crows as excited waterworks overwhelmed us this time.

All but dragging Ken in and out of scheduled appointments, we made it to the vet's country kennel with a half hour to spare. We began a search up and down the immaculate cages, but there were no Keeshonds in sight. Holding back disappointment, a blast of heat rose from my pounding heart, washing red-hot over my face. "Someone must have taken the pup, Ken," I moaned like a spoiled child.

"The Keeshonds are out for their evening stroll, ma'am," offered the doctor. "You must be the folks interested in our last Keesh pup," and I nearly kissed the poor man while shoving a half dozen snaps of our girl at him. "Ah yes, I too have a wonderful lady Keeshond over at the house, and in fact we've worn out three of them in our family," he smiled.

"Don't be so fidgety," whispered Ken while I paced and gazed impatiently at the outer door. Suddenly, the baby flew through the back door, his curly tail doing a jig atop his back. The doctor made the three of us comfortable in a private room for puppy slurps, excited baby whimpers, and the love-light shining. I prayed that writing a check for a high end figure wouldn't result in a Scotsman's burst of thrift, but Ken came through, for this was one beautiful little fellow.

While driving the two-hundred miles home listening to our favorite western tunes on the XM, we sang "A Boy Named Sue" together, and stopped a few times for father-son piddles in the darkness of nightfall. "Sue," I mused as our baby slept soundly against my hip, but Ken suggested, "Corky," after a great dog in our past. And so he was christened Corky Sue. I leaned back contentedly and somehow felt assured that our beloved lady had forgiven our haste in finding another Dutch descendant.


Published in 2011, Chicken Soup For The Soul - A Dog's Life under the title "Never Too Soon."