By LARRY M. JONES
For most of us, our pets give us great joy and provide wonderful companionship. This is especially true during the time of our youth and also during our golden years. During these seasons of life we have more time to bond with our 4-legged friends than during the prime years when we were so desperately trying to make our mark on the world. With this wonderful gift of love from our pets, there is a down side. We live longer than they do, and it is hard to face losing them. Down on the “pore farm” in the not too distant future, I will face this inevitable fact.
Over the years I have written many times about my fat red dog. Ironically, her full name is actually Red Dog Jones, but when she gets into trouble, she is referred to as Red Dog Hocker. Hocker is my wife Helen’s maiden name. Day in and day out, I normally just call her fat dog---Red Dog that is, not Helen.
An honest-to-God farm dog, Red Dog is enjoying her 13th summer down on the “pore farm.” In 2002, Helen and I were mourning the loss of our previous dog, appropriately named Black Dog, who was run over by a speeding car on Lazy Bend Road. We decided to head to the animal shelter and see what was available since we had been without a dog for about six months. We really missed having a dog to bark whenever someone pulled into the driveway, or to chase away critters in the night. That’s what farm dogs do. They sleep outside, wallow in stinky stuff, follow tractors all day, get sprayed by pole cats, dig in flower beds, and guard against all intruders large and small.