All Dogs Go To Heaven

Thread Starter


Joined May 16, 2005
The vet has told us that our five year old deerhound, diagnosed with bone cancer this past May, will not likely live out the summer. His name is Laird Dubh.

I write this not to solicit condolances or sympathy - this is not to be a sad thread about me or mine.

I open this thread as an opportunity for those of us who have been loved by fine canines to share memories. I plead you, use this thread to honor the memory of special dogs who have gone on before us. What dogs do you remember fondly?

I will speak here of four dandy dogs:

Tally was my first dog. She was a genuine grade-A all American mutt. Part poodle, part terrier, part shepard, part your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine. She fit in my mother's housecoat pocket as a puppy. We spoiled her, of course. (That's what little bitty dogs are for, yes?)

Nightrunner was a half newfoundland half flat-coat adopted from the pound by my wife when the first Gulf War broke out. He was a legend in his own time. He was responsible for curing, by accidental implosion therapy, the dog phobia of a friend of ours. She came to the house one day and found herself face-to-face with 130 pounds (59Kg) of "I love you - will you pet me?"

Nightrunner was also reknown for his gastric fortitude and odd appetite. Among those items which he consumed are a candle, a strand of saphire chips, a small bag of kiawe wood chips, a coyote skull (just the skull, delicately lifted from a pile of freshly prepared skeleton), three brass buttons and the boot they were attached to.

His tail was of interest. The thumping of his wagging tail against the dishwasher could be heard out in the front yard. One year my wife and her best friend, who typically celebrate their birthdays together in April, were debating who should take the left-over 3/4 cake with them. Nightrunner settled the question with one mighty wag of his mighty tail - cake was all over the wall and even on the ceiling. (At least niether lady had to worry about disposing of cake.) Then there was the frightening day he came in all wagging with the six foot (2m) blackberry cane whipping about.

The best thing about Nightrunner was that he could always tell when one was down, and always came to put his huge head in the lap of one who needed a hug.

Hern was our first deerhound. Like all deerhounds, he was built to run and loved running! Like all deerhounds, he was a clown at heart. My wife and I discovered that it was impossible to have a good fight with him around. He would strive to sit in the lap of whomever was most upset. Imagine, if you will, a 42" tall (107cm) 85 pound (39Kg) hound trying to sit in your lap - whether you are standing or not - when trying to conduct a fight. Both my wife and I would bust up laughing.

Herne was a lap dog - he would settle for one lap, but preferred three laps simultaneously.

Like all deerhounds, Herne would affectionately belch in one's face.

We were a bit worried about how Herne would react when we brought Laird Dubh home. We had read that an existing dog can become jealous of a new puppy. No problems for us, though. Herne was extremely excited for us to have brought HIM home a new puppy! He raced back and forth doing "fly-byes" (face high leaps at about 30mph or 48kph). For his own part, Laird Dubh tucked in close to my wife's heels while Herne rejoiced. Later that evening, Laird Dubh discovered that "Uncle Herne has the BEST toys." An old lamb thigh-bone was dug up from under kennel blankets and enjoyed anew.

One day the two of them made a great escape and proved that deerhounds can cover miles in minutes. A woman familiar with large dogs spotted them running up and down an arterial street. She managed to flag down a police cruiser just a moment later. She went into her home for a pair of leashes and emerged to find our hounds being chased by the cops - lights flashing and sirens blaring! The hounds appearantly ran to her for rescue from "the dragon." To this day I still think Portland's Finest were clocking them to see how fast they could run.

Laird Dubh and Herne were "best buddies" for as long as Herne lived.

Laird is my "forge dog." He demonstrated this potential early on by eating clinkers. He also proved capable of sniffing out wrought iron on the beach. (Okay, I've zero scientific proof that he can sniff out wrought iron, but he has drawn my attention to almost all that I've found!) Since his operation, he has been my "clinker eatin', wrought iron sniffin' out, three legged forge dog."

Like all deerhounds, Laird will affectionately belch in one's face.

Laird Dubh has, just earlier this month, chased a deer like his ancestors before him. The deer (pesty, garden-wrecking nuisances they are) was in the process of destroying my mother-in-law's cherry tree - gifted to her by my father-in-law's mother. My wife took both he and our young Galadriel out on lead on lead to scare the deer off. Laird Dubh managed to slip his lead and took off after the prey when it bolted! Leg missing or not, he was going to down himself a deer! If he had not stopped to find out why Galadriel was not keeping up with him, he might well have succeeded.

Here's a photo of Herne and Laird a few years back... can you count how many paws are touching the sand?

So how about your own long-gone canine companions? What tales will you share of those fine beasts?