Previous month:
January 2019
Next month:
August 2019


Those of us who never held or hugged Callie can relate to the loss Becky Dodge of Weatherford, Texas, reveals in this loving tribute she wrote for this very special friend.


    Callie, the one who never wanted to leave has gone on her last unavoidable journey. She left on Monday. 

    This house
and yard were her safe zone, where she was sure she was safe and loved and because of that she resisted going anywhere.
520calliebeckydodge2019    She knew what it meant when I got a leash out and called her. Instead of coming to me at those times Callie went the other direction -- out the back door and I had to go get her. She told me by her actions that NO, she DID NOT want to go.     

    The world had been a VERY scary place for Callie before she started living here. She was sleeping in a garage across the road from my place on a dirty piece of foam and getting fed there, but it was not her home. The man told me that when I approached him about Callie limping. 
She had cut the pad on one of her rear legs almost 1/2 - 3/4 of the way through and it was badly infected. I spoke to the man about it, saying that Callie needed to go the the vet. He said “she’s not my dog”.
I tempted her into my back yard with some cookies and took her to my vet. She was TERRIFIED but at no time did she ever make a threatening move. It took 10 days of antibiotics and bandage changes before the foot could be sewn up.     

    That was in Spring 2005 and Callie was about a year old.  So for her the world was a very scary place.
Callie was a lover of running, chasing and jumping at the shadows of the hawks and vultures. She DID NOT want them landing in HER yard. She was protective of me and the other dogs in what she considered HER kingdom. It was her self-appointed mission. 

    As she got older she stopped trying to catch the shadows of birds passing over but even recently she still patrolled the fences to make sure everyone she loved was safe and protected. She was shy but friendly with visitors, always the last to approach but once that initial meeting was over friendly and inquisitive about what that person wanted and who they were.
She loved sleeping next to the bed, couch or chair and even at the end of her life was still following me from one room to another. If I was not where she expected when she woke from a nap she came looking until she found me. What she wanted most was to be where I was, the rest of the world came behind that.
She was smart and stubborn like most heelers and, although she had arthritis and kidney disease, until last week seemed to be tolerating her health conditions well, even the pancreatitis she had earlier in the year. After that she slowed down even more but until last week still doing a little trotting around.

    I think that in her stubborn way she decided last week that she was not going to do this any more. On Wednesday evening she stopped eating and it was obvious she was hurting. That got worse as the rest of the week progressed and on Monday I took her on that final trip. 

    Even with the other dogs here the house feels empty without her. I miss seeing her next to the bed, curled next to the couch, and in the cubby under the computer desk where she wanted to be when I am on the computer. I look at all her favorite places and see her there.”



[Dianne Cole Hall, longtime contributor to,  is dedicated to the animals in the life she and Mike share. She's also a longtime rescuer of animals that get dumped near Mountain View Community College and Dallas National Golf Club in Southwest Dallas. This is her tribute to the dear dog Abby. Written from the heart.]


My sweet, precious Abby crossed the Rainbow Bridge Tuesday afternoon, May 14, 2019, and I know she was welcomed into Heaven by Cisco and Lady. You see, Cisco and Lady raised Abby…not me and Mike.

Screen Shot 2019-05-16 at 1.02.55 PMI purchased Abby for $50 in the parking lot of a Walmart in Mesquite, TX, Thanksgiving weekend 2004. A couple were selling puppies that had been born in October and I made the mistake of looking at them…not with the intentions of buying one, but $50 later she went home with me. Needless to say, Mike wasn’t too happy as we already had two perfect dogs…Lady and Cisco…so why did we need another? Lady and Cisco were a bit skeptical of this little black ball of fur in the beginning, but they rose to the challenge and raised this sweet baby and showed her the ropes. I was told at the time I bought her that she was part Irish setter and part lab. Well, she grew up to look just like Cisco, a big black lab, only Abby was a smaller version of her big brother.

Of all the dogs I’ve had, and I’ve had many over the years, Abby was the easiest of all to raise. She just followed Lady and Cisco’s lead and everything came easy to her. She was smart, funny and loved attention, but she hated the camera and never liked dog toys…she was an “old soul” in a puppy’s body. Whenever I pointed a camera at her you’d think I was going to beat her. LOL! She was NOT photogenic by any means and she loved her personal space.

She was crate-trained and learned early on that any time she went into the crate she’d get a treat. In the mornings as I was gathering up my things for work, she would hear my car keys jingle and run and get in the crate and wait for her treat. We kept her crate in the kitchen of our little house and one night as I was cleaning up, I noticed that she was in her crate…it took me a few minutes to realize that she was waiting on her treat! She just thought if she went in there and sat down one would magically appear in my hand for her. LOL! When she got to the age that we didn’t think she needed to be kept in a crate when we were gone, she didn’t know how to eat a treat since she wasn’t in the crate. However, it didn’t take her long to learn!

Screen Shot 2019-05-16 at 1.03.42 PMShe NEVER liked to be outside…EVER. She would let us know when she needed out, but as soon as she finished her “business” she was ready to come back in. If we didn’t let her in right away, she’d walk around the patio table and come back to the door, and repeat the process until we let her in. She would stay out on the patio if I sat out there in the afternoons, but while the other dogs would be roaming around the yard, Abby would be standing on the patio panting and waiting to go inside. She would knock you down trying to get in if you opened the door for any reason. She never would lay down and relax on the patio like the others, but she’d stand there all day if I stayed outside with her.

Screen Shot 2019-05-16 at 1.04.21 PMIn July of 2015, I had to help my sweet Cisco cross the Rainbow Bridge at the age of 14. Abby was his “mini me” and grieved his passing as much as I did. She had always been close to Cisco and Lady, but Cisco was the one closest to her heart. However, with Cisco’s passing she turned to Lady, but 8 months after Cisco crossed, we had to help sweet Lady cross just shy of her 15th birthday. Needless to say, Abby was lost. Before Cisco passed I had rescued Lil’ Bit from a golf course by my work. Shortly after Cisco passed we adopted Dice, a year old, black lab/Great Dane mix. Abby had accepted Lil’ Bit and she learned to tolerate Dice, but in all honesty she was never the same once Cisco and Lady left her.

Mealtime was her favorite time of day and I KNOW she could tell time. She always knew when it was breakfast time at 5:00 a.m. and dinner time at 5:45 p.m. Even on the weekends she would wake me up at 5:00 a.m. for breakfast and then would happily go back to bed once she ate and went outside…though by then I was wide awake. Mike and I would joke that she was probably saying a few choice words in her head in the afternoon if, God forbid, I was later than 5:45 p.m. getting dinner down for them.

Abby never liked riding in the car. In fact, she would have severe seizures as soon as I put the car in gear. The seizures got so bad as she grew older that I would have to pick up a sedative at the vets office the day before and give it to her an hour before we left the house…sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. We almost lost her at the vet’s office one afternoon when she had a seizure and because of that, the last few years I didn’t take her to the vet for her shots, etc. Our vet understood because Abby never left our house or backyard to be around other dogs and she very seldom would interact with anyone that came to the house for a visit.

Screen Shot 2019-05-16 at 1.04.58 PMShe had developed many skin tags and bumps on her body over the last few years; a tumor by her tail, chronic ear infections and a terrible order that no amount of bathing would diminish. I spent a small fortune on her getting meds for her ears, trying different foods and shampoos, but nothing ever worked. The last couple of months she had started drinking water by what seemed like gallons and she would pee in the house (something she NEVER did) if we didn’t let her out frequently. Luckily, Mike works from home so he could see that she went out often, but there were times we just could not be there so I would have to mop when I got home (lucky that we had tile floors), but the tile floors were hard for her to get her footing and stand up on. Her appetite was diminishing…sometimes she ate, sometimes she didn’t, but she wasn’t as enthusiastic about eating as she had been. However, the was always up for a “treat”. If she wasn’t sleeping she was pacing and panting, or endlessly scratching. She wanted to be close to us, but didn’t want us to pet her at all. She would sleep on the floor by my side of the bed instead of on her doggy bed.

Screen Shot 2019-05-16 at 1.05.26 PMOver the weekend we made the hard decision to help her cross over. I cried all day Monday and picked up the sedative to help relax her for the final trip to the vet’s office and sat on the floor with her a long time that final night loving on her and telling her what a sweet baby she had been for so many years. She knew…she was tired and ready to go see Lady and Cisco again. I know in my heart it was in her best interest…to let her go while she still had some dignity, but it was a hard decision and one I hope we don’t have to make for another few years.

Abby, your Mom and Dad, and two sisters, Lil’ Bit and Dice, miss you with all our hearts. You will forever be in my heart, and I know you, Lady and Cisco will be waiting for me when I get to heaven.
Screen Shot 2019-05-16 at 1.05.57 PM