Callie was a part of our family for nearly 11 years. She was a hound shepherd mix and as stubborn as they come. There were times she’d simply exasperate me. She knew not to chase, but she loved it too much. She knew I’d punish her and put her on the cable run, but she did it anyway. Still I loved her and I know she loved all of us.
We found her dead in the yard two days after her eleventh birthday. She had no injuries we could detect, and she hadn’t been sick, though she didn’t eat anything that morning. In fact, she was in incredible shape for her age, lean and muscular; she still had blazing speed and the energy of a puppy. I thought about autopsying her, but since I couldn’t bring her back, what did it really matter what the cause of death was. I couldn’t do that to her.
We picked her up at an animal shelter in Calais, Maine in July of 2001. We have a cabin on Big Lake in Princeton about 25 miles away. Since we got her in Calais it was only natural to name her Callie. Callie loved the lake. There was always so much to do and so many things to chase. Our cats never liked that game and simply laid down and didn’t play along. They tolerated but tired of her and she with them. Callie was at home in the water. She also loved the boat. I’ll always remember her in her favorite spot, right up on the bow regardless of how fast we were going. I loved that dog!
This isn’t my typical post, but I just had to vent. Here are a few pictures of her.
Callie in HER spot
- Grace, Oliver, Daniel, and Callie in 2007
Callie lounging with me on the hammock at the lake last summer
A little more relaxed
I grew up in Old Town Maine and got a B.S. at the University of Maine in Plant Sciences/ minor in Botany. From there I moved to West Virginia and earned a M.S. in Agronomy at WVU. I also met my wife there. She grew up in rural WV as the daughter of tenant farmers who raised cattle and hogs. Their lifestyle at times was one of subsistence and I learned a lot from them. I've always been a foraging buff, but combining my formal botanical knowledge with their practical 'Foxfire-type' background opened up my eyes a little more.
I recently retired from teaching high school agriculture after 25 years teaching with my wife. Until recently I wrote a weekly nature/foraging column for the local paper (dailyadvance.com). I also have written several Christian nature/adventure novels that can be purchased on Amazon in Kindle format. One is a five book family saga I call the 'Forgotten Virtues' series. In the first book, Never Alone (presently out of print), a young boy comes of age after his father dies in a plane crash, and he has to make it alone. The second book, Strange Courage, takes Carl from his High School graduation to his recovery from a nasty divorce. The third book, Second Chances, takes Carl from his ex-wife's death and the custody of his son to his heroic death at age 59. The fourth book, Promises Kept, depicts how his grandchildren react and adjust to his death (this one is not yet published). In the final book, Grandfather's Way, his youngest and most timid granddaughter emerges from the shadow of her overachieving family and accomplishes more in four months than most do in a lifetime. I use many foraging references with a lot of the plants I profile in these articles in those books. I also wrote a romance novel titled Virginia. It is available on Amazon and is a different type of romance from a man's perspective.
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What a lovely dog 😀
Thanks, we’re going to miss her especially at the lake.
Oh, Ted…my heart goes out to you. We lost our 12 year old Husky mix last August to bloat, and I still have days when I expect to see her bounding up the back stairs…
Your Callie was a beauty, behavior quirks and all…
Thanks, I’m going to miss her, but at least she must have died quickly and I never had to put her down.
I feel your pain Ted. Lost my hiking buddy to a seizure a couple of years ago. Hikes are not the same.
My sympathies for your loss. Our 9 y.o. dog was diagnosed with bone cancer at the beginning of February, and we were told that she would live somewhere between 2 to 8 months. So in our case we do have advance notice that she’s going to be leaving us. Many tears were shed after the diagnosis, but despite it all she still seems to be enjoying the time that she has left.
im sorry so for you’re loss i know what they say about a dog being your best friend. I lost my favorite dog back in 2009. It was hard on our family so i understand how hard it must have been on you and your family/
Im sorry for your loss i know what you went through must have been hard
Iam sorry that you lost your dog and i know it have to hurt because it was in your family for 11 years. and i know you treated Callie just like one of your on.
i know how it feels to lose a close family member like that. i have had the chance to meet callie a few times by being friends with grace my whole like, she was a sweet dog, i had heard so many crazy stories of that dog and fun it was to play with her from grace. i was looking forward of spending the summer with her and the whole family in maine, i was upset to heard that she had died knowing that grace and the whole family loved her so much.
I can relate to you Mr. Manzer on losing a dog especially one that has been in your life that long.
I read this and it brought tears to my eyes thats really sad and im sorry.
This is really sad. I have two dogs and I can’t imagine ever losing one but sooner or later everything dies.
that is so sad and sorry about your dog