Scooby – Lessons From a Canine

We had Scooby flown in from Oklahoma when we moved to Arizona, from Alabama in 2004.

We had rehomed all of our pets when we left Alabama and wanted to get a family dog.

After researching Kim thought we should get a papillon, so we found Scooby at a breeder in Oklahoma and had him flown in.

We soon learned that Scooby was a bit stubborn, In fact for his entire 17 years on earth he NEVER did anything he didn’t want to do. For instance, it took us an entire year to house train him. At times he seemed more like a cat than a dog, even to the point of cleaning himself like a cat. He was also somewhat of an exibitionist. We bought him a small doggy-couch but he claimed it as his girlfriend. We would put it behind the couch to give him some privacy, but mostly so we didn’t have to witness the love affair, but he would drag it around between the couch and the television and proceed with demonstrating how much he loved his doggy-couch/girlfriend.

Scooby also began to train his humans (us) as soon as he arrived. We had planned on crate training him so he would sleep in his crate in our bedroom. Sounds easy, right? The first night he began to whine but I was determined to win this battle. Did I mention he was a stubborn dog? I can’t remember how long he stayed in the crate but it wasn’t long before he was in our bed, where he slept every night until he got too old to jump on the bed, just a couple years ago. That was lesson one. 

Before Bed I would give Scooby a treat, but one night he decided he needed another. I refused to give in and that was that. I went into the bathroom to get ready for bed. When I returned Kim and Scooby were already in the bed. As I pulled the covers back I felt something wet. Yep, that Dog had relieved himself right where I slept. He sensed my anger and hid under the bed as we changed the bed. After that night if Scooby wanted another treat, he got it. That was lesson two.

Once Scooby got us trained we all kind of settled in and had some good times. Every night Scooby would get on the bed and we would wrestle before he got his TWO treats. He went with us to the Grand Canyon and flew back to Alabama several times with Kim to visit, with little or no trouble. Most of the time people didn’t even know he was on the plane. All in all he was a good dog. I hope we gave him a good life.

God used this little canine to show us a picture of loyalty, love, compassion and perseverance. No matter what, Scooby was always our buddy. He didn’t just get attached to one of us but he was everybody’s dog. He loved being with us and would even curl up in the base of our office chairs when we were working in our home office, just to be close to us. When one of the kids was sick, Scooby was always right there with them.

One of the most important lessons Scooby exhibited was perseverance. In the last few years his body began to deteriarate. He had arthritis in his back and hips and had to have an eye removed due to the lense becoming detached. Didn’t slow him down much. He still got up every day wagging his tail and playing the hand he was dealt. Everytime I would complain about my back hurting or some other minor ailment I would look at Scooby and it would make me back up and give thanks for the blessing I had instead of complaining about my ailments. Without saying it, Scooby was telling me to suck it up and move forward, because that’s what he did.

As time went on he lost sight in his remaining eye and became almost completely deaf. Even then he got up every morning wagging his tail and at times we could see that playful puppy again as he would bounce around and play for a few minutes. He did begin to sleep more and didn’t interact a lot due to the loss of two of his senses but he was still wagging his tail. We felt he had a good quality of life so we continued to take care of his needs, trying to give him a comfortable life as he neared the end.

At the end he was nothing more than a bony old man that couldn’t see or hear and we knew his time was running out. He showed his stubbornness to the end, living to be over 17 years old when the life expectancy of papillons is only 13-15 years. Some may read this and say, it’s just a dog, get over yourself. I am fully aware that Scooby was just a dog, but he was our dog that God gave to us to care for and enjoy. One of God’s many blessings to our family. Thankful for the 17 years with him.

Gonna miss that crazy little dog!

A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. Proverbs 12:10

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