The Scooby Secret

dogs, dog love, rescue dogs, muttNot sensible at all, falling in love with a dog. But I’ve discovered a secret.

First, let me talk about Scooby. And his best friend, my nephew. T didn’t grow up with a dog, but he’d wanted one desperately during his childhood. So after college, when he began his first job in a new city living in a tiny rental with three other guys, T followed his sentimental dream – he rescued a dog.

Scooby came from a run-down shelter with no pedigree and was a bit of a handful at first.

What are stairs? What’s it mean to “pee” here, and not there? Why isn’t a couch a perfect napping spot?

Through it all T patiently taught and trained this goofy brown-eyed mid-sized sensation of a being.

They became inseparable. T walked Scooby on the city streets early in the morning, then raced home at lunch time for a quick outing, and after work the two of them bounded into the city park, releasing pent-up energy.

Scooby endeared himself to T’s roomies, and then to T’s new love interest. In fact, Scooby probably helped T on the romantic front. Who can’t love a guy who loves a bright-eyed, crooked-smiled dog?rescue dog, shelter, dogs

In the meantime, T’s older brother, C, once disdainful of slowing down to include an animal in the mix of work and play, found himself searching a shelter in another part of the country with his new wife. In some mysterious way, C’s heart expanded, reminding me of the Grinch at the end of the story when his heart expands while singing with the Whovilles. My nephew C fell in love with a tiny, silky-haired white dog, breed indeterminate and rather challenged on the looks department.

C and his wife named the dog, who flinches at the sound of a door closing or the approach of any man but C  –  Wolfie. Of course.

A week ago, Scooby suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. He was strong and healthy with an underlying unknown condition. I cried when T texted: “Scooby will always be with me. He’s my best friend.”

And that’s when the secret hit me. Men are brought up to be unemotional, unsentimental, and unmoved by the vagaries of life.

labrador, golden, mixed breed, dog loveUntil a dog enters their hearts.

I know that the men in my life have discovered deep wells of strong pure unabashed love for four-legged beings who give everything …. to be a best friend.dog love, golden retriever

Thank you Scooby. And Wolfie, Henry, Brixton, Charlie, and Tory; thank you Oliver, Jax, Callie, April, Hubie, and Jamie, and to all the best friends in our lives.

Dog Love exemplifies the best of the human spirit.

 

112 thoughts on “The Scooby Secret

  1. A very touching story. I think it’s true that many men are raised with the notion that we need to be tough, as if crying or showing our emotions somehow makes us less tough. Mom was the nurturing parent in my family. My dad was a very good man, but part of his German upbringing was to not express a lot of emotions. I wanted his hugs/affection, but that was hard for him. I did eventually wear him down after I became an adult, and it became easier for him. After a visit, I would always hug him and tell him that I loved him.

    I don’t cry often, but I’m not ashamed when I do. I do love my dogs though, and I dread that day when it will be time to put them down. There’s going to be plenty of tears because they’re my buddies.

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    • I think a lot of European and British people have that “stiff upper lip” approach to relationships, Pete. My mom is not very demonstrative and never hugged and kissed us. She doesn’t really approve of the fact that I hug and kiss my boys (or did – teenagers are a bit less enthusiastic on that front), but she never says anything.

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    • I go to extra lengths to hug all of my young grandsons. I’m getting them comfortable with hugs and “I love you’s” from the very start! 🙂 And luckily, all of my grandkids have a dog in their lives. These children will receive their first lesson about losing a being who means the world to them. “If you don’t love, you never learn about deep loss. But oh, how the love is worth it.”

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  2. Tears in my eyes. The saying can also go about cats. God help me I know the pain of loosing one of our babies, who has brought so much joy and love into our lives. What a beautiful tribute to Scooby! We have so much to learn as human beings from animals.

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  3. There are many Scoobies in this world!!! We had a Misty girl for 12 years. She meant the world to my husband and me. Dogs know just what to do and “say” when we need it the most. Touching tribute to a dog and his “man”!!

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  4. Pam, your nephew’s gentle chuckle at the end of the video clip sums up your post … the warmth, joy and tenderness that man’s best friend brings out … especially in men! Scooby looked adorable and what a dreadful shock and sadness for you all and particularly T. hugs all around ❤️

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  5. My heart goes out to your nephew. I honestly had never felt such deep grief until I lost mine (10 years ago). I sometimes want to kick myself for getting another, because my heart is going to break again one day. It feels like a piece of you is missing, so I hope your nephew has good support while he grieves. They leave paw prints on our hearts. Sending comforting thoughts his way.

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    • Our Thanksgiving was wonderful and included three dogs from two different families: a golden, a basset hound, and a standard poodle. They were all well-behaved until a dog bone “disagreement.” 🙂 But they settled it quickly and all was love and hugs. Thanks be to our dogs!

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    • I needed to slowly work up to Scooby’s death because it hurt us all so much (even though Scooby lived many states away). Every time we talked to T he had a “Scooby” story, so the sweet dog lodged a place in all of our hearts.
      Here’s to all the pets…and men… in our lives, Marian. 🙂

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  6. Your posts nearly always take us all into that place in someone’s heart, this time your nephew. Poor Scooby. There is a video that’s going around right now of a solider who was gone for two years, and at first her dog didn’t recognize her… until he did. Also quite moving. – Marty

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  7. Beautiful, Pam. That’s love. Unconditional love. I especially had to smile when I saw the short clip of Scooby and your nephew. Maya does exactly the same thing with Mark! Those two make each other incredibly happy. Of course, she and I love each other as well, but the bonding she has with Mark (without any apparent reason) is extremely special and devoted.

    Dedicating Thanksgiving to dogs, our best friends, is awesome. I am very sorry for T. Losing a beloved dog that is such a big part of the family is tough.

    Is that your dog in the banner?

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    • I was hoping you’d see this post, Liesbet. I’ve had so much fun reading how you and Mark have fallen deeply in love with Maya. And she with you both, of course. Yes, our beloved Henry is on the blog’s banner. He’s been gone for five years, but never, ever forgotten. ❤

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  8. My heart aches for your nephew and the rest of the family that will miss Scooby. I think dogs teach men how to expand their hearts better than anyone or anything. I’ve been without a dog for 8 years now and still miss her every day. But we had dog guests yesterday. 😉 Fuzzy love is special.

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    • Dog guests are always welcome! We were at our daughter’s house for Thanksgiving with our granddog (their Charlie) and two other dog guests – a Basset hound and a standard poodle. They certainly added to the festivities. “Fuzzy love” – great expression.

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  9. A lovey story here. I am saddened that your nephew lost his beloved companion but at the same time it makes my heart glad to know that he knew the love a a beautiful dog- no matter if his dog was of dubious genetics and was a pound pupply. Those pound pups are often the very best dogs because they know they were saved and loved. I can attest for that.

    At some point, I hope your nephew and any other kin will honor the memory of their departed dog and get another dog- preferably from a high kill shelter. A life/lives will be saved and there will be an abundance of gratitude. Dogs know. They really do know when they have been saved.

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  10. Most dogs are such loyal and loving creatures that it’s hard not to become attached. Scooby sounds like a wonderful (but unfotunately short-lived) addition to your nephew’s life and brought out the best in him.The wonderful thing about a dog is the fact that you can remove your ‘mask,’ so to speak, and be yourself. It’s no wonder these magnificent animals have become a staple for therapy pets for those who suffer from anxiety disorders and PTSD, among other things. I hope T finds another Scooby.

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  11. Hi, Pam – This is a beautiful tribute to Scooby. It is so true — “Men are brought up to be unemotional, unsentimental….until a dog enters their hearts.” The first time that I ever saw my husband cry, was when we lost our first dog (and his loyal companion), Wilson.

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    • Same here, Donna. First time my guy sobbed was when our first Golden died. At that point he said, “we will never get a dog again!” One year later….we got our puppy Henry. 🙂 Here’s to Wilson and Scooby and all the loyal companions who added so much to our lives.

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  12. Beautifully written. It’s so true that animal hold a very special place in our hearts. They allow to be and accept us for who we are. Sorry for your nephews loss

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  13. What a touching post! And it speaks to a truth that all of us who have shared our homes with dogs know: dogs to touch our hearts, deeply and it ways that we never thought possible. I’m so sorry about Scooby, but glad that your nephew adopted him. As much as it hurts to lose them, the love that dogs give us, and the ways they teach us to open our hearts, is worth the grief. I hope that when he is ready, your nephew will open his heart and home to another dog, but of course that is his personal choice. Thanks again for posting this…..

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  14. Awww, Pam. So sweet and sentimental. I think you’re right about men and dogs. I’ve seen that in my family too as the tough men become mushy lumps of love with their dogs. Dogs have a way of drawing out the best in us and teaching us the meaning of unconditional love. ❤

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  15. Pingback: Catching dreams | Harvesting Hecate

    • I’ve been thinking of this “mirror” philosophy a lot, da-AL and I’m glad that you mention it here. Dogs who are ignored by the humans they live with, and dogs not appreciated by their humans, seem despondent and don’t become “alive” as much as dogs who are well loved. I think “mirror” is a good term here – dogs mirror their human’s love, and the humans who are willing to mirror their dogs shine forth in love.

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  16. Pam, Your dog ‘thoughts’ made me smile. I cannot imagine what a dog thinks about all of our human instructions, and they just want to please us. T had the privilege and blessing of experiencing Scooby’s unconditional love. A true “best friend.”

    Immediate tears when I read about the men in your life. You reminded me of the man in my life. I have seen the unabashed love he has for four-legged friends. I have seen the tears he sheds at the loss of his friend.

    The actual video! Now a sob. Thank you for the reminder, of what is important in our life. A beautiful post!

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