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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Noah the Salty Dog- found tis in drafts...never published. rip Noahbear


Jasper's Noah Bear is my dog. That is his formal name....because his "dad" or "sire" was Jasper, his name was Noah and Bear...well, he used to be like a cuddly teddy bear and now he is a big ole polar bear.
Noah is also called the Salty dog...because once upon a time he spent many days in the ocean.


I got Noah as a college graduation gift from my parents. The Summer of 2000. He was 12 pounds when I brought him home. There were two yellow labs in his litter, and I just chose the one with the black nose. We have had some great times...me and that dog. They mostly involve the beach and road trips.
I remember a time when the two of us would take off for drives to the beach in my pickup. He would always sit right next to me. Even though there was an entire seat beside him, he would lean into me and drool on my steering wheel.

He has always been a funny dog. If I had a date, he knew to position himself right in between us. He actually WAS my first date with my husband. Our first date was to walk the dog to a nearby park. He witnessed our first kiss. I have memories of him as an excited puppy who ran into glass doors, as the dog who would swim out into the ocean in order to follow Daddy while windsurfing, so far out in the ocean that I had to start putting a life jacket on him because he didn't know when to stop. I can remember sitting on the docks with him to watch sunsets...he would bark at the birds, I would read a book. One time that crazy dog actually leaped off the dock to try to catch one of those birds....I had to help him navigate his way to the boat ramps in order to get our of the water.
He saved my life once. Maybe more.

He is nearly eleven years old now. He has aged a lot in the past two years...arthritic and fat.
He snores and farts and groans throughout the night. Sometimes I have to go help him up off the floor because he is in too much pain to move. If our walks are too far, he literally won't be able to walk for a few days until he recovers. He is an old man. 77 in dog years. (is that right? 7/1?)
I am not sure how many months or years we have left. Sometimes I get teary just thinking about the fact that we will have to say good-bye soon.
I was 23 when we became a family. I was just a girl. Fresh out of college. Ready to fall in love, save the world and learn all the secrets to life. He has truthfully been with me throughout all of my adult years. He is witness to all my rites of passage.
He has lived with me in 6 different homes, he has seen me graduate college 3 times. He has seen me date, marry, have children.

Once the top dog in my life...slowly replaced with husband and children.

He can no longer follow me from room to room as he did for nine years, but he is still acutely aware of where I am at all times. If I cry, he is there. if I am angry, he is there. If I am happy, he is there.
In the busyness of the daily grind, I have found myself unaware of his presence, or annoyed by it. Daddy said to me recently "Mama, Noah has been following you around for ten minutes and you have yet to say anything to him". Oh the guilt.
As I was watching him sleep earlier today, I decided to write this blog. I decided I would dig out some old photos of our earlier years and dedicate an entire blog to my best friend Noah.
This dog, a witness to my youth. A witness to my ups and downs, my best moments and my worst...Always happy to see me...Hopelessly devoted to me. The one being who has watched as I learned to experience this life.
He won't be around for another decade. In a short while he will pass on to doggy heaven and my kids will probably only know him because of the painting that hangs over the mantle (and at the title of this blog). But that doesn't change the fact that he has been an integral part of my life.
Thank you buddy. You are a good dog!

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