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Remembering Smokey

Jan and Joanne Smith – 01/31/2008Mom with Jan and Betty

This is mainly written to our family, to let them know what has happened.

Sometime in the early hours of this morning, (Thursday, January 31st) our oldest dog, Smokey, died.

We’re posting this sketch of Smokey, made years ago by Jenni, because it captures her likeness so perfectly.

In recent days, Smokey has refused all food. We put out some of the things she always wanted (her favorite “people food”), but she wouldn’t touch any of it. The last time we recall seeing her eat was on Sunday. We last saw her take a drink of water around mid-day on Wednesday. She’s gotten so thin and weak, she could hardly walk. We’ve been carrying her outside lately. That has to have been so hard for her these last days, because the temperatures have been below zero again. She would stand there for a moment as if in shock, then pee, then we’d carry her back in.

Smokey was over 15 years old. Jenni brought Smokey with her when Jenni moved back home in September of 1992. So for the past 15 years, our home is the only home Smokey has known.

Remember When…
There are a few memories of Smokey that stand out. When the weather got cold, we used to put a storm door between the kitchen and the back porch. One year, we discovered the bottom window pane had gotten broken. The first time we opened the inner door to let Smokey out into the back yard, she vaulted through the open window space. That so amused us that we never put new glass in. Every time we’d let her in or out, she’d vault gracefully through the opening.

Another amusing thing was when Jenni taught her to do a little “circle dance”. Jenni found that if she held up a treat, Smokey would stand on her hind legs to beg for it. If Jenni said “circle” and moved her hand in a circle with the treat, Smokey would dance in a circle. Of course, she always got the treat as a reward.

Smokey was clever. Years ago, our now-deceased Irish Setter, Molly, figured out how to open the front screen door in the summer. Molly would get up on her hind legs and bat at the edge of the door, where the handle was. Sure enough, she would press the handle and the door would open. And little Smokey — much to short to ever reach the handle herself — was right behind Molly going out the door. Drove us crazy! We had to quit leaving the inner door open.

Smokey on the foot stool

Smokey in the yard

Picture of Smokey - contributed by Jake

When we returned from an evening at Jake’s yesterday, Smokey was still alive. I petted her head gently; she responded ever so slightly. I told her she was a good girl, even though I knew her hearing has been nearly gone for most of the past year.

I went to bed, while Joanne stayed up quite late. I awoke when she came to bed. She told me that Smokey was gone.

We will miss Smokey, despite the fact that it was getting harder to care for her. Our routine will be a little easier now. But we’ve noticed… easier isn’t always better.

Mom and Dad


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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Joe Salisbury February 1, 2008, 7:08 PM

    It moved me. I, too, now love Smokey (and her doggie mom and dad).


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  • Lee Olson February 1, 2008, 4:50 PM

    I know what it’s like to lose a friend of 15 or more years. Our dogs mean more to us than some people realize. They are happy just to please us and they understand most of what we say. They are faithful, loving companions and their devotion is undying.

    I’m very sorry.

    Your brother

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  • karen Meile February 1, 2008, 12:00 PM

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. We lost our Punky four years ago and still miss her. There is nothing like a pet’s dedication and love.

    Kelly is in the hospital as we speak-am awaiting the birth of their first baby.


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