Is Your Dog Smiling?
By Allen and Linda
you know your dog is smiling?”
This is a question people have often asked as they pass us walking around the lake near our home in Minneapolis. Our dog,
Taylor, an energetic yellow Labrador retriever, gets the goofiest grin on her
face while she accompanies us (or rather, we’re accompanying her). Her little
doggy heart is full of joy and delight to have this opportunity for
companionship along with great spring and summer sniffing.
Dogs know things. They know lots of
things. Anyone who lives with a dog will tell you this. Dogs know when you’re
coming home. They know when to hit you up for a treat. They know when you’re
sad. Especially, dogs know how to teach us about ourselves.
Shirley MacLaine’s wonderful book, Out on a Leash: Exploring the Nature of
Reality and Love, she alternates chapters with her own comments and the
commentary she’s receiving from her dog, Terry. The dog calls Shirley his
Mistress Mother, or MM for short. On page 173 Terry “writes,” “Sometimes I’m a
mirror for her [MM] when she’s conflicted. At those times she looks at me
huddled in my little corner and I think she realizes I’m reflecting her mood
because I want her to see what it looks like. It’s not a pretty sight. Maybe
I’ll run over and jump into her lap. Then she will pet me and maybe she’ll
Below is a touching story that we received
from one of our Angel Animals Day Brightener Newsletter readers. It illustrates
the point that dogs know far more than we might have imagined and they care
about us far more than we’ll ever understand.
Shaw lives with his wife in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He writes about Pinkey, an
unforgettable dog from his childhood
like I was around nine when she came to live with us. Dad had wanted a blonde
cocker spaniel for quite some time, and friends of my parents had a litter of
puppies to sell. One of them was a blond cocker. Twenty-five dollars was quite a
sum to pay for a puppy in those days, and Mom was pretty firm with her no. It
took him awhile, but Dad finally talked her in to it, with a trip to see the
litter. One look was all it took. The dog was blonde with just a tint of red and
a nose full of freckles. In no time at all, she became
was very little in her new home that Pinkey didn't consider to be hers,
including me, her only kid. It wasn't long before shoes, furniture, and anything
else chewable became reasonably safe. One of her favorite tricks was shining our
shoes. She'd roll over on her back and wiggle and squirm on top of our shoes
till she thought they were shined. The more we laughed, the harder she'd work at
next to the fairgrounds held a fascination for Pinkey. She'd burrowed a hole
under the fence, and usually used it for whatever adventure she happened on to.
One of the stands from the fair, which was set up just beside her hole, was a
throw-the-baseball-at-the-milk bottles thing. Pinkey loved playing fetch. She
would sneak under the tent and grab the ball as it hit the ground, then head for
her hole with her long ears flapping in the breeze behind
we knew it, the yard was full of baseballs. Dad, worried that Pinkey might be
caught and hurt, gathered up as many of the balls as he could find and took them
back to the owner. He explained what was happening and wanted to make sure the
dog wouldn't be hurt. He promised to return any balls.
man started laughing and told Dad that they had watched Pinkey steal the balls
and thought it was the cutest thing they'd ever seen. He assured my dad that
they would never hurt the little dog and would appreciate the return of the
balls. For the next several years, an old baseball would show up from some
hidden spot and bring back an old memory.
graduated from high school, and went into the military. Whenever I came home on
leave, Pinkey was always the last one to whom I said good-bye. She seemed to
understand every word I ever said to her. Those big brown eyes held so much
intelligence. Then I was off for the other side of the world to Viet
first letter home was met with a lot of barking and enthusiasm. Pinkey must have
caught my scent on the letter. After my family had read the letter and left it
on the table, Pinkey sneaked up on the chair and snatched it. Mom found the dog
curled up in her bed with my letter. "You little thief," she said. Then Pinkey
looked at my mother with watery eyes, pointed at the letter with her nose, and
just looked back at her. Mom told me later, "It just broke my heart." From then
on, Pinkey ended up with all of my letters, and continued to keep every letter I
wrote home on the bed with her.
years later, Mom called to tell me that Pinkey had passed on. She had been
almost sixteen. She was put to rest in the backyard she loved so much. I found a
marble slab to carve her name into. Over thirty years later, I can still walk
out to the backyard and see Pinkey's tombstone. Just as it was
few years ago, Dad was having some work done under the house. The workman came
out with what was left of an old baseball. We just smiled, and said, "The little
is a place called The Rainbow Bridge, where a little blonde cocker with a
freckled nose is playing ball, and waiting."
love for Bob passes through time and transcends death. There are many dogs
smiling from their heavenly perches on each of us who have loved them. One day,
we will be reunited with these dogs and see their goofy grins once again. It
wouldn’t be heaven without them.