of dog and man

Reba and Penny

You were just a tiny pup,

When you came home at first.

I thought that I would teach you things,

But then my bubble burst!


Crossing over the threshold

you peed upon my floor.

Then just a few seconds later,

You pooped right by the door.


But we grew up together,

you were the first dog of mine.

We taught each other things

Expanded each others minds.


I taught you to fetch,

to stay, sit, and down.

I taught you how to “heel”

That’ll do and spin around.


But you taught me more than I taught you

like responsibility,

to love and to live ev’ry moment,

and to not take life to seriously.


You taught me devotion,

what joy looks like each day.

To prize devotion ‘bove all else,

I learned loyalty that way.


You were my traveling partner,

my friend, and confidant.

Through the tuffest of life’s struggles

You withstood the brunt.


Do dogs really go to heaven?

The Bible ain’t real clear,

but if heavens like the first creation,

we certainly know they’re there.


So Just because you beat me there,

I plan to see you again.

Just meet me at the gate,

With your tail waggin’ and a big ol’ grin.

Most of you know Penny, my two year old blue heeler.  She has been a teacher, a confidant, and friend  to me since I brought her home.  She teaches me more about myself than any other thing on the face of the earth.  My insecurities are brought out when Im with her.  My faults are on display when we are training or working together.

What you probably didn’t know is the reason we got her was because of another dog.  My buddy Lucas had a dog named Reba, a red-heeler, that he had raised since she was a pup.  She worked cows, did tricks, and followed him across the country to rodeos.  She was a cow dog, and like k9 officers and their dogs, that working relationship only made them closer.  She was lost once for a few days…it was a tough few days.  Lucas’ wife would tell you that Reba had his heart first, and its true.  Ivy would also say that Reba graciously let her into the family.  Reba was a great dog.

The other they came to the CYRA Finals to preach at cowboy church and Reba was there, laying in the arena, never losing sight of Lucas.  She had been having trouble breathing for some time, and that night she was suffering so much that she had to be put down.  I hurt so much for Lucas and Ivy when he told me.  A good dog wraps itself around your heart like a branch grafted into a tree.  So seamless that it is tough to tell where one begins and the other ends.  Reba was a great friend to one of my best friends and that is why I hurt for them.

Reba, Pumpkin, Buck, Bo, Jesse, Gina, and Hawkey, were the reason we got Penny.  They, like so many four-legged-companions in your life, teach us so much we would never learn on our own…and for that we will always be in their debt.

Baxter Black said it best:

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