Just about everyone goes through the loss of a pet. It is a very emotionally painful experience regardless of age. Today marks the 54th anniversary of the death of my first pet, a dog named Cheetah. As far as I know she was named for the chimp that appeared in the Tarzan movies. "Just a boy and his dog", wrote Red Foley in the Country Classic, "Old Shep". Unlike the boy in the song, I didn't have to put my own dog down. She wasn't that old, maybe 13, but she ate table scraps and that will shorten a dog's life, though it may make it a happier one. She had been deteriorating the past several days. My mother and I went to church, leaving my older brother Don to watch over her. When we returned, Cheetah was gone. My brother covered her with a blanket and that is what I saw in the back yard where she was taken. We buried her back there next to the front porch. A year or two later my mother had a beauty shop added to the house and it was placed over Cheetah's grave site. I always thought of it as a large marker!

She was a good companion and I loved her dearly. Over the years I have had dogs and cats that moved on to doggie and kitty heaven. It is definitely worth the pain for the time shared with the furry creatures.

In the backyard with Cheetah, Lubbock, Texas, 1957

And, I mentioned "Old Shep", the sad, sad song about a boy and his dog. If you have 14 hankies close by give one of the versions a listen.