This morning I am going to write about my beloved Dakota, my Welsh Corgi, who died Saturday morning. He died peacefully here at home while he was taking his last breaths. I was glad he was not in pain and that he died here.
I had this precious dog for 13.6 years and he was my best buddy who helped me throughout many emotional tragedies in those years. If it were not for him I don’t know how I would have kept going on. He was by my side all the time.
I took him with me everywhere I could. In his younger days he was a very happy dog who smiled a lot. We went to parks, to those homes who would allow him to come, and my friend Cindy and I took him with us on vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
He was in heaven being on the beaches running and digging holes in the sand which he would get into. He chased the sea birds but never went into the water. That he didn’t like. At night he stayed awake keeping an eye out for Cindy and me, protecting us.
My friends and I called him the Walmart Greeter because everyone he came upon he greeted except for those he sensed were not good people. He was a small dog but thought he was a big one. He would have given his life to protect me. Many Corgis are known to have died protecting their masters. They have big and bold hearts.
Dakota met my dear friend Purplegimp aka Lucie. When she and her friend Susie arrived around midnight to stay with us for a week, Dakota went right out to their car and greeted them. He was in dog heaven with 3 women giving him so much attention that week.
Dakota had a great sense of knowing who needed comfort. While we walked in parks he would run up to elderly people sitting on benches and give them attention. He knew just which ones to go to also. I sat down with the older folks and talked to them. They all had dogs but they had died and they told me they could never have another one since they had to say goodbye to so many of their dogs in the past.
They were thrilled that Dakota was giving them a chance to adore him and thanked me for it. I deserved none of the thanks since Dakota was the one who made that choice. And he seemed to sense exactly which ones to go to. It was amazing actually.
When my father was dying of cancer I took Dakota with me of course to visit my Dad for his last 2 weeks of life. The first thing Dakota did meeting my Dad was smell down his throat detecting the lung cancer.
One day my Dad asked if I would rub his back gently since he was hurting so bad. He also said his lower back was in a lot of pain. Dakota immediately jumped onto his bed and laid right up against my Dad’s back. I told Dakota to get off the bed, but my Dad said no, he’s helping the pain in my back. I thought how on earth did he know this? Did he understand English? Or did he just sense what my Dad was feeling and where he was hurting? Amazing to me once again.
During my Dad’s last days when he finally had to go to Hospice, Dakota was anxious to see him and laid on the bed with him. My Dad liked that so much.
One night my Mother had a “mini stroke”. All of the family gathered and stayed that night to keep a watch on Mom. But, people would drift in and out to go to the kitchen to get a snack or just talk. Dakota did not like that. He herded them back into my Mother’s bedroom and he was not satisfied until every one of them was there. Then he rested next to my Mom’s bed.
I stayed overnight with Mom and Dakota would not sleep. He kept checking on my Mom by standing up with his paws peering into her face. My Mom said to me why doesn’t he go to sleep. I told her he won’t because he needs to keep a watch on you so just get used to it. He is showing his love for you. That satisfied my Mom.
He had a great buddy named Baby Bear, a schipperke who my neighbor Dottie owned in the condo above me when I lived there. They loved to walk together and Dottie and I would walk them every night. The two of them walked shoulder to shoulder, loving every minute being together. Baby Bear went to Doggie Heaven last year. I am sure Dakota joined him when he also entered Doggie Heaven.
When we moved to this farm Dakota had no idea where we were going. Prior to the move, while I was packing up all of my belongings, Dakota would hide. He sensed something and he was not so sure he would like it. I had to comfort him at night lying on the floor next to him cuddled up.
But, when we finally took our long trip and got down here he had smiles all over his face. Oh, boy, a farm! He loved it here because we could let him run in the fields where nobody was working or had a crop planting. What a joy that was for him. He loved getting into the streams on the farm and swimming through them. For a dog who hated getting his baths, it was a shock to see him in the water.
One night while walking I lost one of a pair of my favorite gloves. The next night before we walked I showed Dakota the glove and told him he needed to find my lost glove. He smelled it and we were on our way. I never expected to find it. We had about a foot of snow on the ground while we tromped through a subdivision in the back area of the condo because it had nice sidewalks to walk on.
I kept looking on the ground thinking I’d see or catch sight of my glove but did not. Suddenly Dakota pulled on the leash wanting to go into the back yard of one of the houses. I told him he couldn’t run in someone’s backyard of all things, but he was determined and strong, pulling me into the middle of that yard. He kept digging into the snow and what do you think he found? Yes, my glove! I could barely believe my eyes.
As you can imagine he received plenty of praise and nice treat when we got back home from our typical 3 mile walk every night.
There are too many stories to tell about Dakota. He was an amazing dog and I am sure all dog lovers feel the same about their own dogs as I do.
The Hawk and I mourned the little guy for quite sometime after he died. While the Hawk dug his grave, I held Dakota on my lap telling him how much I loved him, how much I would miss him and what a good dog he had been to me. I was crying throughout the whole event.
One thing I do know though is if there is a place in Heaven for dogs which I believe there is, there are no creatures more deserving than dogs. They remain loyal to you. They love you. They don’t care if you are pretty or not. They don’t care whether you are skinny or not. Your fashion style means nothing to them. They are true friends who can be trusted unlike many people.
If only more people could take lessons from a good dog and follow their kind of love and trust, I do think we would live in a much better world.
All I know now is that Dakota will live on in my heart forever. The sadness I feel now will turn into all of those wonderful memories of him.
Friend, please don’t mourn for me
I’m still here, though you don’t see.
I’m right by your side each night and day
and within your heart I long to stay.
My body is gone but I’m always near.
I’m everything you feel, see or hear.
My spirit is free, but I’ll never depart
as long as you keep me alive in your heart.