Wicked Commentary

Dakota R.I.P.

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.


Comments on: "Dakota R.I.P." (26)

  1. I am so sad for your loss…. 😦


  2. I know exactly how you feel, Pepp.

    Several years ago, I lost my dog Charlie. My ex-wife had given Charlie to me. He was a black standard Poodle (the big variety) and he became my close friend. He finally fell ill at the ripe old age of 13 and I had to put him down.

    I wrote to Donnie (my ex) to tell her of my (our) loss and included a part of a story out of Thurber’s Dogs, a book that we had. It still chokes me up. It is a fitting and appropriate eulogy for any beloved dog. It described the last moments of the dog/human relationship.

    “This, his dark intelligent eyes seemed to be trying to tell me, is simply the closing of full circle, this is the flower that grows out of Beginning; this – not to make it too hard for you, friend – is as natural as eating the raspberries and chasing the armadillos and running in the rain.”

    And, at the gates of doggie heaven, God will pat him on the head and say “Good dog, Charlie – well done”


    • Garnet,

      Aw, I see how much you loved Charlie. He sounded like a beautiful dog and from what I understand the large breed of poodles are very intelligent. I had a neighbor who had one and he was a black beauty who could run fast as lightning.

      So, I’m sorry for your past lost of Charlie too. We sure do get attached to our dogs, don’t we?

      That poem is beautiful out of the Thurber book. Put tears into my eyes once again. I have not stopped crying over Dakota as yet. The grief will take its’ course.

      And that last line is precious about God patting the doggie on the head. Just beautiful.

      Thanks for telling me that. I so appreciate your sentiments.


  3. Roger's That said:

    Sorry for your loss yep pets are so much part of your family and it hurts when they go. I’m glad to hear Dakota didn’t suffer at least that’s the only saving grace! WOW 13.6 yrs. God Bless you and yours!! and GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!! MOLON LABE!!!!!!! Take care.


    • HI Roger’s That,

      Thx for coming by and good to see ya again.

      Yep, our pets are our family in our case. No children any longer so one’s pets become the children. Thanks for your kind words of sympathy. I too am glad Dakota did not suffer while dying. I stayed with him for hours until he took his last breath. Very difficult but I had to be with him.

      God bless you Roger and America.


  4. Pepp, that sure was special if only he could have read that. What a great guy he must have been. Him taking care of your and you taking care of him. I feel for you. That last line was great. They do leave lots of memories. He knew he had a good home, I’m sure. A friend to the end. That was a great poem. It fits perfectly, touching. My sympathies.


    • Bull,

      Thank you so much for your condolences. He was a great dog and the best. We sure did take care of one another and he also was a great watch dog. Nobody would have wanted to break in that condo because his bark sounded like a big dog.

      Yes, there are so many memories when you have a pet that long. It is too quiet around here now without Dakota’s paws pitter pattering on the floor and his usual herding of Merlin. Dakota was a talker so it feels spooky being this quiet in the house.

      Yes, the poem was a piece of one I took from someone named anon. So i didn’t credit it.
      But, it is very touching indeed.


  5. So sorry to hear about Dakota. These are NOT dogs,they are our hairy-faced children.


  6. Gray Ghost (Mississippi) said:

    Pepp, I am sorry for your loss. Dakota sounds to have been an amazing doggie. I know you look forward to seeing him again.

    For just over 18 years my constant companion was my dog Elton. He was a full size schnauser and tough as nails, but gentle with children (especially my grandchildren) and the elderly. He passed away in his sleep in 2005.

    I too believe that there are dogs in Heaven. I am sure that Elton is there and has already said hello to Dakota. And I look forward to taking walks again with Elton at my side.


    • GG,

      Thanks for your condolences. I do hope I get to see him again in heaven if I get there.

      Aw, I’m so sorry for your loss of Elton. Another great dog. Wow, 18 years. That is a very long time for you to have been with him. It really hurts to lose our best hairy friends or family members with hair.

      That’s cute that Elton is welcoming Dakota. I hope so. i hope he is with many other dogs in Doggie heaven and having the time of his eternal life. He so loved playing with other dogs until he got older. He was a people and doggie lover. Everyone was a friend to Dakota.

      I’m sure you will once again take walks with Elton.


  7. Gar Swaffar said:

    Harley and Ranger The Danger Dog were also likely waiting for Dakota, and they’re almost certainly having more fun than we are now, and there they’ll be, waiting at the gate for us as we arrive.


    • Gar,

      What cute names, Harley, Ranger the Danger Dog! I too hope they are with Dakota. He hated being alone. He loved others around him. You sure got that right. They are enjoying their new lives and in a better place than we are. I too hope and pray I meet up with Dakota in heaven.


  8. willibeaux said:

    Beautiful and heartfelt story Mrs. Pepper’awk. Thank you for sharing.


  9. Donna Rabus said:

    Oh Pepp, I am so sorry for the loss of Dakota. This is such a beautiful memorial to Dakota. I will say a prayer for you tonight. May Dakota Rest In Peace.


  10. So sorry for your loss Pepp! I know much you loved him and he loved you. It’s a shame dogs don’t live longer, but I guess that’s just how God planned it. You wrote a wonderful story about an amazing dog (they actually turn into family members) and I’m sure you have more great memories that will bring a smile to your face for the rest of your life. I truly believe you will see Dakota again one day.


    • Dave,

      Thx. Yes, I loved him dearly. It is a shame they don’t live longer and be able to stay by our sides, but like you said God apparently made it that way.

      Oh, thanks for the compliment on the story. Yes, there are tons of wonderful memories of Dakota. He had so much personality. It would be impossible to tell all of the Dakota stories I have. After 13 years there are so many and I’ll forever have them in my heart. I too hope to see him again and it may not be that long.


  11. It was such an honor to be greeted by Dakota when we finally found your house. What a little sweety he was. That’s got to one great crowd of dogs running around up there. Dakota and my two are probably ring leaders in their escapades, along with Shadow and Foxy. We were so blessed to have been their humans.


    • Lucie,

      Thanks for coming over. Aw, an honor to be greeted by Dakota. Yes, he was a sweety and fell in love with you and Susie that day. He really enjoyed your company as did we.

      Yep, I do imagine your dogs are the ring leaders in heaven. All I pray for is that they are having a lot of fun together.

      We sure were blessed to have such great dogs and be their humans as long as God allowed us to.


  12. Our dogs gave us so many wonderful memories to cherish! It’s hard not to ache with missing them even after so much time has passed.


  13. Lucie,

    No truer words can be said about our dogs. I will cherish every moment I had with Dakota in my heart. It is one week today and it seems like yesterday. It really hurts.


  14. Pepp: I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet,
    furry-faced boy, Dakota. He is in Heaven right now.
    The vigilance with which he watched over you, your
    family & all your friends is evidence of the goodness
    of his little doggie soul, as is the care & love he ex-
    tended to elderly strangers in the park. My dear baby
    sister wanted nothing more than to be a vet & to care
    for animals; when she passed on at the age of 12, I
    think it was to care for all God’s animals in Heaven until
    their owners are reunited with them! IMHO, proof of God’s
    Love can be found in the undying devotion in the eyes
    of our dogs who all love us unconditionally & unequivocally
    no matter what! May God Bless & keep you, dear friend &
    may He Comfort you in your grievous loss.


    • Elizabeth,

      I apologize for my late reply. I don’t always feel good enough to be on the computer.

      I know Dakota is in Doggie Heaven. With Dakota’s loyalty and love he is most certainly in a better place now and I hope he feels better there.

      Oh, I’m so sorry about your sister. But I think you are right about God taking her into heaven to help the animals. What a sweet thought.

      Yes, God always finds a way to comfort me and it comes many times in the form of wonderful comments like yours and others on this article.

      So thank you so much and God bless you too.


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