Thursday, June 30, 2016

My First Dog

Sitting on the porch talking with my friend Batman. 

One of our first meetings. 
You were my first dog.  You were probably not what I would have picked if I had had a choice. To be honest you probably would not have picked me either.  A veterinarian who wanted to teach you to sit and not jump, wanted to touch your paws, so I could remove thorns and see what was causing you to limp again, look in your ears and remove ticks. You really hated when I tried to remove ticks from anywhere on your body, but oh how you loved peanut butter. A dog’s love of peanut butter must be universal thing. You loved it from the first time I held out a spoon slathered with it.
You and your brother decided I was your new person. 

You weren’t sure why I was here the first day you met me, but after quite a lot of barking and me explaining that I was your new person, you stopped barking, sniffed me and let me know you would consider it all. By the next day, you accepted me as your person to guard and love and you knew I loved you already also.

You had been guard dog to many other people on this compound before me and you were getting old, when I met you. Some basic treatments helped you fill out a little and made your coat shine again. Maybe that’s what also made you want to get out more to chase the ladies. I threatened to neuter you, but I was concerned with surgery at your age and wanted to keep you a good guard dog.

Protecting me from the dangers of life here. 
I was mad at you when you treed a stray cat early in our relationship. Then I was even madder at you and the guard as he laughed and showed me the fur from the cats degloved tail, but I forgave you both, eventually. I knew he was your favorite guard of the human type. You and your brother followed him around as he patrolled the grounds and it warmed my heart to see you all do that.

I was mad at you for the 2-3 times you left for a few days and came back with wounds that I had to treat. I called you a bad dog in 3 languages and you still looked at me with love in your eyes and I accused you of only wanting more peanut butter, since you got that with your pills.

Digging holes and sleeping in them was part of the job! 
I was furious with you the time you ran right past us as we came home from our evening walk. The guard opened the gate when he heard us approaching and you decided to run. You came around the corner so fast that at first I didn’t realize it was you. As you ran past I screamed at you, but you did not stop or even look at me. That time I thought you were dead. You were gone for longer, but then the morning I was leaving to board a plane you were home again, with wounds and part of your left ear missing. I hurried to get your meds and peanut butter and give all the instructions to your favorite guard. When I returned the next week, you were still alive, home and your wounds had healed well. I was so thankful to see you.  

I am a cat person, have been since I was a child, but I have loved many dogs through the years. They were dogs who had other people, not me as their person. I loved that they had me as a friend, but I always knew someone else was their person. Now I know the love and pain of losing my own dog, a dog who knew at this time in his life I was his person.

Robin and Batman
My time with you was only a small portion of you lifetime, here in a harsh land. I have waited over a week and prayed and continuously asked the guards if you happened to come back the previous night, but the answer continues to be no. I am not sure if I am happy or not, to not have found your body somewhere by the road. I am not sure I would want to see or know what happened to you.

I am so sad as I write this, but need to be realistic about you. I pray that what ever happened to you it was quick and painless. Isn’t this what everyone wants for their loved ones. It unfortunately is not always the case, but I will keep my delusions for now.

Robin and I both miss you. 
You were my first dog. Now when I open the front door in the mornings, only your brother crawls out from under my truck to stretch and greet me. I think he is sleeping under there more because he is waiting for you to join him there again. Your spot at the front is still dug out and nice and cool and waiting for you.

You brother is grieving also and I just can’t explain it to him. He lived basically his whole life here with you. I love him also and he loves me. I have faith he will step up to the plate to be the best guard dog he can be. You taught him well and we will both miss you forever.

If by some chance you are still alive, please come home and I will once again give you peanut butter, treat your wounds and call you a bad dog in 3 languages, and as you look at me with love (for me and the peanut butter) I will also continue to love you forever. My first dog. RIP Batman. 


  1. I am so sorry about your lost dog. It's heartbreaking. I've said a prayer for you both.

  2. You're a light shining in the darkness. Your treasure is being stored up in heaven. Our Lord must be smiling watching you work. I'm sure he has many other small blessings, like batman, coming for you. Those blessings are his presense you know. All I remember from Afghanistan are the small blessings. I can't remember how hard it was, now 16 years later. Seems like the darker the situation became the more the small blessings came. What did you go out into the wilderness to see? I'm sure I'm not telling you anything new. Just trying to give you some reserves to draw from if it becomes difficult.

  3. :(
    I've been there. I am truly sorry for your loss. TY

  4. How sad Shannon! Saying a prayer for you today friend

  5. I'm praying for you sister as tears are rolling down my cheeks for you. I love my sweet little dog and can't imagine how you must be grieving right now. I'm sending you big cyber hugs across the world. I'll continue to pray for your heart to mend and that through your suffering you'll point people to Jesus. Because that's what you do... Love, peace and comfort be with you.
    Peace I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled or afraid.

  6. Ugh, I know that pain all too well. Praying for you and thank you for sharing from your heart. Hugs my friend!

  7. So beautifully written from the heart. Thank you for sharing!

  8. What a sweet and sad story Shannon. My heart grieves for you. May the Lord comfort your wounded heart as you, in the same way, cared for Batman with such precious love. May he rest in peace.

  9. I am so sorry to hear it. Our dog yelped last night after dark and I thought someone had hit her with their car. I was relieved it was not so. Love you from way over here!

  10. Part of this tragedy is not knowing what happened. I am sorry that Batman won your heart and then broke it but wasn't it worth it to love such a dog?! Robin needs you now more then ever. I am so sorry for your loss. Sending hugs to you.

  11. We are so sorry to hear about your dog. I'm praying for you.

  12. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my tuxedo cat Greedy in 2014 and it still hurts since I wasn't with him when he died. However, I adopted a wild Doodle puppy that keeps me on my toes and makes me laugh. You will be in my prayers. Stay safe!
    __Marissa Alexander-Scott

  13. Oh Shannon I am sorry. They become a big part of our lives and it is hard when they are gone. Love you and praying for you daily.
    Love and prayers
    Yvonne Dalton