Family & Friends

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True Friends Forever!

Posted by at 5:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)


True Friends Forever! by Steve MartindaleHappy is a true friend of mine. His full name was Happy New Year Martindale, and he was thrown out of a car into a ditch with the trash. A friend of ours rescued this poor mutt and delivered him to our doorstep, knowing that he would find a loving home with us. That was on New Year’s Day, 1957.

For the next 10 years, Happy and I shared our lives together. His name turned out to be perfect: He was a dog who was exuberant, who thoroughly enjoyed living, who loved to romp in the backyard and play tug-of-war, and who laughed at my clumsy sleight-of-hand tricks with balls or dogbones. Happy was loyal, affectionate, and noble. He taught me about the responsibilities of caring for those we love. Even as a 7 year old, I was responsible for his care. And I grew up fast the day he got hit by a car and we had to take a bloody mess of whimpering pooch to the vet (he recovered from that harrowing incident). But most of all, when I looked into Happy’s eyes, I knew that there was someone inside, someone looking back at me. It was easy to see that Happy had a mind of his own, that he was a sentient being with a soul, and most importantly, that he, like all of us, had the will to live and treasured his own life. It was then that I saw the obvious—that animals have rights, that they are not ours to abuse in any way.

When Happy passed away, I was in Vietnam, in a time and place where life and death were too cruel and too cheap for me to shed the tears he deserved. I didn’t have time to mourn Happy’s death or to celebrate his life … until now. I am dripping tears all over the keyboard as I write this, letting the loss of my good friend really soak in for the first time. And I have left Happy a proper memorial and made a donation to PETA in his name. His memory will now help save other animals. Please join me in celebrating his life-let’s have a dog party!

And please allow us to join you in celebrating the lives of people and animals who were your true friends.  Who do you have in mind for this honor?

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    Cynthia says...

    December 12th, 2009, 12:16 am

    We’re all happy at Happy’s party! Cheers to Happy. Thank you for sharing.

    Deena Naidoo says...

    December 12th, 2009, 2:55 am

    A very touching episode. When I was growing up, about 39 to 40 years ago, I brought home with me, a 4 week old Alsatian puppy. Suzie and I spent the better part of 16 years life and experiences together. I can recall incidents like when she saved me from the claws of a Lynx that had jumped from a tree onto my back, killing it after a bitter fight, having her breast-flesh ripped open, and recovering at the SPCA for 6 days, brings tears to my eyes. The day she was deliberately run over by a traffic cop on a motor-bike because she couldn’t stand the deliberate loud noise from his patrol bike, by chasing after him, another 3 days at the SPCA. He was successfully prosecuted by the SPCA on cruelty to animal charges. Me, having spent 4 years overseas studing, waited so faithfully for my return, and giving me a firm lashing with her tail for going away for so long. All our walks and running together either on the road or at the sea-side, also brings tears to my eyes. And then finality seems to play a cruel eposide when my 1st born, nearly died at child-birth, there was an exchange of life, a sacrifice made yet again by my best friend, my Alsatian dog, Suzie, died at exactly the same time the Matron’s at the hospital said my daughter was going to be OK. Suzie, I’ll always remember you with fondest love. Now, I’ve got a Border-Collie, who is also 15 years old, going on 16. What kind of a sacrifice will my Dievanbaker be making now?????

    Barbara Moore says...

    December 12th, 2009, 11:33 am

    My past true friend was “Andy” the cat,who had been hit by a car and came up to me at work.He was about a year old at that time.I took him home and to the vet and he had a permanently damaged right front leg.I didn’t have it removed and he did fine even though it bent and he walked on it I kept it padded from getting sore.For 10 wonderful years he was my companion and the last 3 I was in an abusive marriage.Getting out of that marriage cost me my ‘Friend” as my ex killed him.I did not know that’s what happened untill several years after,but my son did and finally told me,that Andy had not strayed off anywhere as I thought at the time,and hunted for months,but my ex shot him to punish me and didn’t tell me.That’s been 22 years ago and to this day I love that cat,and do not know if he was even buried or just tossed out some where.By the time I was told my ex was deceased and I never found out. Andy was my lifeline during that time and would go hide with me anywhere I took him to get away.I just hope he didn’t suffer and that God will let me be with him again someday.

    Ms Lois Koch says...

    December 12th, 2009, 2:00 pm

    Your wonderful dog was certainly lucky to have you as his owner and great friend! Thank God you were there to be with him and may God bless you in all your endeavors!

    Cherry says...

    December 14th, 2009, 1:11 am

    Thank you all for sharing such touching and loving memories. I have a few stories of my own but all I will say right now is thank you to all the critters, past, present and future, who have and will make our lives richer just from knowing them.
    Merry Christmas all……

    Marlene says...

    December 14th, 2009, 10:49 pm

    Thank you all for your wonderful stories, I believe God created the animals to be out friends and companions, and one day we wil be reunited. They bring us so much joy, how anyone can harm these creatures is beyond me, but we live in a world of evil, and love, lets promote love!

    Patty Bowers says...

    January 2nd, 2010, 2:47 pm

    Steve,
    What a beautiful story about your Happy!! THANK YOU for sharing such an insightful and heart-felt story about your special Happy dog.
    My once-in-a-lifetime dog was named Happy also, and she too lived up to her name for 18 1/2 yrs! Happy got her name because she was so overjoyed to be rescued from a Shelter and was ebullient about life and all the ooportunities we had to do things and share together. She was my Soul Mate and I can still barely look at her pictures without crying. Like you, I too knew there was someone inside when I looked in her eyes and we had a special way of communicating where we understood each other’s thoughts and desires perfectly. It was totally undescribable and fantastic. My hope is that everyone can share that kind of relationship with their animal companion becuase I believe all animals are capable of that communication and abilities that are far beyond ours. If only people realized!!! And took the time to be that close with their beloved four legs!!
    I believe thaall animals are just patiently waiting for us to realize that we can have that kind of relationship and communication with them. Bless their pure and loving souls!!
    Peace,
    Patty

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