Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Spirit of Scout

The rescue that I volunteer with has been in the area for more than 25 years.  One of the policies that I respect so much about them is that if a Golden Retriever placed by the rescue ever needs to be returned, for any reason, they will take it back.  This is what happened to the next senior boy I would meet, named Scout.

Scout was surrendered to the rescue in 1994 as a young, wild maniac that was out of control.  The dog that I met in June of 2005, was not that dog, but was a gentleman in every sense.  The family that had adopted Scout had a change in their family circumstances, and were moving to California.  They felt that the trip across country would be too much for a 14 year old dog, and they made the decision to return him to the rescue.

~Scouts designer collar~
Scout had truly lived the life of Riley!!  The home was large and lavishly and very tastefully decorated.  The cars in the driveway were an indication of the lifestyle the owners had been living.  Scout had been given everything; a big, beautiful and perfectly manicured yard, a custom made down-filled dog bed (that matched the ottoman) were all his to enjoy. He wore a designer collar and the family had even had a watercolor painting of him.  And there I was, in my old Dodge van, to take Scout to what I would call 'the group home.'

Scout had lived his entire life as an only dog and his now being part of a multi-dog household was very upsetting for him.  I can still remember him standing in the corner of my kitchen that first day, scared and shaking because of how upside down his world had become.  Needless to say, I felt terrible!  I recall thinking that if his family could have seen him, they would have changed their minds about returning Scout because he was so miserable.

Thankfully with time, Scout got used to the household and his new life and routine.  He was such an enjoyable, gentle and affectionate companion and like Kasey, I loved taking him with me whenever I could. People were astonished by Scout's age and how healthy and vibrant he was; I told people every chance I got about the dog I called either 'my little boy-scout' or 'my little rich boy.'
~Our Gang in 2005: Scout far left, Kasey, Charlie, Josh, in the back Wendy & Tosh~
Scout's favorite place to be was outside under the shade of a tree. At the time, we were living in a subdivision, and Scout would spend hours laying under the trees in our front yard sleeping and watching people walk by.  There was always a feeling of peace and contentment about Scout during those times and I let him spend as much time outside as I could.
We made the decision in the spring of 2007 to move to the country.  When our house went on the market that June it brought stress and chaos.  Scout was now 15 years old and he was beginning to have health problems and the change of routine wasn't helping.  A good friend of ours offered to keep Scout during the day, and so he spent that summer and early fall enjoying the peace of her home and her very shady yard; he loved it!  By the middle of September, our house was sold and we were getting ready to move to what would become 'Golden Pines.' I remember looking at our property and envisioning Scout enjoying the shade of our large trees, and taking walks with us.  I couldn't wait to bring him here.
However, we all know that there are some things that are just not meant to be. It was a cool October morning and Scout was doing his usual 'sleeping in' and I went upstairs to wake him when it was time for breakfast.  He hadn't eaten the night before, but I wasn't concerned because our friend sometimes fed him along with her own dogs--It was also not unusual for him to go upstairs and go to bed before we did, which he had done the evening before.  I remember kneeling down next to Scout that morning and he could barely lift his head.  Carl carried him outside and placed him under the trees that he so loved, hoping it would help, but it didn't.  As I drove him to the vet, the song 'One More Day' by Diamond Rio' was playing on the radio and I prayed for one more day with Scout. However, his spleen had ruptured and another day with him was not meant to be.  I held Scout as he peacefully and quietly left this life for the next....
It's now almost 5 years later, and I will sometimes look at our trees and think of Scout and how much he would have loved laying under them in the cool grass.  And, as I write this, there is dove sitting in the shade of one--I have to think it's a sign that even though Scout never lived at Golden Pines, his spirit resides here and it's found under the shade of our beautiful trees.


  1. Such a beautiful story. Scout sounds like a wonderful doggy.

  2. Kim
    I'm sure his spirit is with you at Golden Pines. What a beautiful dog Scout was.

    Nadine & goldens Neeli & Elle

  3. Hi Kim, How did I miss "your other blog"?? So happy to find it and what a beautiful tribute to your sweet babies.

  4. oh my goodness, this got the tears flowing. What a wonderful thing you do in this world. I love love LOVE reading about your doggies and all the work you do and the love you give. What a lucky old doggie Scout was.

  5. Kim, thanks for this; the blog I always wanted to read. The telling of the story about each of your senior Golden rescues. Look forward to seeing them all. Such beautiful souls, all of them.

  6. Scout's Dove and Lady's hummingbird were sent to tell us "everything is alright, see you at the bridge". Beautiful story Kim.

  7. I didn't know you had started this other blog. I have just begun to write about all the dogs I have lived with during my long life. My first one will be published soon, she was an English cockerspaniel. It felt good to write her story and I am sure it must feel good for you to tell us about the lives of the wonderful old dogs that have lived with you. I know I will cry my eyes out reading about them, but read I will. You write so well to. They have all been blessed to have you in their final years.
    I just found out your word verification is still on. You don't have it on your other blog, so I'm sure you don't want it. I thought I would let you know.

  8. Ooh Kim, I'm wiping tears from my eyes, as I type.
    What a wonderful dog Scout was, and reading of the changes brought about in his life, reminds me of the many animals I have known and helped face those challenges.
    You and Carl truly give so much of yourselves, to help the Goldies, and have hearts as big as Texas in doing so !


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