Readers speak out about their dogs

Published 9:55 am Wednesday, April 23, 2014

by John Railey

Thanks to the many readers who emailed me to say they liked my column imagining a talking dog (“I am your dog,” March 28).

I passed your kind words on to our sheltie, Geneva Evita “Geva” Railey, who helped me a lot with that column. She liked what you all had to say about dogs, and said we’d have time for a longer walk if I let you all write today’s column. But I’ll have to wipe away some tears before we venture out, because your words about your dogs are that beautiful:

Jeryn Freeman: “Having just read your piece in the Journal, I am sitting here weeping. We just lost one of our borderline border collies whom I rescued on Highway 268 in Surry County; Charlie probably had hours to live. We had 13 wonderful years together. His buddy Oz, also a rescue, has been scratching the rug where Charlie was when our vet performed the merciful ‘last rite.’ Oz is sitting beside me with eyes that ask why I’m crying. And before Charlie, Morgan (Freeman), rescued by neighbors on the N.C. beach, was the best friend of my life.”

Wilt Browning: “I went right over and hugged my own dog. She seemed to understand.”

Deborah Clark: “My husband, Robert, and I are the proud owners of two wonderful golden retrievers, Belle (9 months) and Jackson (7 years). Our three children are grown now, so needless to say Belle and Jackson are constant entertainment and companions, they truly fill our days with joy. We had another golden before Belle, named Tucker, who passed away in July from lymphoma at 7 years of age, and I honestly think Belle is Tucker made over in a female dog’s body with her antics. Jackson, unfortunately, was diagnosed with lymphoma in October, but has responded so far to chemo and we are hopeful this time to have a survivor with us for years to come. They are everything you mentioned in your article and more, and we are thrilled to say they chose us.”

Richard Merlo: “I think dogs are nicer than most people…We have a corgi puppy (our second) who, while extremely mischievous, is a source of much humor and joy.”

Judy Rotruck: “From tee-hees to a catch in my throat, I read this to my hub and border collie pup, Paddie.”

Barbara Gamberini: “(Dogs) are put here to offer us unconditional love and happiness each and every day and we all should cherish them for this gift.”

Lucy Myers: “I lost a Jack Russell special friend in January and most of this was the way he was. I’m putting this article in my scrapbook that I made for him and another older dog that went three months before him.”

Camilla Wilcox: “There is truly no creature as wonderful as a dog… Although Copper has major health problems and is almost 15, at this writing, he’s fast asleep on the living room sofa, undoubtedly dreaming of his next trip to the dog park — or his dinner bowl. I’m pretty much watching out for him these days, rather than the other way around. It’s the least I can do.”

Mary Martha Smoak: “So many goods and bads have come and gone in my family in the past two years. After the loss of my husband and the father of two superior adult children, their dogs have provided so much love and pleasure through it all. My son was the lucky rescuer of a sweetheart, precious puppy he named Angerona (shortened as Angie). Her mythical Greek name means comfort and healing. Oh my, but she has provided both with lots of wiggles and tail wags. You are so right when you described the excitement of her master coming home. She is my second ‘granddog.’ My first granddog was also a rescue. My daughter and son-in-law adopted Milton as a 9-week-old puppy…The day he joined their family three years ago was a day of thanksgiving for Milton.”

Lyn Boyd: “These days, when our newest rescue, Edna (a magical ‘sooner’ that my husband Steve and I adopted from Asheville’s re-homing program in August of last year) is lying at, or more often on, my feet while I write, I think about just how powerful that particular ‘dog love’ is … love in its most simple form.”

Judy LeCroy: “I lost my golden about a week ago and am grieving for her. Your article touched my heart.”

JOHN RAILEY is a Southampton County native and the editorial page editor for the Winston Salem Journal. His email address is