Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Go-to-Gay: Man's (and Woman's) Best Friend

We're so glad to have our Go-to-Gay, Keith Stewart, back at CLC this month. He and our Chick Lit Cheerleader have something in common besides being funny and writing entertaining posts....they both love dogs! Keith is here today to talk about his dogs and share some special memories of them.

Take it away, Keith!

Dog Days

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”

I have always been a dog person. I grew up with dogs who lived inside the house with us and dogs who lived out in the yard. There was Freddie, Mack, Ginger, Tiny, Wynonna, Biggun’, H.D., and Spiegel. Some of them were with me for years, some only for months. All of them gave me love and companionship no matter what the circumstances, no matter what the situations.

As an adult, I have had three dogs. Cole, the Cocker Spaniel, came with Andy when we got together. After Cole passed, we adopted Dudley from the humane society, then Duke a few months later.

For 12 years, D & D ruled our homes and our hearts. Duke was a massive, 150-pound Chocolate Lab. Dudley was a svelte 70-pound “Heinz 57” mixed breed of unknown origin. People were always taken aback when they met these two ginormous house pets who thought of themselves as lap dogs.

Last month, we unexpectedly lost both our boys—one to cancer, the other to old age ailments—within a week of each other. To say we are devastated is an understatement. The grief is real and raw. The instant loneliness when walking in the front door to an empty house is overwhelming at times.

We have spent the past few weeks remembering good and funny times we spent with them. Like the time we left them in our sun room for a few hours while we went to a football game. I was teaching several accounting classes at a local college at the time, and had given tests the previous week. I had four large stacks of papers to grade on the table in the sun room. When we came home, it looked as if it had snowed inside. The stacks of papers were shredded into confetti. Nothing was salvageable or readable or gradable. Duke blamed Dudley. Dudley blamed Duke. All my students immediately loved them since I had no choice but to give them all an A for that test and move on to the next.

Reading always helps me feel better, so I have started looking for books that have dogs featured in them to help me with the grief. I thought I would share a few with you, and hopefully, you can share some with me that I may like to read this summer. Here is a few I found so far:

Southernmost by Silas House

The Summer Cottage by Viola Shipman (our former Go-to-Gay)

Stay by Allie Larkin

Dog Songs by Mary Oliver

Dog Years by Mark Doty

How have you dealt with losing a pet? Any books you can recommend? Thanks in advance from this Dog Dad.

Keith Stewart is the author of Bernadette Peters Hates Me – True Tales of a Delusional Man. A native of Appalachia, he splits his time between his hometown of Hyden and nearby Lexington, Kentucky. His blog is You can find him on Twitter at @Shiglyogly and Facebook at @AMSCOT (A Strong Man’s Cup of Tea). He is a regular contributor to and the He lives with his husband, Andy, and their two dogs, Duke and Dudley.

1 comment:

Donna said...

great piece! having lost my dog this month, I get the emotion and you made my heart feel better.