Lilly Spot Whitler

Lilly the road dog
Lilly the road dog
Lilly joined our family on Christmas 2006. Our younger son Zach wanted a weiner dog and Santa didn’t let us down. Lilly is all dachshund all the time. Her coloring is called Piebald.
When our old dog Blue died, Lilly became the road dog. She no longer needed to stay home so the old dog wouldn’t feel less a part of the family. This is a photo of Lilly at the beach on fall break, taken on 10/19/2008. The dachshund was originally bred in Germany to be a badger hunter. You can see from the sand on her nose that she loved digging in the sand. There were no badgers to be had that day under the white sand of Seagrove in the Florida Panhandle.

Blue Whitler

August 18, 1995 – September 15, 2008

We knew we wanted a sheltie and Blue came from a line of champions. We weren’t looking for a show dog. She had a crooked tail, and the breeder thought it was a flaw. Our veterinarian later told us that it was merely broken in utero. If they’d repaired it early, it wouldn’t have mattered; but again, we weren’t looking for a show dog.

Blue was gentle and a bit timid. In her early years she love to hide under the coffee table and nip at whatever got close. She always scrambled when a plastic remote control hit the ground and that was probably part of the reason she liked that coffee table. As a very young puppy she got car sick once in the back of our jeep wrangler. She wasn’t much for riding after that. Blue was a hot natured girl, her favorite place to snooze was on top of the air conditioner vent in the summer. When our previous dog Smokey died, Blue grieved for several months. The folks at the kennel commented on her grieving. As her hearing faded, she barked when Lilly our puppy barked, though she never knew what she was barking about. She was a great at-home dog. If ever a sheltie could act like an old hound, Blue was the champ. We’ll miss you Blue.

She had some stomach problems and we took her in this morning for lab work. At thirteen years old her kidneys were failing and the outlook wasn’t good. After a long consultation with the vet, we decided that at best we could prolong or delay her suffering. So we picked our boys up out of school, had a family meeting and a family prayer and went to spend some time with Blue before helping her on to the next life. We all held her paws and stroked her neck and back as she breathed her last breath. Rest in Peace, Blue.

Smokey Whitler

November 17, 1985 – Easter Sunday April 23, 2000

We called Smokey the wonderdog. He joined me (Ron) in the fall of while Celia and I were single. We were both busy working and building separate lives. Smokey went to youth group camp, to parties and to work at the church. As the years passed, he welcomed Celia into the family and they actually shared a house in Louisiana when I went to Texas to start work there. Celia and I counted his vocabulary once. He understood quite a few words. It’s amazing what a difference having lots of discretionary time to invest makes. One of my favorite memories of Smokey was of him singing with any choir that he heard, whether it was on the radio or on television. He declined kind of slowly and eventually died in our arms on Easter Sunday before our oldest son Max was born. There was something providential about losing such a great friend on the day we remember the Resurrection. Some friends came out to the spot by the Harpeth River where we laid him to rest on a beautiful Easter Afternoon. Smokey was the dog of “Dog Not Included,” the name we give our song publishing.