Welcome to The Levi and Cooper Chronicles. I'm the 'Cooper' and my baby brother is the 'Levi.' We're not siblings in the literal sense of the word. He's a miniature schnauzer and I'm a miniature poodle but our differences go far beyond our breed. You see, I'm the famous angel dog who blogs from the Rainbow Bridge. Well, not famous down on earth but up here in doggie heaven all canines get to do whatever we like and I like blogging. We dogaroons up here can also gaze down through the magic water under the bridge and keep tabs on our humans. Isn't that cool! After I discovered the magic water, I decided that little Levi---who got adopted into the family shortly after my departure from earth---could use a guardian angel. When he blogs he types in pink and when I put my two cents worth in I type in blue.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Ghosts from the Distant Past

Mom's walking down Memory Lane again. You can always tell when she does that because she heads for the book shelve where she keeps the photo albums. She's not a big picture taker but she inherited my grandma's photos so she's got lots of stuff from when she was a little kid. It's a shame Levi never met our grandmother. She loved her granddogs almost as much as her grandchildren and she was always there to babysit me if needed.

Here's some photos of the dogs that were in the household when Mom was growing up. This first one is of Mickie and Mom. One of them is fifteen months old but it's kind of hard to tell which one from the label Grandma put on the photo. Could be both.

The second photo (below) is of Pat. She was my grandmother's favorite dog. She even had that photograph blown up and hand-tinted so she could hang it on the wall. Grandma liked to tell a story about how Pat became the surrogate mother of a litter of kittens. The mother cat was young and didn't want any part of nursing or being around her kittens so Pat would hold the mother down with her paws and make her stay there long enough for the kittens to nurse. Pat would clean the kittens with her tongue, carry the kittens in her mouth, and taught them to use the sandbox. And when it was feeding time again she'd hunt the mother down and repeat the whole process. The mother cat never did learn to like motherhood but Pat sure did.

The photo below is of King. He's the first dog Mom remembers really well. He was her constant companion for many years. And he was the source of her first real heartbreak when he got lost at their summer cottage. Grandma thought he probably wandered into a farmer's field and got himself shot but for months after he came up missing they'd run up and down the roads in the area, looking for the lost King. He's the reason Mom's dogs from adulthood---angels Sarah, Jason, and me---got so little freedom off the leash.

The photo below is Mom (on the left), Cindy and one of Mom's cottage friends. Cindy was a black Belgium shepherd who had been abused by a previous owner. It took months for Grandma to teach Cindy to trust people again. She became intensely loving and protective around women but men had to earn her respect.

The next photo is of Grandma, Cindy and Scottie. Scottie was a blond dog of questionable parentage and she lived to be 23 years old. She was blind for 21 of those years. When she was young she had a form of polio and was completely paralyzed. She spent months going back and forth to a Veterinarian College for experimental treatment. Some treatments involved getting shots above her eyes; that's how she lost her eyesight. She lived in the bathroom during that time and grandpa carried her outside several times a day and would hold her up to pee and poop. It wasn't so much to save the dog that grandpa did all that. The drugs were something they wanted to test for human use and Grandpa agreed so long as the college didn't get to keep Scottie. He wanted to be the one to decide when she was ready to give up. She never did.

Scottie did learn to walk again and Mom would wear bells so Scottie could follow the sound around the block for exercise. Grandpa said that any dog who went through all the stuff Scottie went through deserved to live---blind or not---so he built a pen for her with a deluxe dog house cut into the garage. Lately Mom's been wondering if Scottie was the one who taught her that you don't give up on sick people, even when doctors say there's no hope like they did with my dad eight years ago. Dogs do teach kids a lot about life. From her childhood dogs Mom learned about love, loss, devotion, heartache, joy, human cruelty, triumphing over adversities, and the fact that you don't have to be a mother to give motherly love.

I've never met Mickie, Pat, King, Cindy or Scottie up here at the Rainbow Bridge. I hear rumors that dog souls that old---Mickie's been gone nearly sixty years---get recycled back to earth again. I guess it doesn't matter if it's true or not. But one thing is for sure, we canine have an important part to play in the balance of things on earth and in the memories of people like Mom.

The next four photos are Mom's adulthood dogs:

Angel Sarah, a puppy mill poodle who only lived five years. Dim-witted but loveable.

Angel Jason, a smart-as-a-whip poodle who got a rolling dog house from his human dad so he never had to get left behind when they went on vacation.

Me---Angel Cooper---with my friend Phil. If you've read any of my posts before I crossed over the Rainbow Bridge you know I had a bit of a reputation as a bad boy.

And last but not least, the very much alive Levi who Mom loves so much it scares her.

© Jean Riva 2008



Maggie and Mitch said...

Thank you for the walk down memory lane! What special dogs your mom had in her life, Levi - each and every one of them!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Two Schnauzers from New England said...

Hi, Cooper and Levi -

What great pictures. Your Mom has some really special memories of all her pets. She especially liked the story of Scottie.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Love -

Hershey and Kaci

Anonymous said...

hey cooper:

thanks for walking down that memory lane. now we know secret how your mom is so compassionate and know so much about kids and how to raise them well even when she don't have one. she has raised all of you so well. you were very lucky cooper got raised by best mom

Scottie the 'cutie' said...

Wow, that was a lovely post, Cooper! I loved all the stories about the doggies that was in your Mom and Gramma's life. And I'm so proud I share the same name as one of the bravest doggies I have ever known so far...*puffs chest* I hope I don't do it any injustice!


happy said...

It's nice to go down memory lane. The pictures are priceless. Oh wow, Scottie sure had a long life.

parlance said...

Jean and Cooper, there's so much in this post I'd like to comment on that I don't know where to start.

First, I love the photos as a study of the love between dogs and their people.

I can see why losing King and not knowing where he had ended up would make you stress about allowing dogs to wander.

Another thing is the fact that photographs are so important as a means of capturing memories. I hope our digital media work as well as hard-copy pictures did in the past. People tend to forget that CDs don't last forever. Also, if technology changes we may not be able to access our pictures easily. I have heaps of photos that are on an old type of disk and won't be readable if that old computer dies.

Tatum Tot said...

How so much fun is that! The Mum has some old pictures of Jackie, her first dog, I keep telling her she needs to get them on the computer!

Joe Stains said...

omg so many good dogs!! thanks for this trip down memory lane!

Petra said...

Old pictures tell lots of stories, and these tell how much dogs were loved in your mom's life. Thank you for showing us these wonderful pictures!

Boo said...

levi, dopes wanna thank you for wishing him happy b'day.

that's one great post. i'm sure levi is very blessed with such a lovable mom.

wet wet licks


Simba said...

So many blogs to catch up on. Hope everyone is fit and well.

Simba x



Mona here. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. Your post made the Mommy cry but then she crys at the drop of a hat. My sister Samantha was 14 1/2 when she died and the memories are priceless. Can we be friends? I plan on coming back & I see that we got a lots of the same friends.

Love ya Mona & the Mommy Sarah

FleasGang said...

Simon sez three cheers for Scottie! He's been through the paralysis thing too and we never gave up on him either(nor did he give up on us). Your mom sure had some really neat pup, Levi. You're lucky to have her.

The Fleas

jan said...

That was great. What fun to see dogs that were loved so much and so much part of human lives.

Pedro said...

Nice post! I remember every pet I ever had. What a great idea to put it in writing. Thank you for stopping by Pedro's blog!

Pedro's Mom