Friday June 7th, 2013 at 10:00 AM I handed my dog back to our Father in Heaven. Ringo Dawg was twelve years old and that is a long life for a 110 pound huge golden retriever. He had an inoperable brain tumor, the signs of it only showed up in his last few days. Even the vet cried as he put Ringo, such a magnificent animal, down. Ringo had huge webbed feet that were larger than my own hands, and he always out swam me-often freaking me out and swimming way out in the inter-coastal channel where I could not even fetch him from danger-and had to hope he would paddle back. He would, every time.
But at age 12, Ringo was very ready to return to Heaven. Ringo had a great life with me, author Deborah Dolen, and more so, his last 24 hours. Because I am a writer he was able to swim all the time in the Gulf of Mexico and sniff for possums at Desoto Park quite frequently – sometimes daily.
Ringo was God’s dog and Ringo was only here on loan. Ringo saw me through a lot of things and I am honored such an angel came down to make me laugh and keep me active for eight years. Ringo also taught me a lot of things. Ringo was a Katrina dog and had swam for hours near the levees to stay alive.
These are photos of Ringo running on Naples Beach in Naples Florida. Ringo was able to swim quite often in the Gulf of Mexico. Chasing seagulls was a huge past time for Ringo and sniffing for possums at Desoto State Park.
My last week with Ringo, I saw a bald headed eagle at Desoto State Park, sitting on a huge cross and looking down at me. This was telling me something very serious, and stoic, but I thought more for a friend of mine-and not about my loyal dog who was sitting next to me as I took the photo. I had never seen a bald headed eagle–and only twenty feet from me! The eagle was telling me I would be fine, although I was about to loose the two closest and only friends I had in that same week. Ringo on Friday and the other on Saturday.
The cross at Desoto Park in Bradenton. FL is a place Ringo and I often would swim in a lagoon area where dogs were allowed. Many times we would swim near dolphins and many kinds of neat fish and birds. I am glad dogs do not live as long as we do because many do not have a good life. Even if one of out ten dogs has an awful life – that is one too many. So, its OK to only have a dog for a decade because for abused dogs-a decade is an eternity of hell.
So, love you Ringo – your biggest fan on earth – Deborah