Thursday, March 17

The Dogs and Their Pear Tree

When we moved into our present house many years ago, the back yard had an old, but prolific, pear tree. And we had two middle-aged dogs, a black Labrador named Gracie and a mutt named Twinkie, who was allegedly half-Golden Retriever. Never were two dogs closer friends, with our Lab being the leader, and our mutt being her loyal sidekick.

When the pear would bloom, Gracie would start looking up at it each day, very carefully. As soon as she saw any wee pearlets beginning, she would circle and bark at them. As they grew, she would continue to eye them and bark. And as soon as they began to ripen, she would stand and stare at the one she wanted, barking furiously until it was picked and handed to her. Twinkie always stood by, curled tail wiggling over her back, politely waiting for her pear, too.

The years passed, and the tradition of observing the pear tree closely continued, and as more and more time passed, both the dogs and the tree became weaker. Finally one last autumn, when both dogs were 16 years old and had eaten the last of the pears, they declined rapidly. They died within minutes of each other, Gracie carefully watching over Twinkie until she was safe, and then dying herself, after weakly shaking hands with our vets, who had rushed over to help. 

And the pear died, too, and like our precious dogs, never saw another spring. 

We have their urns, and we tell our new rescues, Sophie and Piglet, all about their older "sisters." One of the joys of my life has been rescuing animals, and our newest rescue, Piglet, not even here a week, already has a special place in my heart. He is disabled. It's a labor of love for that dog to haul his tiny self to his feet and totter over to us dragging a leg damaged from being caught in a chain for months. But he always does get up, "burbling" and smiling and tiny corkscrew tail shaking. I know some people feel they cannot "replace" one animal with another, and we didn't, but we did rescue these dogs in honor of Gracie and Twinkie.

Free printable antique fruit tags. Click the "P" to Pin, and click elsewhere on the image to enlarge it. Then right-click to save.

8 Elf-Friends have commented... :

  • Sweet Sue

    oh to be the guardian of a glorious pear tree, and your very special pups. beautiful post, ty for sharing. xo

  • Joanne Noragon

    How can be be unkind in the unremitting good will of a dog?

  • Buttercup

    We had a pear tree when I was growing up. The birds got most of the pears, but I loved seeing it blossom. A toast to our beloved animal friends and to pear trees.

  • Anonymous

    What a sweet post. You're doing a good thing by rescuing the dogs. My nephew did that, too. He rescued medical reseach dogs, butnonly those that received a placebo could be adopted. I never cared much for pears as a child. I still don't go crazy for them, but I do eat them from time to time. I can't help but wonder if that would change with the easy access of one's own trees. Beautiful images.

  • Sylvie

    Your sweet & sad story brought tears to my eyes. It's wonderful that you give the poor dogs a second chance. From now on, whenever I see a pear tree I'll think of your pets. The tags are beautiful. Thank you.

  • Cynthia

    Our beloved pets have such short lives compared to ours. It's so sad to see them go, but then we are blessed by giving a home to someone new. Amazing that your two dogs died almost at the same time and the pear tree they enjoyed as well. Blessings on your new little buddies!

  • Unknown

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  • Rebekah Legion SundayGirlJournals

    That's such a beautiful, bitter sweet story. Although it's true that You can never replace a pet, it is still important to go on rescuing more animals in their honour because so many animals need a good home. So many abused animals in this World. What a remarkable story.

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