On Oct. 20, 2008, our family dog, Dallas passed away. Dallas, a beautiful male cocker spaniel, had been our family dog for almost 15 years. What a sad day it was in our home.

This is a difficult column to write. I’ve waited until 30 minutes before my deadline to put my thoughts on paper. Well, here goes.

On Oct. 20, 2008, our family dog, Dallas passed away. Dallas, a beautiful male cocker spaniel, had been our family dog for almost 15 years. What a sad day it was in our home.

Our family had never had a dog before Dallas. And I still can’t believe that we did.

It all began, when one son, Adam, begged, and the other six children cheered along. So on Christmas day of 1993, we brought Dallas home. It was chaotic.

Of course, Dallas wasn’t house trained, being a 6-week-old pup. And Dallas quickly learned that he had nine masters ... who didn’t know what they were doing.

As I looked over the family and dog pictures, I found one picture with baby Dallas lying asleep on Kortney’s chest. He was so cute.

Then I found a Halloween photo of Dallas in a Cowboy’s uniform, helmet and all.

Several pictures of the kids in bed, showed an additional furry face, next to theirs, peaking out from under the covers.

Dallas knew he was not supposed to get on the living room sofa. But there were some days that Dallas must have slept there all day. The kids had taken pictures of him.

The pictures were quite funny. He’d be on his back, hanging off the sofa, with a great look of satisfaction on his face.

I recall a loud thump, when I walked in the door and the kids yelled, “Mom’s home!”

The thump was always followed by a pitter patter.

Dallas was a protector. No one ever came to the door without Dallas’s announcement.

When Kelsey went to bed, at night, she really liked when Dallas said his good night by jumping on her bed. She’d laugh, as if he was tickling her.

Of course, that was when Dallas weighed only 20-plus pounds. Dallas liked to eat.

Dallas did not like good food. He most liked the food under the dining room table from a child’s friendly hand. He also liked Kibbles ’n Bits.

Dallas was born in Arizona and loved the dry, hot sun. So when we moved to Missouri, he scratched at the patio door and screen till they were nearly gone. Needless to say, Dallas became a house dog.

I can’t write anymore. I’m starting to tear. I have no doubt that I will see Dallas again. He was and is part of our family.

I will conclude with a quote from Gerald E. Jones of Berkeley, Calif. “Nature helps us to see and understand God. To all His creations we owe an allegiance of service and a profound admiration.” 

Remember that “love of nature is akin to the love of God.”