A Repeat, for Dookie


People ask about Dookie periodically because he isn’t seen on the blog very much anymore. The reason for that is because Dookie stopped leaving the porch much in the past year. He turned 15 this year. He started life a pampered Florida dog, riding around in his owner’s car in the suburbs. Then he became a young woman’s dog. Then he became 52’s dog. Then 52 gave him to Morgan, and he became a farm dog. He was scared of lightning and gunfire, and always wanted in the house if he heard that, but he wasn’t scared of anything else. He had his spring clip a few weeks ago, and had to have it at the vet’s office instead of at the groomer’s because of his age. There was nothing wrong with his health, other than the frailty of his years. He wasn’t seeing as well as he used to, so leaving the porch was confusing for him, plus the porch steps were difficult, so he just quit going out, spending most of his time on his blankie. Yesterday, he died quietly in his sleep. He had a good, long dog life.

In Dookie’s honor, here is one of my favorite stories, and one that showcases his character at a time when he was still able to be himself.


See this steep hillside? Our house is up there. Way up there. The river is way down here. We’re quite safe from floods. However, we’re not exactly handy to the river. Well, relatively speaking. The river is a short walk away–down the driveway and out the road about a one-minute stroll. The river ford allows a public access point and there is a swimming hole nearby with a rope tied from a tree. The kids love to play there. But for a property that actually borders the river, our direct access from our own property seemed somewhat impossible. Unless you like sliding down steep hillsides.

Or clambering off cliffs.

The part of our farm that borders the river is at the bottom of this cliff. The river makes a bend here, comes alongside our farm, and carries along the border of our property for some way–and all of that way, it’s straight uphill to our house.

Then we pushed through some brush toward the bottom of our driveway and discovered this.

There are old logging trails throughout our property. Our driveway, in fact, was originally a logging trail. But we had no idea that there was another logging trail here, at the base of our steep cliff along the river, or that there was this shelf of flat land at the base of the cliff that was also part of our farm.

Following this logging trail at the base of our cliff, we found the metal pins that mark the property line all the way around our farm. The pins are laid out to the side of the trail, giving us just enough space to walk along the bottom of our hillside and reach the river, directly from our farm.

The Pocatalico is not a big river. It’s a river based on length, not width. In many places, it looks like a creek. I sat down on a rock to take in my newfound view. With summer fading fast, I will miss this lush green soon. Look at me–I even wore my boots. For once.

I sat there watching the leaves falling on the water in the light breeze, enjoying the peace and the quiet and–

–the company.

You can’t go to the river without dogs tagging along.

Coco hasn’t quite figured out this whole water thing yet.

Is it a giant mud puddle? Will it suck her under? Will it attack?

Dookie’s an old hand. “I’ll show that giant puppy,” he said.

And he jumped right in.

Coco was so distressed, she didn’t know what to do with herself.

“Come back, Dookie! Come back!”

Dookie: “Now do you see what I’ve been telling you? I’m better than the giant puppy. I’m the top dog. I’m the king of the world!”

After he was done showing off, Dookie slopped back ashore.

To Coco’s delight.

She was so happy to see him alive and on land again, she tried to bite his neck.

To show her love.

Which explains a lot about their relationship. That, and the way Coco likes to wake Dookie up in the morning (er, noonish, Dookie likes to sleep late) by picking up the corner of the blanket he sleeps on in her teeth and dragging it off, dumping him unceremoniously from his bed.

Still, they have their moments of bonding. Mysterious moments when they speak dog to dog.

Dookie: “I’ll teach you all about the big water, grasshopper. Stick with me.”

“You gotta start small,” he told Coco as they walked away from the river.

“Like with this little creek here. Go ahead,” he told her. “Jump in. Run up and down the creek two hundred times and you will defeat the water and have power over it, like I do.”

Me: “Coco, no! I don’t want to–

–take home–

–a messy, dripping–






  1. NancyL says:

    I’m so sorry about Dookie, Suzanne but, as you mentioned, he had a lovely and loving long life. Lots of adventure! He was quite a character, and you’ll all miss the little guy. I love this series of pictures – your stories are always delightful!!!

    Nancy in Iowa

  2. melinda says:

    So sorry. It’s hard to lose a long time good friend.

  3. Darlene in North GA says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. Long life or not, I know he will be missed. Another friend to meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  4. Blessings says:

    Suzanne, I’m sorry for the loss of your friend Dookie.I hope he was layed to rest in his favorite place, on the farm..

  5. Rose H says:

    I’m so sorry that you have lost dookie Suzanne, I know the heartbreak it brings. He’s had a lovely, secure life surrounded by love and caring and slipped quietly over the Rainbow Bridge with his loved ones near by. There’s no perfect end – but that must come close.
    Sending hugs. :hug: :hug:
    Rose H

  6. themandabear says:

    Aw I’m so sorry to hear that Dookie has passed 🙁 He had a great life with your family. He was a gorgeous little boy and I’m really sorry for your loss

  7. Debidoodle says:

    😥 I’m so sorry. He was truely a wonderful little member of the family. :hug:

  8. Maria P says:

    Suzanne, I’m sorry to hear about Dookie. But! your photos and story of the dogs in the water are AMAZING. especially the giant puppy going crazy in the water. made me laugh out loud

  9. CindyP says:

    So sorry for the farm’s loss. He’s the top dog again, doing what he wants, since he IS the only farm shiatsu. And what a wonderful post dedicated to Dookie…when he was able to romp around through the river and being top dog no matter how big the Giant Puppy is!

  10. twiggityNDgoats says:

    What a great little dog Dookie was and what a wonderful life he had. He will be another star shining brightly in the heavens.

  11. CATRAY44 says:

    What a wonderful life he had! I am sorry for your loss, but what a great way to go- just a normal day, where you love to be, and peacefully.

  12. DB says:

    That’s a great post. I’m so sorry for your loss; anyone who has loved and lost a pet know how you’re feeling.

  13. DB says:

    ** knows (I hate typos!)

  14. SarahGrace says:

    Thank you for sharing that wonderful memory of Dookie. I am sorry that he is gone.

  15. Teri says:

    So sorry to hear about Dookie’s passing. I am sure he did have a good life with you.

  16. Busy Solitude Farm says:

    So sorry for your loss. Dookie certainly had an exciting, wonderful life.

  17. Granny Trace says:

    :happyflower: Oh sweet Dookie.
    So sad when you a furry member of the family leaves us. But we are blessed with treasured memories. Hugs to you all.
    Granny Trace


  18. windspiritwhimsies says:

    So sorry to hear about Dookie. How fortunate he to have lived as a part of your family.

  19. GaPeach says:

    I, like everyone else, am so sorry for the loss of your pet. We lost our dog just last week so I can understand exactly how you are feeling. Time will heal all wounds.

  20. kellyb says:

    Suzanne and family,

    So sorry to hear of Dookie’s passing. I hope your memories far out weigh your sadness. He had a wonderful life and brought much joy to your lives.

  21. Julia says:

    I’m so sorry.

  22. ImpressiveStealth says:

    Sorry to hear about DookieDog but what a way to go – quietly in his sleep after a long good life. My mum has a 12 year old Shitzu who also has failing eyesight and has finally given up going up the stairs. He also has to be carried out of the back door but leaps back in looking very spritely for his age. He is still a demon soccer player who can dribble a ball up and down the steps in the garden.

  23. ConnieH says:

    So sorry for your loss Suzanne. He looked like a really fun dog.

  24. luvthecountry says:

    I’m so sorry Suzanne. I know you and Coco and everyone else miss him very much. He had a long good life with a wonderful Giant Puppy friend.

  25. TinaBell says:

    Very, very nice tribute to Dookie. Lovely story and pictures. Losing a beloved pet has got to be one of life;s biggies on the sadness scale…I know in time all the happy memories will take the place of the loss. Hugs for Morgan especially today.

  26. Cousin Sheryl says:

    R.I.P Dookie! He was a “giant puppy” spirit in a small package. He is missed.


  27. lavenderblue says:

    Awww, what a shame. I am so sorry to hear that Dookie is gone. That picture of CoCo and him side by side is priceless. Wonder what they were thinking about? He’ll be missed. Hugs to all.

  28. DancesInGarden says:

    He had the best farm life a Shih tzu could have!

  29. momtoadiva says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Dookie’s passing. I know the hurt of losing a part of the family… 😥

  30. Ms.Becky says:

    my heart just twists up in contortions when one of your critters goes to heaven. Bless little Doogie’s heart. It was huge and full. I’m sorry for your loss Suzanne, but this one isn’t a tragedy because as you say, Doogie lived a good, long, fun-filled life with you. It’s still very sad though….. 😥 RIP Doogie.

  31. prayingpup says:

    Awww . . . what a sweet tribute to Dookie. RIP, Little Man! So glad he had a wonderful life there with you and that he had a peaceful departure. Sorry for your loss but happy that you have great memories and pictures of him. P.s. – we have Shih Tzu and LOVE them like you would never believe!

  32. holstein woman says:

    I feel the pain of loss with you and your family. I am so glad Dookie got to show Big Puppy the river and how to have a great time in the water. I remember when he first trained him there and what fun Dookie and Big Puppy had. :hug:

  33. barbie says:

    Sorry, Suzanne, for your lose. You gave Dookie a great life on your farm. :hug:

  34. JeannieB says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, but remember what fun he was. I love that you had the older story, it has been a long time since I read that one.

  35. amateisgal says:

    Oh Dookie…we will miss your wisdom and your shaggy hair! So sorry for your loss, Suzanne. But you’re right – he lived a good, long life.

  36. beforethedawn says:

    Sad to hear Dookie passed away. Very happy to hear it was peaceful and that he had a great doggy life! RIP Dookie!

  37. CarrieJ says:

    R.I.P. Dookie…you were great fun!

  38. cabynfevr says:

    I’m so sorry. He went in the manner we all wish our faithful four legged friends will go. The post made me laugh and cry. Coco was so small (relatively speaking of course!). I’m glad you have Casper to keep Coco company.

  39. folkwoman says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear of Dookie’s passing. It’s always so hard to lose our dogs, isn’t it? I love this story, too, especially that look of satisfaction on Dookie’s face!

  40. cindi says:

    So sorry that your Dookie has passed on.. That he’s had such a happy life with you on the farm must be a balm on the pain of his loss, but not much can ease the pain of losing a beloved companion. I love the picture of he and Coco standing side by side, looking out at the water…quintessential dogginess. :heart:

  41. twoturkey says:

    So sorry to read of Dookie’s passing. He was a cute little thing and I always liked the stories about him. First the sad story about Boomer and now Dookie….life is hard sometimes even for animals, isn’t it? Both tear jerker type posts!

    Mrs. Turkey

  42. silentgoddess says:

    For each of us, I hope that we can go just as quietly, peacefully and, even more importantly, loved.

    Much love to you Suzanne. You have had to deal with a lot of this lately. It just doesn’t get easier does it?

  43. Sandra says:

    Here I sit…crying over another one of your babies. Rest in peace little dog.

  44. Betsy says:

    15 years is indeed a good long life for a doggy. Hugs to you and your family on this day of loss.

  45. msmitoagain says:

    I’m so sorry. I know he’ll be missed.

  46. Yankee in NC says:

    R.I.P. Sweet Dookie.
    May your hearts hold onto all of the wonderful days you shared with that adorable bundle of puppy love! He is very lucky to have landed in your care and was well loved.

  47. catslady says:

    I’m so sorry about Dookie. But if your time is up, passing in your sleep is the way to do it.

  48. Linda Goble says:

    So sorry for your lost, hopefully Boomer and Dookie are romping all around again in heaven. Cocoa must beside himself losing 2 dogs. He is going to need another playmate 😆

  49. JerseyMom says:

    So sorry for your loss, so glad for Dookie to pass on peacefully. R.I.P. Dookie

  50. wildcat says:

    Suzanne, so sorry for your loss. Dookie will be greatly missed.

  51. Hlhohnholz says:

    I am sorry to hear about Dookie, Suzanne. I am glad he went peacefully, and in his favorite place. It is never easy to lose a friend, but your memories keep him alive.

  52. Vicki in So. CA says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Suzanne. I remember this story, too. What a lovely tribute to your little ‘top dog.’ Hugs for you all, including Coco, on this sad day. :hug:

  53. mrsdmahogany says:

    Dookie is now on to his next adventure! Its never easy to lose a beloved pet, sorry for your loss.


  54. LindDis says:

    I am so sorry about Dookie. You just recently lost another little friend too so this one must be especially hard on top of that. I loved the post though!

  55. whaledancer says:

    My condolences to your whole family and to Dookie’s friends on the farm. Dookie was a little dog but a big part of your farm adventure. He had what I would wish for everyone: a fun life, a quiet and comfortable old age, and a peaceful death. That must be a comfort to you in your sadness. Thank you for sharing Dookie with us and for reminding us of that day by the river.

  56. SusieD says:

    So sorry for your loss of Dookie. I’m know what it is like to lose an animal. They are just like members of the family. I’m going to miss seeing him in your posts.

  57. Madeline says:

    What an awesome wonderful farm life you gave Dookie in his later years..I am so happy his passing was peaceful and that he was with his family on the farm.I know you will miss him.Me too..YES! THAT WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE ARTICLES OF ALL TIME< the one with Dookie and Coco cavorting.

    We'll always remember Dookie.

    My condolences to you Suzanne and your family, losing a beloved pet is never ever easy no matter how old they have become..they leave a hole in our lives when they go ….

  58. hawkswench says:

    I’m sorry about Dookie. I know how it hurts to lose a furry family member.

  59. yvonnem says:

    I was just thinking about Dookie yesterday and wondering how he was. I’m so sorry. I had a little guy, Griz – a pomeranian, who lived 15 years and we lost him the same way. That was six years ago and I still miss him! 😥

  60. AnnieB says:

    What a beautiful story. I’m sitting here reading it with tears rolling down my cheeks. It’s so hard to lose our furry friends. I’m happy that he had such a wonderful life!

  61. oct4luv says:

    Rest in peace Dookie :sun:

  62. aprilejoi says:

    I’m so sorry. 15 is a good long life for a little dog. I will miss reading about him- as I do Boomer.

  63. Estella says:

    Am sad to hear of Dookie’s passing. It is never easy to lose a pet, no matter their age.

  64. lizzie says:

    Suzanne, so very sorry about Dookie, he was adorable. It was so nice that he was able to leave this world in his loving home. It is hard to lose a beloved dog. My heart goes out to you and your family. :snuggle:

  65. Peggy in KY says:

    What a nice tribute to Dookie. I know you have lots of loving memories. I had missed this one the first time around, so I am glad you went to the archeives.

  66. Valerie says:

    Such a lovely post about a doggie friend you loved so much. I am so sorry for your loss. But he had a wonderful life with his giant puppy friend, and it was a long life,too. Rest in peace little Dookie.

  67. Pat says:

    Suzanne, I’m so sorry about Dookie. He was a good little dog and fortunate to live our his senior years in your care. Now he has crossed the Rainbow Bridge and is playing in the sun.

    Pat in Eastern NC

  68. 4jsMOM says:

    A sad day for you and your family, for sure. But all the wonderful memories, including this Dookie-Coco story, will be with you forever. Our pets can leave us, but we can still continue to enjoy them through our memories of their special time with us.

  69. Puma45 says:

    This really hits close to home for me. We have a very old (we’re not sure exactly how old, as he’s a rescue) Dachshund, and he’s slowed down an awful lot in the past year. I know in my heart that it won’t be long now, and my greatest prayer is that he go just like Dookie did – peacefully, in his sleep, and hopefully dreaming of doing what he loves to do.

    And now my husband wants to know why I’m crying… 😥

  70. Katharina says:

    Oh, Dookie, we miss you! I’m glad you had the experience of farm life and giant puppy and the river before you had retirement on the porch. Good dog, Dookie.

  71. nerosmom says:

    :snoopy: I’m sure he’s dancing now… So sorry Suzanne.

  72. herbalcat says:

    It is hard losing a long-time companion like Dookie. My heart goes out to you, the family, and Coco. Thank you for sharing that story. {{hugs}}

  73. NorthCountryGirl says:

    Awwlll! I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m glad that Dookie came to live with you. He had a great home, great doggy friends, and a good long life. I like to think he is running through the meadows of Puppy Heaven with Boomer. Maybe even chasing Mean Rooster. Rest well, sweet friend. :happypuppy:

  74. Windflower says:

    Run free, Dookie! Trudi is waiting for you at the bridge and will show you the way. :snoopy:

  75. amyg says:

    Oh Suzanne, I’m so sorry about Dookie. I just saw this now. I know how much it hurts and this was a beautiful tribute to him. Now he is running and playing with my own Coco, Shayna & Will. Sending you and your family and Coco big Hugs.


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