I can’t believe he’s gone. Our dog, Smoke Rider; Smoke for short. A fiercely protective, loyal and loving Blue Lacey Catahoula mix; he was truly one of a kind. He lived a long, full, happy life (14-15 years??) chasing squirrels, sunbathing, swimming, trailing deer, biting the occasional human (always with good reason though), and standing guard over our household. He wasn’t a huge fan of our kids but learned to tolerate them extremely well, and hadn’t snapped at any of them in a few years despite the (at time severe) torture that he endured at the hands of Toddzillas 1.0 & 2.0 (aka Landri & Rex). You’ll see some documentation of that in the photo collage below. Smoke encompassed just about every quality you’d ever want in a dog. As I alluded to above, he was the best guard dog, and I always felt safe with him around. He was almost too good of a watch dog – once he even bit a police officer who went in our backyard to investigate when our house alarm had gone off. I felt horrible. They were both just doing their job. After that we got several “Beward of Dog” signs. But, yes, that day Smoke was quickly and swiftly sprayed with mace. I still can’t believe the cop didn’t shoot him! And actually, I don’t think that was the first time he bit an officer of the law either! I always took Smoke camping, especially when it was just me and my girlfriends so we were safe in camp. He also was a good companion back in the day on long runs. His record was 9 miles, although that was a good 8 or so years ago. When Scott or any family/friends ever wounded deer while hunting, just like his dad Gus, Smoke did an outstanding job trailing those deer (see a pic of Smoke with Scott and his axis – that was quite a story). He was still just a dog though, and there are plenty of stories of him stealing plates of bacon off the stove and dinner off the table, LOL! He was talented too, and was famous for his ability to high five. Check out this promotional video that my friend Gus and I did for the National MS Society. Watch until the end to see Smoke showcase his skills! And while we are on the topic of videos, here’s a walk down memory lane- a few clips of the kids with him:
Rest in peace, sweet Smoke. We miss you so much. We know that you’re having a blast running wild and free up in Heaven! We will always remember you, keep you in our hearts, and love you!