• Kaaren Poole

How Large White Dogs came into My Life


It was a dark and stormy night. Really. Thirst woke me, so I gathered my resolve to leave the comfy warmth of the bed and venture to the kitchen for a drink of water. I'm not sure of the time, but I had been asleep for a while, so it must have been sometime in the wee hours. I stepped into the living room and immediately noticed the front door standing open. The wind must have blown it open, I thought.

I rushed to close and lock it, but the storm had brought another surprise!


There, on the couch, lay a large white dog - perfectly content on the soft, warm, dry bed she'd somehow found. It was a miracle! I was so excited!


But the problem immediately hit me. What would she do loose in the house all night, and what would Doug, my husband, say. Of course I wanted to keep her. Something mystical brought her here and that she should be our dog was obvious.


I made her a bed of towels in the laundry room and put her in there for the rest of the night. She was docile, and perfectly compliant.


The next morning, Doug was neither docile nor compliant. He had the erroneous belief that dogs should be outdoors at all times. He also believed this particular dog should be returned to her owner. Well, that was more easily said than done, as she had no collar.


Also, we lived out in the country, surrounded by cattle ranches. Houses were few and far between. We knew the ranchers and were not aware of any dogs like this one living anywhere nearby. Nevertheless, Doug loaded the dog in the back of the truck and we began making the rounds, searching for her owner. We didn't find her owner, but the ranchers' expressed admiration for this great beautiful dog raised her value in Doug's eyes. Pretty soon he decided we wouldn't be able to find her owner and that we could keep her. Yay!


Doug named her 'Bruno.' I didn't see the relevance of this name since it meant 'brown,' and she was pure white. But the name hardly mattered to me. Bruno was our beloved companion for the rest of her life. She died about a month after Doug did. I sure grieved and missed them both terribly, but found some comfort that they were together.


*****


Soon after Bruno's passing, I found Fiona at the local pound and adopted her. She's meant the world to me for the past 11 years. In addition to loving her, she's been a model for my artwork many, many times, from a formal portrait in pastel

to a whimsical mixed media portrait

to an art journal spread in which she gives me advice on growing dahlias.

Fiona and I are now near the end of our time together. I try not to be sad, but to treasure every day. I love you, Fiona.

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