The spirit of a dog is irresistable. One of the sweetest passed on yesterday—we gave her the name Emelee almost 16 years ago. That little girl came into our lives and stole our hearts from the first time we saw her. She arrived sight unseen on an airplane from Indiana as she bravely winged her way alone, across the US to become a “California girl” for life.

She was filled with a gentle power and seemed to know from the beginning that she was the lead dog of the trio. Three 10 pound dachshund bodies all piled up asleep on the couch, and she would always be on top. Even when her niece Tuesday was around (we call her that for fun), she was subjected to the whims of the little girl.

Today we told stories about her, laughing out loud, perhaps just to keep from crying. We talked about her incredible skill at moving the basketball with her nose all around the yard, like a star soccer player. She was relentless as we would inevitably have to take the ball away to get her to stop—her face an absolute mess from the game. When the ball got stuck under a bush, she would proceed to shake the lower branches side to side until she ripped them off. Anything to free the ball, and she always won (the bushes didn’t look so good after a while). Frisky and always ready to play, she drew everyone’s attention. But, it was probably her curly light brown hair and sweet face that made everyone want to pick her up for a snuggle.

She had many nicknames because of her high spirited personality. Among them: curly girl, emmy, bemmy, peanut, emelee-bemelee-bop, and of course one of our favorites was bember-toots. Over the years we got a dog for each of the four of us, and she was officially Aaron’s dog. But, as it played out, she was really everybody’s dog because there was plenty of her to go around. Each one of us quietly claimed she loved us the most.

So yesterday afternoon at about 3:30 her frail little body took a much needed rest. There comes that time with all of life when the systems just can’t keep up anymore, and it was her time. For any of us who have been fortunate enough to have a beloved pet in our lives, we understand the mysterious effect they have on us. As if they come here just to give us balance and perspective—or maybe to teach us what unconditional love really looks like. In any case, our lives have been changed by that little bundle of energy. If we could all be a bit more like Emelee, this world would surely be a better place.

Note: You may also enjoy some of our other stories about dogs called “Simple Pleasures,” and “Puppy Love.”



  1. A beautifully written entry that blends both tears and laughter. I am deeply saddened by the loss of your dear Emelee.


  2. So sad to hear about sweet Emelee. A dog is one of those parts of a family that allows us to slow down and wonder in unconditional love. I love your stories.



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