Posted by: patwogan | August 22, 2008


Patsy was my first pet.  She was a beautiful collie dog.  Actually, she was my parents pet before I was born and they let me share her with them.  I wasn’t very old when she and I truly bonded.  I loved her very much. 

I would share my cookies with her which meant I would take a bite and let Patsy take a bite and then I would take another bite.  I don’t think my mother approved of this, but we did it anyway.  She would run around the house a couple of times and then jump up on me and knock me down.  It was just a fun game we played which I enjoyed as much as she did.  Patsy and I were constant companions.

After my Grandfather died, we moved away from Glencliff to a farm across the road from Grandmother to be better able to take care of her.  A railroad track ran behind Grandpa’s farm and curved around so that it was about a quarter of a mile away from our place.  There was a good fishing spot underneath a trestle and my Great-Grandmother used to take me fishing there.  One Sunday afternoon two older girl-friends and I went down there to fish.  Patsy accompanied us.  I was ten years old at the time. 

We were fishing and suddenly we heard a loud pop, and Patsy who had been up on top of the trestle came running down to us.  She was bleeding profusely.   She had been shot through the jaw. I ran screaming home, my friends running to keep up.  I needed to get to my Mom and Dad and have them get Patsy. 

Dad went down and got her and brought her home.  It was too late, she was already dead.  It was a horrible experience and I had lost my best friend.  I was very angry with whoever shot her.  As it turned out, it was a neighbor who was a good friend of my parents.  He raised sheep and had been losing some of them to a predator.  When he saw Patsy standing up by the trestle, he thought she was what had been killing his sheep.  I think he came to check on the dog when my Dad arrived to get her.  My mother was also very angry and made him look at her teeth.  A sheep-killing dog will have wool in its teeth and Patsy had none which proved she was not the animal who had been killing his sheep.  He was very sorry and he cried,too, because he knew how important Patsy was to me.   We buried Patsy under a big oak tree and placed a big piece of Georgia granite to mark the spot. 

It was early spring and his ewes were lambing.  Sometimes when a ewe had twin lambs, she will not accept but one of them.  The others are called “orphan” lambs.  Mr. Bullock, the farmer who had shot Patsy brought me two baby lambs.  At first, Mom would not let me take them, but they were so adorable we couldn’t turn them down.  They didn’t take the place of Patsy…nothing could do that….but his intentions were honorable and though nothing could bring Patsy back, the lambs gave me something to love. 

I had recently lost my Grandpa and too soon after that I lost my first pet.  For the first time, I realized that death is a part of life.  I also learned that the good memories you have of a loved one live on long after their death.  For a while after you have been affected by the death of someone or something you have loved deeply there is a fear of loving again.  But to overcome that fear and allow yourself to feel that love again is what life is all about.  I am thankful that I had Patsy for as long as I did and that the memories of her still live in my heart.



  1. Hi Pat~ I just linked to your blog from Kristen’s and wanted to stop and say hello. I am Jared Mullinax’s wife…I feel like I already know you thru your daughter and thru the stories Jared has shared with me…he has so many wonderful memories from his time with you!! Can’t wait to keep reading your posts!!

  2. Everytime I talk to you about sweet little Dolly, I can’t help but think of Patsy. I know you’ve loved our pets in the past, but you always seemed more guarded with your emotions around them. Seems like you have let go of that fear of loving again with Dolly.
    We’ve lost a lot of pets, haven’t we? I cannot imagine how much you ached after this happened to your first pet.

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