Last Sunday night was a tough night. A shih tzu I got to know and love passed away. Dakota died last Sunday night after living a full life of 15 years.

I helped take care of Dakota. He was actually more known as “Ducky” because he had a little overbite that resembled a duck face. But it was precious. And he was precious. So the first time I saw his duck face I thought it was the cutest thing I'd ever seen.

Every time Ducky would look up at me with that duck face my heart melted. Every time.

Even though no one was around at the time — and that was obviously awfully painful for those who loved him not to be there — I truly believe Ducky knew what he was doing.

Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I do believe dogs know when it's time to die. Ducky seemed quite happy — at least to me anyway — the last few times he got to run around in the front yard where he lived.

I use the term loosely because Ducky didn't really run around. He definitely went at his own pace.

So I truly believe Ducky was content. Everybody who loved him were on there way to different places for Mother's Day, so Ducky was going to have to be alone Saturday and part of Sunday.

He was in a comfortable place with plenty of food and water and this kind of thing had been done before in which he was left alone for a day or two. When I came by to check on him on Friday night he seemed perfectly fine.

He looked up at me with that duck face of his and my heart melted one more time.

I truly believe Ducky decided it was time to go before we all left. I know people will call me crazy but that's what I believe.

But since we were all heading our different ways, Ducky decided he didn't want to ruin our Mother's Day weekend by dying before we could go. So sometime over last weekend he decided to just lie down and rest for good.

Even though he was kept quite comfortable my guess is he started realizing it was beginning to get a little hot and he didn't really want to experience another long, hot summer.

Ducky didn't seem to be that much of an affectionate dog as whenever I petted him his reaction seemed to be, Ok, go ahead and pet me if you want but when you're done I'll just move on.

So it surprised me one day when I drove Ducky to the dog park and he sat in my lap when I drove which I know isn't advisable, but Ducky didn't move a muscle.

Because while I had become fond of Ducky I never thought of him as a dog who had really become all that close to me. But that day in which he rode on my lap showed me I was wrong about that.

Ducky had a really cool personality at least I think he had a pretty cool personality. When all the other dogs would be jumping and running around, Ducky would look up as if to say, “What's all the hullabaloo about?”

I don't know how to describe it. Ducky seemed to be a dog who acted his age but at the same time was a puppy at heart if that makes any sense.

I haven't seen it but what's that movie “A Man Called Otto.” That's kind of how I look at it “A Dog Called Ducky.”

And he was beautiful.

Charles Whisnand is the Porterville Recorder Editor. Contact him at or 784-5000, extension 1048.




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