Casey and Kelly were litter mates. I was living at home when my sister’s dog had a litter of puppies. For some very strange reason, my dad said, “Let’s get a puppy.” He told me to choose, and I grabbed up the “moose” of the bunch – Casey. A few weeks later, dad came home with Kelly. They were mostly outside dogs … sleeping on the patio and spending countless hours in the backyard. For some strange reason, my mom never really liked them much (or so it seemed to me anyway). I think she hated the idea of two big dogs messing up things around her new house.
Casey loved to swim. Kelly not so much. I used to take Casey down to the Intracoastal to swim in the Indian River … I would float out on a tube or mattress and she would swim around in circles barking at the birds. A couple of times, I thought she was headed for the inlet with a plan to swim to China. She would dive down to inspect the riverbed and on occasion would come up with an oyster!
I took Kelly to the river a couple of times. She liked to wade and dig holes in the sand. One time, she went out a little too far and sank like a lead balloon. After that, she stayed close to the shore.
My favorite story about these two dogs goes back to when they were about 2-years-old. It was about 3 a.m. and I woke up to the sound of frantic barking. You know, the kind that sets your hair on fire. Both my mom and I jumped out of bed and met in the hallway … she looked as concerned as I was. Back then, the dogs slept on the screened patio with the door to the fenced yard open so they could go out when needed. Mom opened the door to the patio, and Casey ran in the house. The yard light showed Kelly in the back yard acting very strangely. I went out to see what the problem was and I noticed she had a tail hanging from her mouth. When she finally stopped dancing around, I was able to grab her, and pry her mouth open. I shook her head to get her to drop whatever was in her mouth. Shake, shake, shake. Out popped a wet and slimy baby opossum. At that point, Kelly went a little nuts again, and I grabbed her by the back of the neck and tossed her into the patio and slammed the door. Picked up the little guy on a shovel and tossed him over the fence. A few minutes later .. he shook his head … and ran for the bushes.
Both dogs have been gone now for a few years now. Casey (the yellow one) had some severe medical problems and had to be euthanized. About a year later, Kelly (the red one) died after being given a steak bone (by a neighbor). We think that the bone was just too brittle and sharp and pierced her stomach or intestines. They were about 9 or 10 years old. Kelly was dad’s favorite and even though he has Misty now, he still misses that old red retriever.