My neighbors’ dog passed a few days ago. His family called him ‘The Donut,’ but I knew him as ‘Donut.’ From his corner he faithfully watched the neighborhood’s comings and goings for the last ten years. It never occurred to me to take his picture – he was just always there.
On Sunday I saw that a small memorial had been placed in the front yard, so I stopped and visited with one of the owners, Gunnar. As we talked, more neighbors, Tom and Tammy, stopped by to pay their respects as well. All remembered Donut as a great dog.
To me, there were two remarkable things about The Donut. The first was that he got along well with every other dog that walked by his house. He quietly, calmly sat at the edge of his yard and acknowledged each passerby with a friendly look or sniff.
The second remarkable thing was that while Donut was always loose in his yard, he never strayed. Another neighbor, Paul, said that ten years ago, Gunnar’s mother took the new puppy around the yard and told him what was his and what wasn’t, and that this is why he never left. Paul gave the family a tree in memory of Donut, and Gunnar planted it in the front yard.
Gunnar remembered when The Donut was so tiny he could fit in one hand. He said that in the two days since The Donut passed, the squirrels, racoons, and coyotes have returned to their yard. Gunnar also said something that I have never heard said about a dog before: The Donut loved sunsets.