Friday, December 21, 2007

Beautiful Joe

Today we had to put our boxer, Joe, to sleep, as his hind legs were giving out, crippled by arthritis. He had stopped eating and would not come to me when I called, and I think he was just ready to go. I really appreciate the kindness of the vet and the vet tech who put him to sleep - the process could not have been smoother or sweeter, and I had the chance to say goodbye and have a good cry as Joe went to sleep.

Thinking back on our six years with Joe has been very sweet. We bought him two days after moving to Glenwood (two days after 9-11), and we were actually looking at another boxer at the rescue when Joe came bounding down the steps. He always was a funny looking dog, and he won us over immediately. For a young couple who were scared to death of their neighborhood, having a big, mean-looking dog was such a comfort. People would move to the other side of the street when they saw Joe coming, though they had nothing to fear from him. Joe was a source of courage for me, helping me feel OK about walking through Glenwood, and owning him also forced me to get out in the neighborhood before we had a fence. I would also give Joe a lot of credit for getting our tutoring program off the ground. As we took our early morning walks, he became a favorite of the kids who were waiting for the bus, and while they didn't know my name, they would be screaming "Joe! Joe!" when we were still way down the block. He was my best way of getting to know them, and I can still see Kendall, one of our first tutoring participants, hugging Joe on the corner in front of his house.

Joe was a great dog for our work here because he was very gentle and patient with kids, yet he was all the alarm system we ever needed. Eliza has been a little sad today as she has realized Joe is not coming back, and she cried pretty hard a couple of times, which surprised me because I wasn't sure how much she could understand. We will certainly miss Joe and are thankful that God provided such a good companion for us here.


Jeremy said...

i'm really sad to hear you had to put joe to sleep. he was a great dog and i could tell you guys really cared about him and were good to him. i know i had some good time over the summer just sitting on your porch reading and petting joe. the neighborhood wont be the same without him.

Ashleigh said...


So sad to hear this. The dog I'd had since age 7 was put to sleep my sophomore year of college, and even the other day I was talking about it again with roomie Kate, remembering my dog's silly quirks.

I am thankful Joe got to go peacefully rather than something agonizing, and I hope you and your family can shed some good tears and save up the wonderful memories.

Chris Lewis said...

So sorry to hear about your loss, Marshall. Joe was a reference- point for my daughter when I would mention your name.

"You mean the guy who brought his dog over."

That's the one.

Blessings to you and your family, my friend.

Allen F. said...

I am sorry to hear that Marshall, I was hoping to see him in a week or so. But that is awesome that God had a purpose for him. And I am glad he was able to be put to sleep and pass peacefully. Merry Christmas, cya soon.

Suzanne said...

Hey Marsh,
I am so sorry to hear about Joe :( He was a part of the team and I will miss him. He always helped me feel safe when I was babysitting at night. He was good company too:)

cory cavin said...

Marsh -

Sorry to hear about Joe. I remember sitting at your house in 01' or 02' and getting to meet Joe. I'm glad it was a peaceful process saying goodbye, since that is such a hard thing. God bless you and your family and Merry Christmas bro.

Jenny said...

oh sweet joe...i loved that little guy. he was such a good dog, especially for forgiving me for making him throw up at yum-yums last summer. and for letting bozley get up close and personal with him on our visits. :/ so sad to hear the news but i'm thankful he had a good, fairly long life, and that he was able to let you know when it was time for him to go. emily, kevin, boz and i send our condolences.

Leigh Ann Powell said...

Hey Marsh--
I'm so sorry to hear about Joe. I remember a long time ago dog-sitting him and Kolby for a few nights, and also the time we played tennis at uncg and drove back with Joe in the backseat of my tiny ford escort. he was a great dog! it's so awesome how the Lord used Joe in your ministry in Glenwood...thanks for sharing~~

take care~
leigh ann powell