Barks, Bears And Bridges – Remembering Cookie

When we met, I never thought that we would share a lifetime together.  In truth, it was really a short time like the blinking of an eye.  You were my best friend and my daily companion.  We explored the fields and the forest and shared many adventures together.  You were my mentor showing me the ways of the world, teaching me how to spot snakes that were still and silent.  You showed me where to cross the creek and how to spot catfish.  You ran with me as we fled the claws of the barnyard rooster.  You slept in my bed at night and walked me to the school bus in the early morning.  You would be there waiting when I came home after school and you were ready to roam the forest and fields.  We shared a lifetime together my dog and me yet it seemed barely moments and you were gone.  As I got older I would visit the old farm and I could see you in my mind playing out in the fields waiting for me to come home.  You were my best friend and while your time was short you gave me a lifetime of memories.

It was late one night and you bounded from the bed barking head hung low and growling.  The wind outside was howling and shaking the rafters like a giant playing with Lincoln Logs.

It was late one night and you bounded from the bed barking head hung low and growling.  The wind outside was howling and shaking the rafters like a giant playing with Lincoln Logs.  Daddy got out of bed and with dog in tow barking went running to wake my sisters.  Mom grabbed the girls and they all went screaming toward the potato cellar.  The wind was powerful almost lifting me from the ground and I was almost crawling for safety.  Mom was shouting for me to hurry but my dog Cookie was barking and running back toward the house.  I could see her tugging on Daddy’s shirt.  He had fallen off the wet porch and hurt his back but between the two of us, we got Daddy into the shelter.  It was a night of darkness when the sky rumbles, lightning scars the earth and tornados roamed the land.  Cookie saved us that night.  Daddy never did tell her to stop her barking again.

The early fall chill had tinted the air but not enough to keep five adventurous kids and a dog from exploring the woods around our farm.  There were lots of trails through the woods from dogs, deer, and bears and when you are a kid trails are meant to be explored.  You wanted to know where they went and what secrets did they hide.  We found a fallen tree from Hurricane Hazel’s winds.  It was pulled up by its roots which were as tall as the three of us kids and with roots that made great climbing.  The tree had an almost perfectly round pool at its base.  We stuck a tobacco stick into its depths but we could not reach the bottom.  Of course, this didn’t keep Cookie from taking a swim.  She got out and shook off the water sharing with all of us and then took off to explore.

We set out our blankets and food that mom had packed for us and had a lunch of ham and chicken biscuits with a bit of apple pie for dessert.  We laid back on the blanket reading our new comic books and catching up on the family gossip.  In the distance, we heard Cookie barking and could hear a crashing through the brush.  Cookie stopped near us for a moment barking at us, running in circles and then she was gone toward home at breakneck speed.  We were all savvy about what was causing the crashing and we took off leaving comics and food behind.  We could hear the bear snorting and growling as it closed the distance from us.  I have to honestly say that mom’s ham biscuits with maple syrup saved us that day.  As we all got back to the house breathless but laughing Cookie was sitting on the front porch acting like she has saved us all.

Point Of View

When we moved from the farm daddy left her with my uncle because she had been a farm dog all her life and loved to roam the forest and the fields.  She lived out her life in the country.  My uncle said she would wander back to our old house and sit on the front porch waiting for me to come home.  It truly broke my heart as she had been a constant companion to me growing up.

I did get to see her often as the farm was only about an hour drive away from the city and I did stay with my uncle some in the summer.  I got to be there when her time came and I will always cherish that.  Every time I go back to that dirt road I can sit there and think of a hundred stories about my time with Cookie.  She shaped my life and gave me a lasting love for dogs and a desire to be an advocate for them.  All it takes is for me to close my eyes and I can see her running with me down by the creek and across the wood plank bridge.

Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
I have 40 years of Retail Management experience. I am the person they send in to fix things. Call it a Store Focus Specialist, a Smoke Jumper, an Outlaw. I can work within the system or go outside the box when needed. I love walking into chaos and bringing order. I am not a key word person and my education came from mentors not schools. I believe that everything that we do starts with hiring the right people. Driving sales, merchandising, customer service and metrics are just keywords until you hire the right people. My top talents are Recruiting, hiring, training, associate development, and going into a focus store and turning it around. Most importantly I believe in people and that if you teach them, develop them and believe in them they will do far more than they thought possible.


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Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli

Thanks Larry, as always you tell us interesting and meaningful stories. Stories are essential for our life experience because the experience of life is a story that feeds on many stories, even if not always ours!



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