Over the years I’ve shared many tearful conversations with people who’ve had to say goodbye to a beloved animal companion. My own heart holds all the memories of the many critters I have loved and lost.
But when I heard about Scooby Doo, a special dog whose life ended all too soon, I asked the family if I could share his story so that other dog lovers might be spared the pain they are living with now. The family graciously agreed.
This is Pearl and Muffet Arroll, relaxing with their dogs Scooby Doo (on the upper right) and Charlie Bear (next to him on the left.) The girls, Sadie Belle and Chopper Do, are hanging out below.
About 5 years ago Scooby Doo and Charlie Bear were found wandering around the Georgia mountains by the Arroll family. The pups were only a few months old, and, it turned out, belonged to someone who wasn’t able to take care of them. So a deal was struck – money for a go-cart in trade for the dogs. As I read Muffet Arroll’s words about these sweet dogs it was clear the Arroll family traded very well that day!
Fast forward 5 years to this past Labor Day weekend. The Arrolls were spending the holiday at a lake that had been a family favorite for over 30 years. As Muffet wrote, “Anyone who is a dog lover knows how much they like the water and particularly love to have their ears flying in the wind on the boat.”
That was Scooby Doo – a powerful swimmer who LOVED the water. But his strength failed him over the weekend. An unexpected wave hit and Scooby fell off the front of the ski boat. He must have been struck by the boat, and he went down into the lake before anyone could help him.
Charlie Bear cried as the family road around in their boat, trying to find their lost friend. Divers were hired, but Scooby could not be located in the deep, cold water. Muffet said that maybe Scooby’s body was meant to remain in the lake that he loved so much.
When I learned about the circumstances that took Scooby Doo’s life I felt that dog lovers everywhere needed to hear this story. My own city – Portland, Oregon – was voted Dog Town USA in 2006 by Dog Fancy Magazine. Oregon is a tapestry of rivers and lakes, often overflowing with boats full of happy people…and their dogs! I wonder how many people know the risk of bringing their dogs with them on the water?
Here’s what Muffet Arrroll said about this tragedy:
“We have had to learn a horrible lesson that there is danger in the lake for our pets no matter how great they are around the water. We pray that no one else has to experience the pain associated with this type of accident. If another pet can be saved by the story, it makes Scooby’s life and tragic death that much more meaningful.”