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How A Manís Best Friend Said Goodby
by Jeanine Craig

The old man had always enjoyed the company of a good dog. In his 99 years of life he had many cherished friendships with various dogs. His last dog, a constant companion, was a mixed breed mongrel named Sam.

The old man's wife of more than 60 years was gone. His girls were grown and now had grandchildren of their own. He was too frail to farm his land and had been forced to give up his beloved horses.

He had many friends and lots of family, but yet there were still some long and lonely days. Sam helped fill those days. Sam would listen to the same stories over and over and never complain. Some days they would just sit and enjoy being in each other's company. There was a mutual love and devotion between the two.

The old manís health declined rapidly during his last winter. His daughters had gathered and kept vigil over his deathbed. Sam too was vigilant, just outside the old manís bedroom window.

About daybreak on Easter morning, the daughters had dozed off but were awakened by the howls of Sam. The old man was gone. He was gone to be with his loved ones, his wife, his only son and his Lord.

Sam had witnessed his leaving and alerted the old manís family as he said his goodby.

Clifford Hampton Watkins was the old man.
He was born Aug. 20, 1903 and died Easter Sunday morning, 2003.
He was my maternal grandfather.


Jeanine McNemar Craig was born and raised in Vicksburg, Mississippi. She attended Delta State University where she met and married her husband, Danny Craig. They have two teenage sons. She has been teaching school forEVER. They now live in Hayesville, North Carolina, where she teaches 6th grade. She loves the mountains but still misses Mississippi.

Write Jeanine at JCRAIG...


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