Tag Archives: dog

great blue heron

here fido—come here—come on boy

at a recent support meeting, the question came up on why so many dogs have the name fido. A quick internet search found plenty.

the notre dame Latin dictionary lists fido as to trust, believe and confide in. many books defines fido as i am faithful. so fido is is considered faithful, trusty and worthy confidante.

before we go any further, q: what is the name the the first presidential dog that got photographed? (okay , you can probably guess the name.) why was the photo taken?

as spelled out pretty well in abraham lincoln’s diary and other historical works, he faced melancholia or as it is known in the modern day, depression. he had a dog, a companion and often ab would be seen walking with his dog behind him carrying a package. you could probably guess that the name of the dog was fido.


Fido served as a trusty companion in lincoln’s pre-presidential years. when the plans got made for moving to the white house, mary todd made the decision that fido would not make the trip. mary todd felt that some of fido’s allowed behaviors, such as coming in the house with muddy feed would not go over well at the white house. ab found a neighbor who took fido in with many stipulations such as being allowed to come in the house with muddy feet, being fed scraps from the table and not being left tied up alone in the backyard. in other words, the dog had it good.ab feared his two boys would be like him and greatly miss fido. in that time, people felt that the spirit of the things being photographed would go with the photograph. for that reason, ab had photos taken with fido and each of the boys so they could take the spirit of fido with them. hence, the first photographs of the presidents dog.

we know how abraham lincoln’s story ends, but what about fido? how’d his story end?

the lincolns moved back to springfield after ab’s passing. about a year after abraham lincoln’s assassination, fido went out on his morning rounds. he approached a drunk man asleep on the street. fido supposedly went down to lick the man’s face. the man awoke to see a wide open dog mouth hanging over his face. he freaked out, pulled out his knife and unfortunately stabbed him to death. )-:

i wish i could rewrite history and let fido die while burying his favorite bone, but i haven’t found a way to travel back to the future. and if i f did that, i rip a whole in the space/time continuum. let’s not forget that fido lived up to his name being a faithful, trusty and worthy confidante to the lincoln family. i can only guess the number of times fido let ab scratch his head and lift his gloominess, if only by a little.

and now for a truth in advertising statement: this writing highly relies on an article in physiology today, why are dogs so frequently called “fido”?.

a hug by any other name…

my friend, shrewed up wrote on her blog the shaming of the shrew wrote about her recent experience with her dog. to briefly recap, her dog, jetta, nipped a person as my friend and her dog played at a nearby school yard. upon hearing this, the vet nearly declared that there was no hope for this dog. the vet then somewhere between strongly insisted to demanded the dog be put down.

shrewed up did some calling on her own and found a rescue agency that would take jetta. since her history of biting, jetta wouldn’t be adopted out but spend the rest of her life in a doggie “retirement home”.
i replied to her post:
wow! not only are you a good person, a good writer, a good wife and a good mom, you’re a good dog owner to boot. i commend all you did for your dog. i believe because of what you did for your dog, it will help you with your inevitable separation. euthanasia would have been so final. now he’ll have big fields to run out in for the rest of his life. What a better outcome compare to euthanasia. excellent job!
any pet would be lucky to sleep and recreate in your home. if i believed in reincarnation, i’d want to come back as one of your pets.
but, that only sets the back drop for the real story. the real story starts with shrewed up’s reply:
Yet another awesome hug. I needed that one. Thank you.
woooooh, what a concept. i had just given her a hug?? no, i had just given her a hug. no, i had just given her a hug!
what a life lesson. that lesson being a hug can be more than a physical hug. hugs could simply be kind, reassuring words.
shrewed up and i have never met and live a few thousand miles apart from each other, yet my words seemingly gave her comfort as if I were right there in her home. at a time where she dealt with the thought of losing her pet of four years, i pointed out how she display her trait as a loving person. that realization in that troubling time helped her in some way.
the story reminds me of the power of words. so many times, words get used for hurt and pain. our challenge can be encapsulated in the quest to use words for love and for healing.
in this day and age of the internet, where your friends could live a half a world away, remember that words can work to comfort. that comfort can serve to be just like a nice warm hug. and who couldn’t use a hug to boost their day every now and then.