Remember Stewart’s Dog Named Beau?

The night he read his tribute about his dog named Beau, Jimmy Stewart’s poem was rare…it was uncommon at the time (1980s) to see someone show publicly that much love and emotion about a pet.

Today, bloggers and social media sites deliver to us a ton of wisdom and many sweet personal memories about dogs and cats. We’ve had opportunities to learn so much more about the unconditional love and lives of dedicated dogs. We didn’t always have that.

I remember watching Stewart turn into teary poet on live television (back when television meant something) when he spoke of his golden retriever who’d passed away.

It was a summer night when Rob was a baby and we were spending the night with my friend Debbie. Johnny Carson was on and his guest was, of course, Jimmy Stewart. Debbie and I both cried; for days, I teared up when I thought of Jimmy’s poem. At some point, I bought his book of poetry just so I could have that one poem.

jstewart

A book of so-so poetry, except for one…Stewart’s “A Dog Named Beau.”

No matter how many dogs I have had to tell good-bye, I still think of this night…and, when I hear Jimmy read it, it still gets to me.

If you have a curiosity about Jimmy and his dog Beau, there’s a great article on Psychology Today.  Below is an excerpt:

“The truth is that it’s just really hard for me to get to sleep without a dog in my bedroom….After he died there were a lot of nights when I was certain that I could feel him get into bed beside me and I would reach out and pat his head. The feeling was so real that I wrote a poem about it and about how much it hurt to realize that he wasn’t going to there anymore.”

Click here to watch Stewart’s appearance on Johnny Carson on July 28, 1981.

Well, Aunt Janet, if you’d just pay attention…

Mother told me that she needed to go to the insurance company TODAY (12/31/15–New Year’s Eve) and talk to them about her slightly higher premium. I offered to call them for her and found it odd that she didn’t want me to do it.

As we drilled down into the REAL problem, the truth is that she lost her payment envelope and she wants to get out of the house today, but she’s been listening to all her elder friends talk about their premiums. So, while she’s over there in Lake Jackson paying her bill, she’s going to talk it over with them so they know she’s paying attention.

Paying attention? I reminded her of a holiday season of the past and she laughed…she always does.

Over 40 years ago (when Mother was in her early 40s) my cousin Larry was a little fellow. We were sitting around my Aunt Jo Ann’s table for a holiday dinner. Mother (whose name is actually pronounced “Jeanette” because my grandfather said so) kept interrupting everyone and making them repeat what they’d just said.

Little Larry, still small enough to sit on a catalog to reach the table, said quietly in his precious East Texas twang, “Way-elllll, Aint Ja-nay-ett, if you’d just pay attention and listen the FIRST time, you’d know what everybody was saying.”

We all sucked in our breath not knowing how Mother was going to take it (because she had been known to throw a high fit at a holiday dinner when she perceived an insult) but she loved Larry and broke up in laughter. The rest of us breathed, the holiday was saved…and to this day, Mother laughs when I say “Well, Aint Ja-nay-ett…” because LARRY said it.

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If you grew up in Texas, you can’t help but love this book.

My brother-in-law has bedeviled my sister repeatedly reading excerpts to her and she finds herself laughing until she cries.

My full review is at the link.

The Ole Man – Episodes of the Heart by James Killingsworth