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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Uncontainable Love - My Dog's Escapades

Swizzle Inn / Swazzle Out - Bermuda Fun

Twenty-six years ago this month, my husband and I honeymooned in Bermuda, where we ordered drinks and dinner at The Swizzle Inn. With the typical sunny skies, a fabulous island breeze, and mild temperatures, we sat outside under that green awning in the picture above. The 'Swizzle Inn' sign dangled from a chain straight ahead of me while I sipped a tasty golden-colored Bermuda rum swizzle.

Our dinner conversation bubbled with the excitement of the golden retriever puppy we'd be meeting as soon as we returned home to Memphis. But most of all, we puzzled over what to name him. It took a flash of inspiration to glance at the sign and know that Swizzle would soon become our first born son.

Puppy Love
We first met Swizzle at our mayor's son's home after answering an ad in the newspaper. We hopped into the red Jeep and drove the short distance to have the ultimate dog picking experience. Experienced dog owners know to choose the precious fur ball who's asleep in the corner. However, while in our young twenties, we never got that memo. The dog owners led us outside to where the litter had been kept. In fact, they stayed outside so much, that going to the bathroom in the grass was all they knew. Instantly house broken! Of course with smart dogs like golden retrievers, the house breaking routine is never too difficult.

As the litter of golden delights romped through the yard with enough energy to power a house if we could only learn to harness it, we checked them out.

Swizzle & Me - 1986
Each fluffy baby radiated with young life and breathed tuna fish scented breath as they darted by. With so much cuteness in one yard, it was tough knowing which puppy to choose. As a result, I did what any young crazy person would do. I plopped onto the ground and waited a nano second to see who'd stop by to meet me. Big mistake! Within moments, I was covered in wet kisses and muddy paw prints all down my red-collared shirt. Never had I felt so loved as I did sitting Indian style on the patio of the dog owners back yard.

Swizzle & Erica
Although all the babies were cute–what golden pup isn't?–Swizzle was the energetic little guy who consistently made it to the center of my lap and close to my heart. He'd hop over all his brothers and sisters to make sure I noticed his presence and make him our very own.

We took the pup home, nurtured him with plenty of love, and watched him grow into a handsome stud dog.

Memories of Swizzle
After twelve years of joy, we lost our beloved Swizzle, but his memory lives on forever. We've even nailed his dog charm to his favorite spot by the stairwell.

Swizzle's photograph was hung in The Swizzle Inn in Bermuda along with many other photographs from fans of the restaurant. Hopefully, it's still there.

This post written in partnership with Dog Fence DIY and their team of dog containment system specialists. The DIY team seeks to engage dog owners and promote positive and safe dog safety practices. Please visit our sponsor at


Binky said...

I like that little dog-tag plaque you put up.

SJerZGirl said...

Although I'm a cat fan, I love this story. And, I like how you memorialized Swizzle. I'm going to have to think of a good way to so something similar for our cat who lived to age 23. She was one of the best cats I'd ever had and a genuine member of our family. Congrats on the sponsorship!

Jenn said...

What a great story about Swizzle!! This was awesome. I love the name and I loved the part about sitting Indian Style on the patio and having those adorable pups invade you :) HOW SWEET!!

Great post :) Cheers, Jenn.

Paula Martin said...

Lovely story - and I love how you decided on his name too.

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of four footers and your memories of Swizzle are a joy.

Theresa Mahoney said...

What a beautiful post dedicated to Swizzle. That's how I usually pick my dogs too. Plop down and see who likes me best lol. I like the dog tag plaque idea too!

Catherine said...

Dear Joyce, I appreciate the love you hold for Swizzle. The love of a dog is unconditional. Have a beautiful Mother's Day. Blessings, Catherine xo

Anonymous said...

Great story. Congratulations on getting paid!

simran said...

What a great story about Swizzle!! This was awesome.your blog is not only nice and wonderful. It does gives goose bumps at times but I still want to read as being too inquisitive into it. At the same time, you said, you won't bite me this time! Well, can you switch off some gadgets at your side like layout so that the eyes that drool down the screen wont feel bad about the whole thing.
It's just dinze the eyes! Hope my suggestion is good.

Anonymous said...

Pets are the best. We lost our dog last winter. She was so old and more than ready to go. Times like that are tough. No doubt about it, the memories will live on as part of the fabric that makes our families so special to us. Happy Saturday to you:)

Unknown said...

Wow... As I sit here with my Mari (my mini pin) on my lap, this is just about the sweetest blog entry about doggies I've read in a while! Thanks for visiting my blog earlier this week! Now following you on Networked Blogs.

Liza Bedoya said...

Swizzle has become a very valued family member, am I right, Joyce? And losing a pet is like losing something very valuable to you. But at least you have that dog collar as a sort of remembrance of him. Do you plan on getting a new pet dog? Oh wait! There’s Ruby! Haha. I almost didn’t notice. She’s cute in that photo!

Sarah Eliza @ devastateboredom said...

Awwwwww this is so sweet. :) About to go hug my dog now...