How many relationships can we truly expect to last 18 years these days?
If we are lucky, our parents, spouse and children will put up with us for that amount of time. If any of us have had a friend for nearly 20 years, we should count ourselves truly blessed.
How about pets? It is rare for a pet to be in our lives that long, unless you’ve got a turtle or snake that will live through just about anything. Hamsters and fish and lucky to last a few days sometimes. Some cats will stick around nearly 20 years, and maybe even some small dogs.
Over the last 18 years, our family has had a consistent friend, and his name was, Mickey Salt Phillips. He was a medium-sized dog that looked like a white wolf. We think his breed was American Eskimo. We rescued him from the pound back in 2003, and he has been with us through three houses in Adamsville, Mississippi and Jasper. He was named after my recently departed friend Mickey Dean, because they both had the same hairdo. His middle name of Salt was given to him by a very young Stone Phillips who thought his hair color was the same as table salt.
Anyone who has been to our home in Jasper has mentioned Mickey. He typically stayed in one or two spots, either in certain spot in the front yard or on our welcome mat on the front porch. He never barked at anyone. If somebody walked into our home, they would usually have to walk over him in the doorway.
Mickey was the most laidback pet that I’ve ever owned. The only time he would get excited would be if a storm was in the area. He hated thunder and lightning. Stormy nights were the only time he ever got on my nerves.
Mickey also hated woodland creatures. In recent years, about the only time he would run was when a deer or raccoon strolled into our backyard.
The old dog gained popularity in our neighborhood in recent years because he would take an afternoon walk every day. He had a certain route down our road and back, making sure to stop along the way at any houses who had water available or to visit neighbors who were gracious enough to give him a treat.
Despite leash laws in every city we’ve live in, Mickey never seemed to pay them any attention, and thankfully, no one ever complained about him. We attempted to keep him in a fence for years in Adamsville, but he could escape better than Harry Houdini. As long as no one complained, I was happy to give Mickey full range. He never got arrested, so he must have behaved himself.
I haven’t been able to really say goodbye to my old pal. We haven’t seen him in a little over a week now, so I have come to terms that he was such a considerate friend that he wandered off and died somewhere. We put his picture on our neighborhood Facebook page and we looked throughout the area. I don’t think we will see him again. If that’s the case, I wanted to say rest in peace old friend. You were the best dog the Phillips Family could ask for and thanks for putting up with us.
James Phillips is editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He claims to not be a pet lover, but he just can’t help that actually loves all God’s creature, except for possums. James is not a fan of possums. He can be reached at 205-221-2840 or email@example.com.