Trinity in Remembrance, 1998-2014

The heart is heavy today. 

I had to put down Trinity, my 16-year-old border collie.

Sixteen years to the day I got her, I've realized. 

To celebrate her life, here are a couple of newspaper columns I did over the years - one about her coming into my life, the other just a funny look at what can happen when you live with dogs. 

A Pack Of Three
Since I have oodles of free time and, quite frankly, was getting way too much sleep, I decided to adopt a new puppy from Haven Humane Society about two weeks ago.

Trinity , my new border collie cross, came home March 14 with kennel cough, worms, some sort of parasite -- and a healthy appetite for digging holes and chewing on everything she could get her mouth around. It was everything a very organized, very clean individual, needs in his life.

I'm disheveled and cranky, the house is a wreck, my shoes have departed to the spare bedroom, the cats have moved to a life 5 feet off the floor and my 3-year-old Aussie cross, Scully, looks at me with pleading eyes -- little puppy jaws clamped firmly on her ear -- that scream why, why?

Why? All Trinity has to do is one cute thing and all is forgiven. In the first week, she learned to sit and lay down on command. We're still having some problems with piddling on the floors, but at least she's trainable. And Scully has learned to inflict enough pressure to let Trinity know her place.

We've evolved into a pack. A pack of three. Running buddies to the end.

Puppies are a lot of work, and not a decision to make lightly. For the past six months, I've thought about adding another dog to the clan. I looked at breeds -- Purina has a World Wide Web site ( that allows you to fill out a questionnaire and matches the best dog to your lifestyle -- and settled on a border collie. Nothing really caught my fancy until I went to Haven Humane on my lunch hour.

There she was, an almost pure white puppy with one blue eye and one brown eye. I spent the entire lunch hour playing with her. Then I left. I had to think some more.

Was I ready? Did I have enough time? Enough money?

I decided that if she was still there the next day, I'd take the plunge. She was and it's been a great, if not expensive, addition.

It cost me about $195 to adopt her, get her well and get her fixed. It was another $180 for a kennel, leash, lead, toys, food and rawhide chewies (to curb that teething).

I know I'm just getting started. Puppies need shots, heartworm medication and obedience classes. But there's memories to be made and I'm ready. Befriending Scully taught me that.

I adopted her a month before I moved to Redding and Scully has probably been to more rugged places in the state than some two-legged residents. She's been on snowshoe excursions on the flanks of Mt. Shasta and the ridges of the Latour State Forest; she has scaled the Castle Dome Trail in the Castle Crags Wilderness; chased snakes through the Caribou Wilderness and climbed downed logs (some 20 feet in the air) at Carson-Iceberg Wilderness; she has swam in the pools of Brandy Creek and paddled with me on Whiskeytown Lake; and she's watched from shore as I've chased trout across the north state.

I'll expose Trinity to the same adventures. The first steps begin in late May, when I'll take the dogs up the coast for a week of hiking. That should be a riot.

But we're a pack of three. And the adventures stretch before us like the north state vistas. 

Trinity Creates Her Own Chaos
For those who do not know me well, I tend to create my own chaos; the situations that befall me thus leak onto the people and pets I hold near and dear (though quite unintentionally).

Most of the time, my chaos presents itself as a Series of Unfortunate Incidents -- humorous stumbles that are recounted later in a light and breezy, back-handed manner. Reader's Digest moments.

Like last summer's river-rescue of my 12-year-old dog, Scully, which directly led to her retirement from large-scale outings. Looking back now, the 150-yard swim in the Sacramento River to rescue Scully from being swept all the way to the Delta has taken on the sepia-toned quality of a good yarn.

But sometimes, the bedlam stinks. Literally.

It was 11 p.m. on May 16 and I had found myself without a ride to the Sacramento International Airport. With nine hours to go before I needed to leave -- and I still had to pack for a two-week tour of the Midwest with my dad, his Chrysler and various graduation ceremonies spread from Kansas to Iowa.

Cell phone in play -- and trying to come up with names of people who would actually answer at that time of night -- I had the dogs in the 24-acre field across the street from my house.

Trinity, my 7-year-old border collie, bolted from my side and took off into the darkness in full-on search-and-destroy run.

Somewhere from within the recesses of my brain, a thought screamed out -- from that little piece of medulla oblongata that allowed our caveman ancestors to flee instinctively from predators -- "Skunk!"

"Be here at 7:30 a.m. OK?" I blurted into the phone. "I think Trin just found a skunk."

The striped skunk, common throughout North America, belongs to the family Mephitidae. Skunks are omnivorous, meaning they eat everything from insects and rodents to all manners of vegetation.

But what really sets skunks apart is the two walnut-sized glands near their backsides that can be used to secrete a yellowish oil composed of thiols and thioacetate derivatives -- from several feet away.

By the time I caught up to Trin, she had her face buried in the dirt.

She had been blasted square in the left eye and neck.

The smell made me gag.

I dumped her in the shower, turned on the water, soaped her up with Dawn dishwashing liquid and hurried to the store for the only viable solution I know will oxidize the thiols -- and lessen the stink.

The formula is thus: one quart fresh hydrogen peroxide, a quarter cup of baking soda and a teaspoon of Dawn dishwashing liquid. Mix well _ it'll foam up so you have to use it all -- and spread liberally to the affected area, being careful not to get it into the dog's eyes. Let it sit for five minutes, then rinse. Repeat as necessary (and you will repeat).

Anything you might wear while doing this will find its way to the trash. Trust me on this one.

And that's why, at 1 a.m. and again at 3:30 a.m. on May 17, I stood in my front yard, buck-nekked but for a pair of rubber gloves, spraying Trin off with the hose.

Thank goodness for the cover of darkness -- and a very quiet neighborhood.

That's a scene that's just way too hard to explain to the casual passerby. 


Donna said...

Trinity was lucky to have you, and you were lucky to have Trinity.

I'm sorry for your loss...

Jae Rose said...

I am sorry she has is good to have a partner in chaos..i am sure she will send a good friend along to follow in her footsteps

Miss Alister said...

Hey Thommy G, just found this – good ol’ Trin – I’m so sorry to hear she’s gone. Dogs are the coolest. I still cry every time I look at my gone dog’s picture, try to bring the awesome times we had to the forefront. And you guys, Scully, Trinity and you, I swear, you had several lifetimes of awesome times! It was that good. Still, it's so hard...

Steve Finnell said...


The prevailing thought of many is that since the Bible was not canonized until sometime between 300 and 400 A.D. that the church of Christ did not have New Covenant Scriptures as their guide for faith and practice. That is simply factually incorrect.

The Lord's church of the first 400 years did not rely on the man-made traditions of men for New Testament guidance.

Jesus gave the terms for pardon 33 A.D. after His death and resurrecting. (Mark 16:16) All the words of Jesus were Scripture.Jesus did not have to wait for canonization of the New Testament in order for His word to be authorized.

The terms for pardon were repeated by the apostle Peter 33 A.D. on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:22-42) The teachings of the apostles were Scripture. The words of the apostles were Scripture before they were canonized.

The apostle Peter said the apostle Paul's words were Scripture. (2 Peter 3:15-16...just as also our beloved brother Paul , according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand,which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures...

The apostle Paul's letters and words were Scriptures when he wrote and spoke them. Paul did not have to wait for canonization to authorize his doctrine.

John 14:25-26 'These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to you remembrance all that I said to you.

The words and writings of the apostles were Scripture and they did not have to wait for canonization to be deemed authoritative. The apostle did not use man-made creed books of the church or man-made oral traditions to teach the gospel of the New Covenant.

Did the early church have written New testament Scriptures? Yes, and they were shared among the different congregations. (Colossians 4:16 When the letter is read among you, have it read in the church of the Laodiceans and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodica.) Paul's letters were Scripture and they were read in different churches.

They were New Testament Scriptures long before they were canonized.


Matthew A.D. 70
Mark A.D. 55
Luke between A.D. 59 and 63
John A.D. 85
Acts A.D. 63
Romans A.D. 57
1 Corinthians A.D. 55
2 Corinthians A.D. 55
Galatians A.D. 50
Ephesians A.D. 60
Philippians A.D. 61
Colossians A. D. 60
1 Thessalonians A.D. 51
2 Thessalonians A.D. 51 or 52
1 Timothy A.D. 64
2 Timothy A.D. 66
Titus A.D. 64
Philemon A.D. 64
Hebrews A.D. 70
James A.D. 50
1 Peter A.D. 64
2 Peter A.D. 66
1 John A.D. 90
2 John A.d. 90
3 John A.D. 90
Jude A.D. 65
Revelation A.D. 95

All 27 books of the New Testament were Scripture when they were written. They did not have wait until they were canonized before they became God's word to mankind.

Jesus told the eleven disciples make disciples and teach them all that He commanded. (Matthew 28:16-19) That was A.D. 33, They were teaching New Covenant Scripture from A.D. 33 forward. The apostles did not wait to preach the gospel until canonization occurred 300 to 400 years later.