We giggled. We made idiots out of ourselves. We formed a human-and-bloodhound-puppy sandwich—like we once did with the a good dog we called Ellie Mae. We kissed Thelma Lou’s bare belly. We let her chew our fingers.

Molino, Florida—my wife and I drove hilly roads into the sticks of the Panhandle. Molino is a place with livestock fences, horse trailers, old barns, goats, and Mennonites who drive cars without radios.

I watched the acres roll past our windows. I rubbed a penny between my thumb and forefinger.

This penny is special.

I’ve been carrying the penny since the best dog I ever had, Ellie Mae, died. The day after she passed, I was walking Seventh Avenue in Birmingham, wiping my eyes like a blamed fool.

That dog was thirteen good years of my life, wrapped in fur.

I saw a penny on the sidewalk. I picked it up—I never pick up pennies. I inspected it. Imprinted on the face was Ellie Mae‘s birth year. Coincidence? I don’t know. But I kept it.

I suppose I wanted to believe that wherever Ellie was, my best friend was thinking of me.

Anyway, my wife and I turned into a long dirt driveway. There were muddy trucks, horse trailers, wide porches, and bloodhound puppies everywhere.

A man could raise a family in Molino.

And I saw her. A seven-week-old puppy, running through green grass. She tripped over long ears. I lifted her into my arms. She is heavier than she looks.

Her paws are too big for her body. Her breath smells like the Seventh Circle of Heaven. She bit my nose and made it bleed. She chewed my ear lobes. She licked my eyebrows.

Earlier this morning, my day was getting off to a bad start. I awoke to an empty and dogless house. I stumbled into an empty kitchen. Empty dog bowls sat on my kitchen floor.

I rubbed a penny while I made coffee.

I’m not used to emptiness. Every morning for the last umpteen years my mornings have been un-empty.

I would wake to a faithful dog, licking my hands. Then, Ellie would lead me into the kitchen. I’d start the coffee, fill water bowls, top off dog food, and open the back door.

Ellie Mae would prance into the backyard, do her business, then kick grass behind her. When she finished, she’d bolt for me—travelling six hundred miles per hour.

Then, we’d go through our morning ritual, in which I would:

1. Love her
2. Kiss her
3. Ask her to marry me

But that’s ancient history now. The world has been empty since her departure. No howling, no morning-time affection, empty bowls on my kitchen floor.

But not today. Today, things are un-empty again. Right now while I write you, a puppy is sleeping on my feet. She snores. She twitches. She whimpers from a bad dream.

My wife and I have named her Thelma Lou. Thelma Lou is ninety percent ears, ten percent paws, and has a digestive tract faster than Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

After supper, my wife and I played with this puppy. We made strange noises. We rolled in the grass like teenagers until we pulled muscles in our lower backs.

We hollered things like: “Youaretheprettiestgirlinthewholewideworld!”




We giggled. We made idiots out of ourselves. We formed a human-and-bloodhound-puppy sandwich—like we once did with the a good dog we called Ellie Mae. We kissed Thelma Lou’s bare belly. We let her chew our fingers.

We played games like: “Come Here Girl!” and “Hey Look Over There!” and “No, Don’t Poop on That!”

We tossed pinecones for Thelma Lou to chase. We introduced her to our neighbors. We put a collar around her neck. We lined her crate with old beach towels. We watched her fall asleep.

And we talked about Ellie Mae. We talked about how a good dog changed our lives.

Tonight, there is a full water bowl on my kitchen floor, a puppy crate in my living room, a few dog toys scattered. Our life is not empty.

I wish dogs lived forever.

They will bury me with this penny.


  1. Ann - April 30, 2018 5:40 am

    So happy you have found your Thelma Lou!

    • Vii - April 30, 2018 6:04 pm

      Thank you , that was real nice.?

  2. Dianne Correll - April 30, 2018 5:46 am

    So happy for you to be happy again!!

  3. Susan Parker - April 30, 2018 5:46 am

    How wonderful that God has put another puppy in your lives! I am happy for all 3 of you!

  4. Janet Mary Lee - April 30, 2018 5:47 am

    Damn!!! And in a good way. I wrote you you would see that sign!! And so does Ellie Mae!! She sent you a puppy. And God sent you a puppy. And all is right tonite. My surgery dog is back home at my feet. And I can truly celebrate that because you and Jamie are happy! So is Ellie Mae!! Love to all you guys!! Life is good!!

  5. Angie K Long - April 30, 2018 5:50 am

    Oh, I am so happy for you two and for Thelma Lou, who will surely live a very blessed canine life with the Dietrichs. Hugs to all!

  6. Vicki - April 30, 2018 5:58 am

    I am so happy that Thelma Lou is a part of your family. She is adorable with the best floppy ears anywhere! I believe Ellie Mae had a hand, er…paw, in bringing y’all together. Wishing you all many years of joy and epic adventures with Miss Thelma Lou. God bless!

  7. Tawanah Fagan Bagwell - April 30, 2018 6:01 am

    You did good!

  8. DIANA SARAFIN - April 30, 2018 6:08 am

    Congratulations on your new family member! Thelma Lou sounds beautiful. Maybe, just maybe, Ellie Mae led you to her. I’m so happy for all three of you.

  9. Pamela McEachern - April 30, 2018 6:21 am

    I am so happy Thelma Lou is your new baby, I have always believed it is the best way to honor our fur babies when we pass that love to a new baby. It is that sacred love that makes the world go round and the days so much sweeter. Happy Birthday to a new family member finding her home, Ellie Mae will always be with ya’ll.

    Peace and Love from Birmingham

  10. Leslie in NC - April 30, 2018 6:23 am

    Oh goodness, Sean! I’m so happy for y’all I could just squeal! I can’t wait to read your stories about Thelma Lou and the new adventures that await. Surely Ellie Mae is letting loose a big happy howl about now! Congratulations!

  11. Cathy Ward - April 30, 2018 6:36 am


  12. theholtgirls - April 30, 2018 6:59 am

    Hello, Thelma Lou!

    <3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZJtE3q9Ckg

  13. Marilyn Vance - April 30, 2018 8:47 am

    Sweet puppy smells….sweet wiggly puppy tails! Hello, Thelma Lou….have a great life in your new home!

  14. Teresa White - April 30, 2018 8:55 am

    I’ve never been able to find the perfect description for puppy breath. This morning, the Seventh Circle of Heaven has new meaning. So glad you are able to fill the water bowll once again.

  15. Nancy - April 30, 2018 9:21 am

    When I saw the title of your blog I was so excited to read about your new family member and hear her name – Thelma Lou is perfect! She will bring you and Jamie such joy and companionship! Congratulations on your new bundle of ears and paws. She makes us all so happy!

  16. Kelly - April 30, 2018 9:28 am

    Congratulations on Thelma Lou! So happy for you and Jamie! Puppy kisses are the best!

  17. Sil - April 30, 2018 9:35 am

    That penny was NO coincidence at all Sean. That was Ellie thinking of you. So glad she sent you a new puppy to love ❤️

  18. Pam - April 30, 2018 9:44 am

    So sweet♥️?

  19. Rachel lindsey - April 30, 2018 9:59 am

    Welcome home Thelma Lou ??

  20. Joan Lang - April 30, 2018 10:33 am

    Good on you, good on you!

  21. Carl, another pilgrim - April 30, 2018 10:42 am

    Congratulations! Yeah! Give Thelma Lou a hug from me. 🙂

  22. Betty Odom - April 30, 2018 10:46 am

    What a lucky girl Thelma Lou is!! So happy for you and Jamie..

  23. Delynn Roberts - April 30, 2018 10:52 am

    Pennies from Heaven
    I found a penny today
    Just laying on the ground.
    But it’s not just a penny
    This little coin I’ve found.

    Found pennies come from heaven
    that’s what my Grandpa told me.
    He said Angels tossed them down
    Oh, how I loved that story!

    He said when an Angel misses you
    They toss a penny down,
    sometimes just to cheer you up
    To make a smile out of your frown.

    So don’t pass by that penny
    When you’re feeling blue.
    It may be a penny from heaven
    That an Angel’s tossed to you.

    Author: Copyright © 1998 C Mashburn

  24. Gary - April 30, 2018 11:00 am

    You’re a Dog Dad again ! Wonderful !

  25. Becca Allison - April 30, 2018 11:01 am

    Yes! So happy for you all!

  26. amystjh - April 30, 2018 11:02 am

    Wonderful news!

  27. Sandy Swindall - April 30, 2018 11:03 am

    I recall a movie line that said something like, “When our beloved pets die, they play in heaven’s grassy fields of sunshine during the day but return to us at night and lie at the foot of our beds.”
    Blessings as you grieve for Ellie Mae but also as you celebrate your new family member.

  28. Trina Vest - April 30, 2018 11:06 am

    Awwww!!! Welcome to the good life, Thelma Lou!! I can’t wait to read all the things your daddy writes about you. That penny wasn’t a coincidence.

  29. ruth858 - April 30, 2018 11:08 am

    Smiling. Happy. Grief and joy can indeed co-exist.

  30. Rhonda - April 30, 2018 11:13 am

    I’m so happy for you and happy that life is a little bit better now. ?

  31. D. Green - April 30, 2018 11:15 am

    So happy for you and Jamie! And especially for little Thelma Lou, who will have a great life. I bet Ellie Mae is thinking “they’ll be ok now and I can enjoy my doggie heaven.”

  32. Anita - April 30, 2018 11:18 am

    A new life….

  33. Cathy Butler - April 30, 2018 11:34 am

    I’m so happy that Thelma Lou has come into your lives. I can’t wait to hear about all the adventures you will have.

  34. Jill - April 30, 2018 11:37 am

    As a read, a mix of tears and laughter. Ellie Mae is smiling too.

  35. Cathi - April 30, 2018 11:42 am

    Sean, I’m so happy Thelma Lou found you & Jamie! Happy Dance time! ❤❤❤

  36. Steve Welch - April 30, 2018 11:42 am

    Good for you Sean. Ellie Mae feels better knowing you are no longer without a fur friend. Dogs are like that. Thanks for sharing.

  37. janiesjottings - April 30, 2018 11:44 am

    I am so glad you have a new little girl! May you and Jamie have many years of sweetness from your new family member.

  38. candyalso - April 30, 2018 11:47 am

    The circle of life, ain’t it great? I’m in love now, with Thelma Lou, just like I was with Ellie Mae! Congrats Sean and Jamie on your new baby girl, she has no idea how fortunate she is to be loved by you!

  39. Kathy - April 30, 2018 11:53 am


  40. Sandra Smith - April 30, 2018 11:57 am

    I am SO happy for y’all !
    May you have ten million Thelma Lou mornings !

  41. Kathy - April 30, 2018 12:00 pm

    So happy for yall!

  42. Leisa Taylor - April 30, 2018 12:03 pm

    I’ll give this a happy puppy “ahrooooooooo” (coonhound for yahoo!)!

  43. Pat - April 30, 2018 12:04 pm

    Wonderful for all three of you! ❤️❤️❤️

  44. Lynn Hedges - April 30, 2018 12:09 pm

    Oh my ???????????????????????????. LH

  45. Linda Reiner - April 30, 2018 12:13 pm

    Thelma Lou!! Welcome to the stories that we all love. So happy for y’all.

  46. Keloth Thompson - April 30, 2018 12:23 pm

    So glad to hear real joy and happiness in your words❤️
    We welcome Thelma Lou and look forward to hearing her tales!!
    Many blessings to you and Jamie and Thelma Lou❤️❤️

  47. Starr - April 30, 2018 12:25 pm

    Every day. I dread looking at my phone because I know I will have 100 emails ! Most of It spam, some from clients or friends, but the one I look forward to the most. Sean of the South !!! I cannot express how much I adore your words ! Thank you for making my day !
    Starr. Daphne, Alabama

  48. Gerri Johnson - April 30, 2018 12:28 pm

    Welcome Thelma Lou! I wish you many years of slobbery kisses, marathon games of fetch, muddy paw prints on clean floors AND clean blue jeans, snores and snuffles, the joyful noise that is a hound dog’s bay, and years and years of love, love, love!

  49. Sarah - April 30, 2018 12:28 pm

    Happy for Ya’ll!

  50. alice cooper - April 30, 2018 12:29 pm

    Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ rule…There are NO coincidences! That penny was from heaven! Welcome Thelma Lou to the BEST home any puppy could ever wish for.

  51. Jan - April 30, 2018 12:31 pm

    So happy for all three of you! Thelma Liu is one lucky pup! God bless you and your sweet family!

    • Jan - April 30, 2018 12:33 pm

      Thelma Lou!!!

  52. Sylvia - April 30, 2018 12:32 pm


  53. marsha weisel - April 30, 2018 12:34 pm

    What a lucky puppy!

  54. MaryBurns - April 30, 2018 12:38 pm

    Yay! So glad you are back in puppy love! Makes my heart glad for you!

  55. Pat Byers - April 30, 2018 12:38 pm

    I believe that penny was to be found. I believe God or Ellie Mae put it there for you to see. And I believe in courage to lift a broken heart and begin again. I believe Thelma Lou is ONE lucky hound. And you are the most gifted writer….ever. And I smile that your dog bowl is full again.

  56. Penn Wells - April 30, 2018 12:40 pm

    The world goes on. It has to. It’s a little bit of a different place without Ellie Mae, but that’s always been the case, hasn’t it?

  57. Susie Hardin - April 30, 2018 12:42 pm

    I am so happy for all of you!

  58. Susan - April 30, 2018 12:47 pm

    I’m so glad you got another dog. I’ve had the love of 7 dogs in my life and Sadie will probably be the last one. There’s nothing like the love of a dog.

  59. Teresa Tindle - April 30, 2018 12:50 pm

    Oh my. I’m so truly happy for you, Jamie and Thelma Lou. And for the best dog in the world, Ellie Mae. She has a new sister. And I know in my heart she is happy. She will be waiting for you. I too wish they lived a lot longer. But they don’t. They already know how to love unconditionally. They don’t have to learn. I miss my babies. I always will.

  60. Jo - April 30, 2018 12:51 pm

    I am so happy you and Jamie found a good pup to fill your kitchen and home and lives again!

  61. Debbie - April 30, 2018 12:58 pm

    Thelma Lou is such a lucky girl to have a new home with you and Jamie! But, you are probably luckier ???

  62. Heidi - April 30, 2018 12:58 pm

    Emptiness is awful….so glad your lives are filled again. She’s a keeper. And the penny was no coincidence.?

  63. Barbara Pope - April 30, 2018 12:59 pm

    I can relate completely to your loss–it leaves a hole in your heart that needs filling with something–Thelma Lou is like a cork in a bottle of open wine, like wood putty in a sheet rock crack, like the right ornament on a bare spot on a Christmas tree, like a piece of cotton in a rip in a screen door. The love of our lives were 2 white English Setters and one Pointer whose lineage began in Brewton–Sambo, then Susie and our precious Sydney Darby Pope spanning 25 years. Wish we could start over and enjoy them to the fullest just like you did Elle Mae.

  64. Sandi in FL - April 30, 2018 1:03 pm

    HOORAY! Glad you and Jamie didn’t wait too long to get another dog! No doubt Thlema Lou is already spoiled by you two and will bring much joy to your daily lives. Looking forwward to reading about her adventures in the Dietrich household and how she has you both wrapped around her puppy paws!

  65. Anne Godwin - April 30, 2018 1:10 pm

    I’ve been waiting for this post. I’m so glad you found each other.

  66. Karen Fluharty - April 30, 2018 1:11 pm

    Yay!! I am so glad you did the only thing that can help our hurting hearts- find another furry baby quickly.

  67. Jeff Corkran - April 30, 2018 1:17 pm

    I’m so glad you found a new puppy. As hard as it is to lose a four-legged family member, it is also so important to welcome a new one. People are meant to be with dogs.

  68. Sue Rollins - April 30, 2018 1:20 pm

    I am so happy for the 3 of you!!!

  69. Pamela Verbel - April 30, 2018 1:23 pm

    Memories to keep; new memories to make. Congratulations!

  70. Harriet - April 30, 2018 1:31 pm

    Oh! Joy, Joy, Joy. I didn’t want to tell you to get another fur baby because I didn’t know when you’d be ready, but someone knew. What a blessing Thelma Lou will be to you and Jamie and she to you. Keep us up with your adventures.

    • Harriet - April 30, 2018 1:33 pm

      There at the end, I meant you to her.

  71. Charlu Kent - April 30, 2018 1:32 pm

    So so beautifully written. Thankyou on this last day of April. A penny for your Thoughts ??❤️?

  72. Connie Havard Ryland - April 30, 2018 1:36 pm

    I’m so happy for you and Jamie. Can’t wait to read all about your adventures with Thelma Lou. Love and hugs.

  73. Lori Klein - April 30, 2018 1:42 pm


  74. Anne aparrish - April 30, 2018 1:44 pm

    I’m hoping that when Thelma Lu grows up she’ll find her Barney and you’ll be grandpuppyparents! Now that’s something look forward to in life! Happy for you and Jamie!

  75. Deena - April 30, 2018 1:47 pm

    Sooooo very happy for the three of you!!

  76. Bobby Hamil - April 30, 2018 1:53 pm

    All is right with your world again 🙂

  77. Wendy - April 30, 2018 1:57 pm

    I know you don’t care for cats, but I have to tell you I’d lost the best cat in the world this last summer. She was 13-14 years old, not real sure since she was found walking in an office parking lost. Anyway, she was my “cat-dog”. I’ve have a few cats in my lifetime but never one that would spy me through the window as I drove into the carport, then meet me at the door. She’d follow me around, talking the whole time, telling me about her day and asking about mine. In the evenings, she’d crawl in my lap and doze while I read. She was my perfect companion. She never met a stranger either. Whenever we have company, she’d be sure to greet each and every one. What got me to talking about her? Her name was Thelma Lou….If names mean anything, you’ve got yourself the best dog ever!

  78. Anne Greaves - April 30, 2018 2:03 pm

    We are so happy about this your new puppy! Ellie Mae would approve?❤️❤️Anne and Mac Greaves

  79. Sue Cronkite - April 30, 2018 2:03 pm

    Another great one!

  80. Barbara - April 30, 2018 2:06 pm

    Sean, Ellie Mae gave you a sign that she is always with you and “get a dog”! Our hearts are big enough to hold precious memories and new puppy love. What a blessing!

  81. Nix LaVerdi - April 30, 2018 2:14 pm

    Well, gosh darn, Mr. Sean. I smile happy tears for you and your family. And, yes, Ellie Mae left that penny in your path. Bless her heart, and Thelma Lou.

  82. Arlene - April 30, 2018 2:15 pm

    Happy tears. Happy for you. We were all so sad when you were sad. I am feeling your joy again. Sure wish you could share a photo of Thelma Lou!
    Lots of love from San Diego. Enjoy your new bundle of joy…and ears!

  83. Paul Joseph Leblanc - April 30, 2018 2:15 pm

    Sean, I’m glad y’all found a worthy successor to Ellie Mae. Thelma Lou will never replace Ellie Mae but she will help your heart heal. May God Bless y’all!

  84. SHERRY OKONSKI - April 30, 2018 2:21 pm

    No better way to honor Ellie Mae than to keep giving love to a new dog. I lost my Jojo at the same time you lost Ellie I’m not ready for new love just yet but soon.

  85. Lisa Perkins - April 30, 2018 2:21 pm

    I’m sure Ellie Mae is wagging her tail right now because she wants you to be happy! She wants you to smile again. I’m so happy for you. Enjoy all those puppy cuddles and rolling around like a kid again!! ?❤️

  86. Carol ann ROTHWELL - April 30, 2018 2:22 pm

    It’s called Pennie’s From Heaven” look it up..
    It’s a poem and it tells you how everyone you find a penny a Loved one in heaven is thinking and looking after you…..same as when you see a cardinal in your backyard…..
    I believe and I prayed God would send you another Ellie Mae……He Did…..God Is Good!!
    Thank You Jesus!!!
    Love ya.?!

  87. sam smith - April 30, 2018 2:27 pm

    Oh Sean, you are so very good at this writing stuff. Please don’t ever stop. You and your meaningful, touching words do so much for so many.
    My foundling Annie has been gone for nearly two years now, but we shared deep and intense love with her for more than 16 of her 17 years.
    And my heart still has a huge hole. I expect it will forever.

  88. Karen G. - April 30, 2018 2:29 pm

    This is exactly what Ellie May would prescribe, knowing it honors both the great void she left behind and the love of all dogs. Good for you!

  89. Jakki - April 30, 2018 2:35 pm

    So very happy for all three of you! You’ve made my day.

  90. Cindy - April 30, 2018 2:36 pm

    Blessings to you, your wife and Thelma Lou! I know Ellie Mae is smiling from above and excited to see what adventures await you and your new fur baby.

  91. Susan - April 30, 2018 2:59 pm

    Thelma Lou darling, you just hit the lottery!

  92. Deborah Oder - April 30, 2018 3:00 pm

    So happy, happy for you and Thelma Lou. There is nothing as sweet as puppy breath, except maybe for puppy kisses. No. puppy breath is best.

  93. Frank - April 30, 2018 3:02 pm

    You sure are one heck of a likable guy! It’s tough to open up your heart again and make it vulnerable when you’ve just had it hurt so badly. Good job, Sean!

  94. Jack Quanstrum - April 30, 2018 3:05 pm

    Congratulations! Happy for you guys #

  95. Pat - April 30, 2018 3:06 pm

    Now I’m the one crying like a “blamed fool”, but tears of joy! I’m so happy Thelma Lou adopted you and Jamie! So thankful Ellie Mae dropped that penny for you also. Thelma Lou is the biggest compliment you could pay to Ellie Mae.

  96. muthahun - April 30, 2018 3:19 pm

    Well done and congratulations… just stay away from convertibles and the Grand Canyon with a name like Thelma Lou!

  97. Connie - April 30, 2018 3:20 pm

    Sean, I’m so happy you are starting this new chapter of your life with Thelma Lou. I believe that angels come in all sizes, forms, and shapes…even a lucky penny!
    Enjoy that precious new family member…she now has wonderful parents!!

  98. Lydia - April 30, 2018 3:35 pm

    Love this one! I look forward to life with Thelma Lou!!!

  99. Victoria Scott Kearley Hamner - April 30, 2018 3:49 pm

    You have honored Ellie Mae in the highest possible way. No doubt she led you to Thelma Lou.

  100. Edna B. - April 30, 2018 4:15 pm

    Oh my, what a beautiful way to start my day. I am so happy for you and Jamie and Thelma Lou. My little Pogo sends lots of woofs and I’m sending big hugs for all of you. Don’t ever lose that penny. It was a gift. You have a great day, hugs, Edna B.

  101. Dianne - April 30, 2018 4:24 pm

    So, so happy that you have a new fur baby to fill the empty spot in yours and Jamie’s lives. Thelma Lou sounds like she is going to bring you many days and years of happiness. Congratulations!!!

  102. Sue Cato Winter - April 30, 2018 5:07 pm

    Oh, I was hoping you would get a puppy soon and you have! This is WONDERFUL NEWS and your message this morning made my day . . . (like all your messages do). And just LOOK at all these comments rolling in to share in your happiness! Good days ahead with Thelma Lou and yes, good days ahead in always remembering Ellie Mae and talking about her, too!

  103. Linda Hobgood - April 30, 2018 5:44 pm

    LOVE IT.

  104. John Paschall - April 30, 2018 6:09 pm

    Fantastic, Sean! I’m so happy for you, the wife, and Thelma Lou. Look forward to many enjoyable stories about her, just like Ellie Mae.

  105. Dave conkle - April 30, 2018 6:24 pm

    Happy for y’all .

  106. Beverly h - April 30, 2018 6:25 pm

    She sounds just perfect! Enjoy!

  107. Lynn Shurden - April 30, 2018 6:44 pm

    I love that your dogs have double names. My late husband always gave all of our dogs double names. They were often names for blues singers since he was a guitarist and lover of the blues. I still have our last two dogs, Jessie Mae and Stanley ( who came to us from a shelter with only one name, but I call him Stanley Shurden – using our last name.) By the way you probably have a few more Delta followers since your column I read at theDAR meeting was such a success. God bless you and your new pup.

  108. Ronald Burch - April 30, 2018 6:56 pm

    This seemed to be appropriate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdtx-pxjX8A

  109. Barbara Schweck - April 30, 2018 7:44 pm

    Thelma Lou is one lucky dog. I know Ellie Mae is looking down right proud, saying “You know I taught Sean just how to treat a dog right” Bless your family!!!

  110. Barbara Schweck - April 30, 2018 7:45 pm

    PS I do believe there is nothing better than new puppy smell!

  111. debysu - April 30, 2018 7:54 pm

    Isn’t love amazing!

  112. Rhodora - April 30, 2018 9:01 pm

    When Ellie Mae died, I thought of our Louie, whose death broke our hearts back in 2012. (https://gwichronicles.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/another-empty-dog-bed/) I wanted to write to you, “Please … you’ll never ever replace Ellie Mae and you wouldn’t want to. She was a once-in-a-lifetime dog. But … go get a puppy. You need a puppy.” But it seemed too soon, too insensitive, so I didn’t say anything. My heart lifted when I saw the title of your post today. I am very, very happy for you and your wife that you have another set of floppy ears in your life. I can’t wait to read about your puppy adventures and observations!

  113. outlawman2 - April 30, 2018 9:02 pm

    Next to man himself, dogs are God’s greatest creation. Blessings to ya’ll.

  114. Jim Luther - April 30, 2018 9:28 pm

    The real winner here, Thelma Lou. So happy for you’ll.

  115. Beth Bryant - April 30, 2018 9:34 pm

    Awwww!!!! I love Thelma Lou already!!! That hole in your loan heart is a little smaller now! Puppy breathe- love❤️

  116. Betty - April 30, 2018 9:52 pm

    This touched my heart. I am ready for a dog also. Glad your house is filled with love again from a faithful fur baby.

  117. Susan Poole - April 30, 2018 9:53 pm

    Hi Thelma Lou, ask your Dad to read this message to you since I’m pretty sure you’re not reading yet, although I know you are very smart. You are going to have the BEST life with Jamie & Sean. Be prepared to be lavishly loved and a teensy bit spoiled just like a properly reared southern girl oughta be. Oh, the escapades you and your parents will enjoy together. Just you wait! Ask Sean to tell you the love story about Ellie Mae and about finding the penny. He is the greatest storyteller east and west of the Mississippi and has thousands of fans who are crazy about him and his daily tales. I can hardly wait until he tells us all about you, dear li’l puppy. Enjoy every fun-filled day, Miss Thelma Lou Dietrich. With love and joy, Susan in Georgia

  118. Nancy Vining - April 30, 2018 10:06 pm

    I saw this post about 2:30am today but put off reading it until now at 5:pm. Not because I didn’t want to read it. More like I wanted to savor the anticipation of a sweet floppy eared pup joining her new family. I have never found a penny but I think they are meant to remind us of love of a family member. In this instance, I am certain.

  119. Lisbeth Garecht - April 30, 2018 11:28 pm

    I’m so happy for Thelma Lou! She doesn’t know yet how good she has it. She will learn quick and you two will be whipped!!

  120. Marcia De Graaf - May 1, 2018 12:02 am

    My heart sings for joy as I hear the happiness in your words. Thelma Lou…a good Southern name. I pray you’ll continue to share love and life with your new pup. And I’ll bet Ellie Mae is smiling down on you. I know I am ?

  121. Kathy Franklin - May 1, 2018 12:13 am

    This story brought happy tears to my eyes! I can’t wait to follow the life of Thelma Lou.

  122. Pamela McEachern - May 1, 2018 1:00 am

    It’ Birmingham again, I’ve read this post over and over today and it make my heart swell with joy for ya’ll. Truly “My Cup Runneth Over,” again and again.

    Peace and Love from Birmingham

  123. Pat Bice - May 1, 2018 1:24 am

    My big brown lab just died suddenly a week ago on Friday. Oh I miss this big dog who was my protector his bowls are empty haven’t put them away yet. Our Kitty Kitty who was his best friend in the animal world has now disappeared she went around meowing and hunting Charlie now I don’t know where Kitty Kitty is. I keep looking on line at animal shelters but haven’t made up my mind. I know I won’t find another Charlie. I live on a lake with lots of wooded area, Charlie killed every snake he ever met regardless of whether they were good or bad snakes. They are all bad to me. Missing Charlie and Kitty. So glad you have Thelma Lou to help fill the empty place in your hearts.

  124. Linda Thompson - May 1, 2018 1:59 am

    I am so happy for you. Being without a fur baby is so lonesome. May this new puppy bring you many new memories. Love your column .❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  125. Melanie Tighe - May 1, 2018 2:55 am

    So glad you both were able to open your hearts and share your love with another pup ❤️

  126. Marty from Alabama - May 1, 2018 3:20 am

    Oh what a video of your post would be! Worthy of an Oscar. Now, who is the luckier of this pair? Thelma Lou or the Dietrich’s. Call is a draw – winners on both sides. Congratulations and many, many happy days that we will all get to read about.
    Happy days for making happy memories just ahead.

  127. Mark Miles - May 1, 2018 3:49 am

    I am glad that you had a good day. I’m glad that you got fairy dust today. And I’m glad that you found a new love in your life.

  128. Monica - May 1, 2018 5:06 am

    I’m so glad you got a new puppy! I know you miss Ellie Mae, but so glad for the new pup:) I have two Bassett’s and I love them so much! One of them is 11years old and I try my best to treasure all of the time I have left with him. I love your style of writing, it’s comforting.

  129. Sue Tait - May 1, 2018 5:16 am

    I’m so glad you got Thelma Lou! No one can replace Ellie Mae, but Thelma Lou will make her own place in your heart next to Ellie… Just love her and you’ll see.

  130. Frannie - May 1, 2018 1:32 pm

    Ellie Mae is laugh-howling up yonder. She is so happy that those “empties” will be filled. So am I, you all deserve all the completeness you had with her.

  131. Sandra - May 1, 2018 2:35 pm


  132. Gay B. - May 1, 2018 5:03 pm

    Life is GOOD again!

  133. sandysewwhatever - May 1, 2018 6:31 pm

    Oh I am so glad. I was worrying about you today. I didn’t get to the computer yesterday.
    What great larks to come!

  134. kathi hill - May 1, 2018 7:23 pm

    I’ve said more than once I wish God would have assigned a person a dog at birth and they died with you. But then, if I’d “only” had Jinx, I’d never had Lady, or Beau, or Sam, or Buster, or Belle, or Molly – and I wouldn’t have Bonnie now.

  135. Catherine - May 1, 2018 8:10 pm

    Today marks the first anniversary of the death of my precious Arthur, my oh~so~loved fur baby of thirteen years. In the midst of all my emotions regarding this, I get the blessing of reading this post. My heart is smiling huge for you and your new love, Thelma Lou. I know without a doubt the Ellie Mae is smiling, too…??

  136. Jack Darnell - May 2, 2018 3:34 am

    Daddy said, “You will get another dog. You will love him too. You will never forget Ace.” He was right all around. Enjoy Thelma Lou, Life is good!

  137. Peggy M. Windham - May 2, 2018 3:06 pm

    I love it that you have a new baby! Congratulations!❤️?

  138. Michael - May 3, 2018 7:15 pm

    My 14-year-old Golden Retriever, The Great Bambino, went to Doggy Heaven last night. Last night was hard, but nothing was worse than this morning. Not hearing that pant. Climbing out of my bed to look over and see his empty. Not singing “Who Wants Some Breakfast” to the tune of “Hoorah For Andy” (high school band song), but instead picking up an empty bowl. It’s truly a feeling of emptiness. Thank you for this story. I’ll be on the lookout for a 2004 penny.

  139. Alice - July 1, 2018 11:03 am

    Dear Sean I am so happy to hear about Thelma Lou and cannot wait to read stories about her!Dogs are so wonderful and I cannot envision my life without them!God Bless you you are such a dear❤️


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