Just a Lost Little Girl

Tom Velarde
Golf Professional
Black Mesa Golf Club
La Mesilla, AZ

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When I first started at Black Mesa Golf in New Mexico, I would have never been prepared for the companion God would send me to help those first years.

My bride was still in Roswell, NM and I was in Espanola. We were separated by 300 miles and days off that never seem to match up to enjoy our time together. During this time period the golf course was literally brand new, being open just a few months in 2002. I would see a dog keeping to itself, quite a ways from where we were. It seemed that daily the gap would close until I could see it was a blue heeler. It was a female and quite shy and skittish.

I would bring dog food with me and throw it at her. After months she would wait for the treats and started to get closer and closer. Towards the end of the summer I had to make a closing trip around the course and noticed her running next to my truck. I stopped to check some heads on the watering cycle and she was right next to me. I reached down scooped her up and threw her in the back seat. This started a 13 year romance that I treasure so much.

Skitty came to be the best friend a golf pro could ever have. The smartest dog ever, she knew hand commands and would pay attention to what was wanted. She would greet customers like the best trained, customer service personel. She would lay on the high point by the clubhouse and survey her domain. She was one of those very special dogs that you knew was different. My daughters would laugh at what they called the Skitty wiggle, as she would sashay when she walked.  

Skitty came to be known by golf writers and players and she grew quite contented with treats brought by many players. She was so contented that one labeled her the burrito thief. I watched her wait for players to purchase a burrito and they would go back into the bar and grill for something they forgot and she would take that burrito from the cart and bury it for future use. I bought many a burrito for those customers.

She grew to what we think was 14, and cancer took my friend but she is daily with me as every place I look I can recall what that silly dog would do.

If you’re extremely fortunate in life, you meet the perfect spouse and spend a lifetime getting to know them and love and be loved. If you also are fortunate, you get the once in a lifetime companion like Skitty! You see this special dog knew that I missed my bride and she would daily give me the affection that said it will be okay. My bride took to Skitty and Skitty to her and they became inseparable. We both  cried the day Skitty went on. I will forever love that silly dog and her antics. And I thank God for sending her to fill a time in my life I needed it.

Tom Velarde is the Manager at Black Mesa Golf Club in Espanola, New Mexico, just northwest of Santa Fe. For more information or to reach Tom, email tvelarde@blackmesagolfclub.com.