Puppies and Dogs of my Life

It seems my family always had a dog. You never knew when my father would bring one home.

My very first memories are of a boxer that liked to play with balloons. I was only two years old, so I'm sure he was as tall as I was. I could climb all over him, and he didn't mind. I remember him taking my balloon and bumping it up into the air over and over until it finally hit the ground. He'd then pounce on it and pop it, then come back looking for another one.

The next one I remember was in the Bahamas. Chichi was a mutt, and so loving and motherly. I couldn't whistle to her, so I called her by sucking air between my teeth and lips to make a squeaking sound. She had a litter of pups during a hurricane Butch when we were living in Nassau. We kept one pup and named him Butch. He went with us back to Cat Island. He was more active and more an explorer than his mother, but he was a good companion and playmate.

Not long after that, we moved to New York where we got Sandy, another mutt. She had a rounder body, short legs, floppy soft ears, and a curly tail. Again, she was a good playmate and companion. I remember we were taking care of a friend's cat once. Our cat didn't like the intruder, and they fought all the time. One night, Sandy kept going up and down the stairs breaking up the cat fights, so she could get some sleep.

Then a big German shepherd adopted my dad. He just showed up one day and decided he liked him. He followed my father everywhere--inside, outside, upstairs, downstairs, in the bedroom, even laid outside the bathroom door. The owner eventually got in contact with us, but said Fang never stayed home, so we could keep him. He was a gentle dog, but I'll never forget the looks on people's faces when they learned that their new pastor had a German shepherd named Fang.

The summer between my junior and senior years of high school, we moved. We lived in a camp on a lake while looking for a house. My father brought home a young German shepherd puppy, which we named Buddy. That dog loved the water. If we were swimming, he'd be with us--usually trying to get on the float or our inner tube. Everyday, rain or shine, he'd get in the rowboat and wait for someone to give him a ride. He'd perch on the little triangle at the prow of the boat and peer down into the water. My brother would row very fast and then give a quick stop to make Buddy fall in.

Buddy never barked, except once. My mother worked the night shift at the hospital, and my father was taking her there. We kids were there alone, but usually it was very quiet. This night, some boys were having a party at the camp next to us and became drunk. They began knocking at the doors and windows, asking if we wanted to come to their party. We pulled all the curtains and huddled together, waiting for my father to return. Buddy sensed our fear and began barking. He barked and barked and barked and frightened those boys away.

When I got married, my husband and I had our hands full with just raising our children. But...our third son really, really wanted a dog. He talked about it constantly. One winter day, a stray beagle came to us. She was all white, except for a small patch of tan on her shoulder. I thought my husband would say, "no", so I didn't let her inside. Stephen sat outside on the steps with the dog, waiting for his daddy to come home. My husband felt sorry for the dog and said that if no one claimed her, he could keep her. We named her Sugar. Her paws were raw and she seemed very tired and hungry. No one replied to our ads, and our children were delighted. She greeted them each morning and played in the fields with them. One day, she chased after something and just kept on going. We like to think she was going home and just rested at our home for awhile.

After that, Stephen begged more for a dog. So, for his 10th birthday, we let him pick a puppy from a litter of cocker spaniel and English setter mix. Corky joined our family. She camped with the boys and tracked mud through the house. She wallowed in the pond and comforted when we were sick. She greeted us when we arrived home and waited on the steps for those who had left for college.

It seems each of these happy memories has a sad ending, so I chose not to tell those parts. I'd rather remember the happy parts. We don't have a dog right now. We want to be free to travel without having to make arrangements. Maybe someday, I'll have a dog again. I think I'd like a big lovable Newfoundlander. No one would dare pester an old lady with a bear protecting her, right?

Be sure to visit Lynette's blog Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane for more cute stories.


Linda said...

Hi Yvonne,...I liked your doggie stories.

Lynnette has a lot of dog stories where they didn't work out. She should post some of those sometime.

They have a good dog now. (Except he kills the chickens!) Did you read the post she did on that one?

John and I have only had one dog since we married, and this year it will be 33 years. It was a Sheltie named Poco and he lived 12 years. We were attached to him.

We did take care of our daughter's dog, Margie, for a time when she moved and couldn't take it with her,...but then she died too. But she wasn't really ours.

I guess some people are more into pets than other people!

Since they have been grown ups, our girls have had dogs. Before grandkids we used to call them our "granddogs"! Ha!

Have a great day!

Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Loved this trip down doggie memory lane! Especially the idea of a pastor with a german shepherd named Fang! Good stuff. Thanks for the smiles today. Happy Wednesday!!!

Sally-Ann said...

Loved the memories of your dogs! We have had many dogs as well, they always wiggle their way into our hearts and become a part of our family

Jenilee said...

what a fun post! i could do one about our dog one day. great idea! :) they are all so cute too.

Kathryn said...

I love that you so care for your dogs.

I've not had a dog for many years. I lived in a rented townhouse that didn't allow them, tho they let me have cats. Currently our lifestyle (away from home 2 nights a week) wouldn't conform to dog-ownership. I always seem to have cats with "dog-type" personalities, tho.

We did have dogs when i was growing up, but unfortunately my family seemed to treat them like disposable animals. They gave one away when my sister was born, but the other two i loved so dearly were run over as my parents had no sense about fences or training the dogs. To my knowledge, they've had 4 run over thru the years. I just don't get it.

I'm so glad you're able to focus on happy memories of your loved pets.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful journey! I also have always had a dog and always will. I presently have a miniture schnauzer, and I am keeping my grand-dog who is a shis tzu and was recently keep in other grand-dog a bichon frise. Though my journey has been much like yours, I dare say I might try tackeling this same journey in writing for my pet scrap book. Thanks for the memories!!

Holly said...

I loved hearing about all the dogs in your life. I love dogs!!

Lynnette Kraft said...

My momma mentioned that we have a lot of dog stories. Boy is that the truth! My husband says that every time he doesn't want a dog, all he has to do is throw a couple hundred dollars at it and then we don't have one! ha! Long story! :)

I do love our golden retriever - Truman. He is the only dog that ever really worked for us - and I hope he continues to be a good dog.

I loved the pictures of your dogs. Sounds like your dad liked dogs more than your hubby. hee hee My dad wasn't/isn't an animal lover...my husband likes them better than my dad did.

Thanks for sharing. :)


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