I think if asked I’d probably say I’m a cat person. I’ve spent countless hours in the porch swing on my mama’s porch reading Barbara Cartland novels with a cat (#5) on my lap. However, when brainstorming a list for Meredith’s September 10 on the Tenth, I found myself listing dogs. So, in honor of our new puppy Auggie, I thought I reminisce a little about the dogs pets of my past.
- Apparently it all began with Rusty, a Dachshund that I have very little, if any, memory of. I might remember him chasing my feet while I swinged swang swung and I think I’ve heard tell of Rusty eating a bunch of baby turtles. We may need to confer with the judges my mama on this one.
- I definitely remember Frosty, a silver German Shepherd with a penchant for chickens till my mama broke him of it by making him wear a dead chicken around his neck for a week. I remember Frosty as fiercely protective and extremely soft. I loved to lay my head on his belly. Stupid dog never did learn to stop chasing cars and it eventually killed him. We missed that dog for a long time.
- Until Thief showed up. And I literally mean showed up. Thief was a gold German Shepherd who stalked my daddy at work for weeks until one day he followed Daddy home and stayed. Daddy called him Thief because he kept stealing Daddy’s lunch. Or, maybe Daddy was sharing his lunch with a pitiful stray trying to earn its trust and doesn’t like to admit it. Thief never once allowed people of … questionable origin exit their vehicle in our driveway without our permission. I swear my Daddy musta prayed this dog down from his own personal heaven.
- And then came the beginning of a string of totally useless dogs. BB was a Beagle runt, the cutest dog I’d ever seen and totally mine. His real name was BB Bubber, which is what my little brother used to call peanut butter. BB was constantly in motion, always sniffing and running and flying with those soft, floppy ears, baying at nothing in particular. What a sweet, sweet dog he was.
- And now I must interrupt the dog sagas with a cat story novella. When we lived on the farm we had barn cats. Ace was one of those wild things, a solid black male with attitude, destined to fight for his place as top stud or be run off. Ace tolerated me. When we moved I was allowed to move him with us. I’m sure my parents thought he’d balk at the vehicle or that he’d run off somewhere along the way, but he didn’t. Ace calmly surveyed our styling conversion van one window at a time and then sat down in my lap for the entire nine-hour trip. To say that my daddy and Ace did not get along is tantamount to saying that Roosevelt and Hitler didn’t get along. I have seen Ace walk the entire perimeter of a room to avoid walking near my daddy. I have also seen my daddy literally drop kick Ace out of the house. Ace had a particular sneer my daddy couldn’t appreciate. Ace did not value competition for the alpha male spot. It was a war with many battles. I guess Daddy eventually won because just about the time I graduated high school Ace disappeared. But fear not, his offspring are alive and well in the neighborhood and his independent spirit is strong with his people.
- After I became kinda, sorta, independent (well, at least I wasn’t living at home any more) my mama brought me Albert, a bad-tempered black and white Shih Tzu. That dog was exactly what you’d expect from a chi-chi breed like this: high maintenance, arrogant, extremely demanding. Albert ended up living with my grandparents when my Papa JT surprisingly fell in love with him and he with Papa JT. Of course by this time my papa’s health was pretty bad and my mema was doing a lot to take care of him. PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT -Shih Tzu are a very jealous breed and not good for families with small children or good people of any kind- END OF PSA. Albert ended up biting Mema and was disinvited PDQ. I gave her to a lady in twon and a couple months later she tried to give him back. Yeah, I know.
- Then came Otis, another gift from my mama. (I’m beginning to see a pattern here. Mama musta decided she was gonna have to provide even her own grand-dog.) Otis was an oatmeal colored Sussex Spaniel who was every bit as high maintenance as the Shih Tzu, but loveable and very pretty. Otis was also a jealous dog, but a pacifist. Instead of biting, he peed on people’s feet to express his negative feelings. Curiously, Otis only ever peed on my mama’s or Jack’s feet. Jack soon cured him of that after we got married.
- There were a couple of strays and transients between Otis and ‘Mo, but ‘Mo –officially ‘Mo Biscuits- was our next dog of note. A few weeks before Liz was born a friend who knew we were talking about getting a dog for the kids called and reported that a load of rejects had been dumped at her ranchette. We toodled out and Thomas immediately picked ‘Mo, a black, three-legged Labrador. He’s been with us ever since, though now he’s nearly totally stationary due to arthritis and age. His muzzle is white and his eyes are rheumy and the past two winters have been very hard for him. I fear we have sadness before us.
- Speaking of sadness (and to get us up to 10) I must mention Maisy and Daisy, two Springer Spaniel puppies who were a part of lives for several weeks a couple years ago. We went expecting to choose one puppy and came home with two, all of us instantly falling in love with these rolly-polly balls of beautiful, absolutely gorgeous fur. They we by far the most beautiful dogs I’ve ever seen. And so full of joy, which is why it was so hard when we came home from a weekend trip and they were both sick with parvo. We did all we could, but it was no use. Both puppies died within a week. It was a very sad time in our home and it has taken us until just recently to be strong enough to try again.
- Which is where Auggie came in. We’ve had Auggie for three weeks, two trips to the vet and a weekend getaway in which she was included just in case. We’re taking no chances with this dog. We paid money for this dog. Besides, she’s so easy to love. Who can resist those big eyes and perky ears. Not the big human suckers obviously.
So that’s it for my pet parade. Thanks again Mer for hosting 10 on the Tenth. It’s always a lot of fun.