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Wednesday, April 4, 2012


D is for Dogs

There have been dogs in my life for most of my life.  All different breeds, all sizes, shapes, and colors.

My first dog was a collie named Lassie.  She looked just like the Lassie on tv.  She was a good cow dog.  My mom used to take her up into the pasture and she would help herd the cattle down for milking every evening. 

After doing this for several years, my mom would just say, “Lassie, go get the cows.”  Lassie would run up into the pasture and bring the cows down by herself.  That was a good break for my mom, who by then had me and three other small children to take care of.

Lassie was a great kid’s dog.  We could ride her like a horse, pull her ears and long hair, and she never nipped or snarled at us.  We loved that dog.  She did  have one bad habit though.  She loved to chase cars. 

We lived at the base of a large hill along the edge of the Republican River Valley.  Cars would come over that hill and pick up a lot of speed coming down on our side of the slope.  Lassie would hear the cars coming before they crested the hill, and she would be right there waiting.  She’d run along beside the car, nipping at the tires until the car got a few hundred feet past our driveway.  She had many close calls.   One morning, she pushed her luck too far.  She chased her last car.

We got up in the morning, and my dad opened the kitchen door, which led out to the back porch.  There lay Lassie, bleeding from her nose.  She had managed to crawl back to the house from the road.  She was gone within minutes.  That was a very sad day.
We had many other dogs.  One of them was quite the ladies’ man.  He roamed the countryside and fathered lots of puppies.  He, too, was hit by a car.

One was a Boston Terrier, with a pug nose.  We laughed at her snorts, and sneezes, but she was a good little dog.  A neighbor poisoned her.  That was another sad day.  That same neighbor came to see my dad about some electrical work he wanted done.  When he left, he peeled his tires and in the aftermath, we had kittens flopping all over the long driveway, dying of injuries from the wheels of his pickup.  We were angry about that for a long time.

After I left home to marry, my parents got an Australian Blue Heeler.  I found out why they call them Heeler’s.  They are cattle dogs that herd the cattle by nipping at the cow’s heels.  Well, they liked to nip at human heels too.  I never did like that dog.

My mom now has a little Maltese/Pekingese mix dog named Peggy.  She’s a sweet little dog, but a little territorial and very protective of my mom.  My sister has Peggy’s brother, and named him Pepper.  They are cute little dogs.

Our first dog together was a registered black Labrador Retriever we named Barney’s Southern Belle.  Belle was a great hunting dog, and a wonderful pet to our boys, Josh and Jason.  She was very protective of the boys and would keep them out of the street.  One day, when she had grown old, she came down with a new virus called Parvovirus.  She was violently ill and dehydrated quickly, and was gone within twenty-four hours.  We cried when we lost Belle.

We  had several labs of various colors after that.  One was named Phideaux.  She tried, but could never measure up to Belle’s hunting reputation.  She was a good mother though and raised many litters of puppies.

The first dog I ever had of my own, was a black and white English Springer Spaniel/Bichon Frise mix puppy that I named Cuddles.  She was so much fun. Very bright, but with a mind of her own.  She had a good working vocabulary of words she understood.  We were soon spelling out words that we didn’t want her to hear, because she would get so excited.  She, too,  was hit by a vehicle and died in my arms.  That was a very sad time.

At this time, I have two Shih Tsu dogs that will be 2 in November.  They are pretty smart at playing stupid.  They know where I want them to go potty, but they have their own ideas about where their bathroom is.  If I take t hem outside, they will go there.  But while I’m at work and they are inside, they do as they please.  Sometimes they will use the puppy pads I put down.  Sometimes they will use a plastic grocery sack that is lying on the porch floor.  But their favorite place is on my carpet that I just shampooed.

They say you don’t train a shih tsu, the shih tsu trains you.  I’m beginning to believe that is right.

1 comment:

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