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Posted by on Apr 4, 2014 in At TMV, Society | 8 comments

D Is For Dog

In pondering what to do for my “D” post many ideas came to mind. Disney was an obvious choice for anyone who knows me but I decided that too obvious. I also considered Democracy, Daydreams and a myriad of other topics.

But for various reasons I settled on dog.

Although I do not currently have a dog in my life (I prefer that term to “own a dog”) there have been canine companions over the years and even today thinking of them brings a smile to my face.

My first was a German Shepard/Doberman mix that my dad brought home when I was about 8 yrs old.

I remember coming home from Little League practice (yes even someone as athletically deficient as I played) and seeing the family with the puppy. I dropped everything and ran over to meet our new friend.

For more than a decade she was part of our family, every day we knew when Dad was coming home because our living alarm would alert us well ahead of time. She had the bark of a lion, fiercely defending against any threat but the heart of a lamb (if the crook said boo she’d probably run and hide).

As time went on she aged and eventually came the day that she left us. Even in death she was good to us, we were facing the possibility of having to put her down but she saved us that pain by going quietly one Saturday morning, peaceful to the end.

We buried her in the backyard (pretty sure the statute of limitations is over on that) and for some time when one of us felt a little down we would go out to “visit”.

After a time she was (as you might have guessed from my picture) replaced by a beautiful Golden Retriever puppy.

She had the smile and the love that all goldens seem to possess and she seemed to make our lives just as happy as her predecessor had, if in a different way.

But then it seemed proper for it to be different because we were different. My sister and I were grownups and began to move out on our own. I think in many ways this friend served to help our parents with the transition by filling a bit of the gap. We joke about dogs being our kids but they do serve that role.

This became particularly important when my dad developed some chronic illnesses and she remained his loyal companion, keeping him company on those long days he just couldn’t get out of bed. She also, I think, helped provide my mother with some comfort during a tough time.

And of course every time my sister or I visited (daily or weekly) she was thrilled to see us back from our years long trek (or so her greeting implied).

Sadly she also eventually left us, and once again seemed to time things in a way to help us. We knew she would have to be put down and we knew this would be hard on all of us, especially Dad. But she held on until we were preoccupied by a family event out of town.

This allowed us to drop her at the vet “for a visit while we were gone”. As much as it hurt to not be with her at the end this made things easier on Dad.

I still find myself wanting a dog, though my house lacks a yard so that isn’t in the cards. But every time I see a dog being walked I get a special smile on my face.

So what about you dear readers…. do you have special memories of childhood pets ?

Or do you have one today that makes life special for you ?

Please share…

And of course I have to finish with a few images of our furry friends…




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  • sheknows

    Thank you Patrick. That picture is delightful! She was a beauty.

    Like you, I do not have the yard to have a dog anymore and although smaller dogs are wonderful, I just feel they all need to run and feel free, no matter what size.
    I have had cats for the last several years and while they are playful and smart and affectionate, they aren’t dogs.
    I was able to easily train one cat to play “lid” where I throw a lid toward him and he chases it. catches it in the air and brings it back and drops it at my feet. People were amazed.! LOL. I just have to say ” Merlin…you want to play lid?” and he is off to the kitchen to wait under the drawer where I keep them. One time I left it partially open and he jumped up and dug out a lid, grabbed it with his mouth and just came over while I was watching TV and dropped it at my feet. Almost a dog….but not quite.
    I miss having a dog in my life so much, I guess I turn my cats into them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • sheknows

    edit to add: I should mention that is a plastic lid like a pringles or something..not a metal one. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • PATRICK EDABURN, Assistant Editor

    Thanks though the picture is a generic, not one of my dog (though like any golden she looked just like that )

  • The_Ohioan


    Not many dogs in our family (2 in 76 years) but we did have a cat that, like yours, chased the Frisbee when the children played with it. We thought she was probably a dog that somehow got into a cat body by mistake.

    My only problem with dog lovers is – don’t bring them with you when you visit! I know you feel about them as you do your children (and they probably do less damage) but please…. if we liked dogs (or weren’t allergic to them) we’d have one already. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • dduck

    Here’s to all the wonderful cats we have cohabited with.

  • What a lovely post! Having just been away for two weeks, it was a joy to come home to my two beautiful dogs, the zen-like Brownie and the kissy-faced affectionate Miss Sophie — no human can ever match a welcome that dogs give you when you’ve been away. The waggy back end, the jumps-up with paws around your neck, the face-licking and the rolling over for belly-rubs. I know now, after 25 years of dog companionship, I will NEVER be without a dog, no matter what. Should I accidentally get hit by a streetcar or whatever, I have someone trustworthy to pass them on to — it’s in my will. Along with some $$$ to take care of them. They are true family, along with all the 2-legged beasties who share my genes.

    You write, Patrick

    I still find myself wanting a dog, though my house lacks a yard so that isnโ€™t in the cards. But every time I see a dog being walked I get a special smile on my face

    You don’t need a yard necessarily, to have a dog — small ones love apartments and a daily walk morning and evening and sometimes in between if you have the time. Dogs love to be with YOU — no matter what, you’re their PACK. Dogs introduce you to neighbours – through them you meet new friends and best of all, you get fresh air and exercise, everyday! No matter the weather — you gotta get out there with them. I live in a city full of dogs – the dogs outnumber the cats by about 2 to one, at least the ‘registered’ ones. If you want a dog — go get one — there are thousands of little dogs who need a home, and just want to be wanted and loved — don’t deny yourself the pleasure of adopting, all my dogs have been rescues. The human-canine bond has been a reality for many thousands of years — it’s a bond both species benefit from. If you want a dog, Patrick, I truly hope you take the leap and get one. You’d be a good owner and I got a feeling there’s a little 4-legged canine out there, just waiting for you to find him or her. Good luck — again — what a great post!

  • And by the way, that’s Brownie in the pic — a rescue from the pound. Bernese/golden/Aussie cross, we think, about 9 years old now. He sings to opera and Frank Sinatra crooning tunes!

  • JSpencer

    When I was born there was already a dog in the family. She was my Dad’s hunting dog and to my brothers and I she was an integral member of the family. When growing up, anytime my brothers and I were outdoors playing, in the woods, fishing, whatever, she was there with us, a constant companion. When she passed away it was my first experience with the deep sense of loss one can feel when losing a loved one. We got another dog shortly after and she because a new member of the family, which by now included my 4 brothers and my sister. After striking out on my own at 18 I went for 18 years without a dog. It just wasn’t practical given my lifestyle and how much I was moving around. When I bought my home in the country in 88 the first thing I did was get another dog and I’ve had one ever since. My current dog is an Aussie I rescued 6 years ago, she is my second Aussie after having had the first one 14 years. Like Brownies girl I expect to always have a dog. The canine-human bond is important to me. Btw, I also have two great cats. ๐Ÿ™‚

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