I like dogs. I think I always have. Growing up I had a dog named Sam, who was some sort of black lab cross. I think my parents had been talking about getting a dog, but I do believe my mom was surprised when one night, halfway through his work shift, my Dad showed up with Sam, dropped him off, and went back to work. I guess he’d seen an ad in the newspaper and went to check it out….and brought home the dog. Sam was already one, and must have been abused at some point, because he couldn’t handle being around when Dad was putting a belt on or taking it off. He was a great dog, but he had one major fault. Sam could run like the wind, and occasionally did, off-leash and out of range. Dad had to rescue him from the shelter a few times, and I have in my possession a note from me to Dad, pleading for him to get Sam back just one more time, after he’d run away yet again.
Picture below, my handsome Dad, my younger brother, me in full-blown geekdom, and Sam, looking to see where he can run to next.
Having had a great experience with a dog growing up, of course I wanted my children to have that as well. Thus began the great “find the right dog for our family” hunt. This hunt was lengthy and filled with ups and downs. We have had……seven……different dogs, for varying amounts of time. Here they all are, in no particular order (mostly because the order got foggy after a while). Ha, ha.
Cody – Cody was a beautiful puppy we bought from someone’s home. He was fluffy and cute. He was going to be big. However, Cody started displaying violent tendencies to everyone except Kate, who just told him to cut it out. She was TWO at the time, and he listened to her. As he grew we realized his tongue was blue. Oops – looks like we bought a Chow Chow, or a Chow cross somehow. We also found out he was from a puppy mill. Someone much more suitable for this dog took him off our hands.
Bogey – Bogey was a gorgeous English Springer Spaniel puppy. He was a great dog. We were responsible owners, so we had him fixed. In doing so, he lost his marbles (in more ways than one!). He started chasing shadows into the fence, and basically lost his mind. Someone without small children took him, since a lunatic dog and two little kids don’t mix well.
Tilly – Tilly was a farm puppy – a sweet, big, collie/retriever cross. We had Tilly for 2 years, and then it was discovered that our oldest son is allergic to big hairy dogs. Sigh. My cousin took Tilly for us, and Tilly lived out her years in happiness with their family.
Yogi – Yogi was the biggest disaster for us. We visited the home he was in THREE times to make sure he was a good fit. No problems. Brought him home, and literally, that dog (a one year old cross something) tried to bite everyone in sight. Not good. The children were standing on the picnic table to get away. My Dad wandered into the yard and the dog put a hole in his leather jacket. We tried to call and talk to the owners, but no one answered. They were probably off gleefully celebrating somewhere. My husband loaded that dog back into the car and took him back. No one home. He left a note on the door, and tied him in the backyard. While doing so he found holes which indicated Yogi had been trying to make his way to China. Looks like we dodged a bullet there!
Daisy – Daisy was a sweet five year old cocker spaniel whose family didn’t have time for her. Being five, she was set in her ways, and never did stop howling the whole week she was at our house. The owners figured out a way to take her back.
Midge – we adopted Midge, who was two, from a woman at our church. We surprised the kids with Midge, and Midge worked out for us. His biggest issue was an intense hatred of the mailman – apparently he’d been maced by one as a puppy. As a result, Midge also hated mailboxes. He was a terrier cross, and had the deepest bark! Midge was with us until he was 14 ½. He certainly wasn’t perfect, but he was part of our family.
Toby – after Midge passed, we felt lonesome for a dog, so my younger son went looking for a breed for us. He found Goldendoodles, which don’t shed (much) and are good for people with allergies. We found a local breeder named Thistleridge Doodles, and picked out our puppy – a jet black guy, out of a litter of twelve. He was the only black one, with really curly hair and a sweet face. His parents were an English Retriever and a Standard Poodle, and neither was black or over 55 pounds. Toby started off at five pounds, but kept doubling in weight at each monthly vet appointment, until he reached a whopping eighty pounds! Apparently he is the biggest dog ever to come out of one of their litters. Both his size and colouring came from some genetic throwback. Now that our children are all married, it’s just my husband and I, and this big six and a half year old black dog. Toby is loving, quiet, and loves children – which is great, with multitudes of piano students in and out every week!
There you go – that is my long and winding story of the dogs in our life. Let me know if you can top it!