Dogs I Have Owned and Loved

The first dog that lived in our home when I was a kid was Rex, a Heinz 57 variety of cocker spaniel and traveling man. Rexie was mostly black and brown with tan eyebrows and muzzle...I see a lot of dogs with that combination so the traveling man was very popular with the ladies.

My o
wn first dog was a collie given to me by Ken, my high school sweetheart and the guy I eventually married. Danni was a purebred, an offspring of two show dogs. Danni didn't have the large white ruff around his neck so was not considered show quality and his price was affordable. He was a sweet, good natured dog but had wanderlust....when we moved to a new house in the suburbs without a fenced in yard, Danni wandered off.....we always hoped that he found a good home.

When our second daughter was about 2 years old, we decided to get another dog....prior to this, a friend had given us a pony...a little white spotted mare. Since our suburban neighborhood was rapidly filling with new homes, we no longer had space for a pony so traded her to a farmer friend for a bassett puppy. Lazee Dazee was the family playmate and followed our girls whereever they went. Dazee died when she was 8 years old.

Our family was growing so we bought a larger house and moved this time we had 3 children, 2 girls and a boy. And wanted another dog. Freckles was found at our local animal shelter...a combination of cocker spaniel and we think terrier. She was also a very prolific little dog....she had evidentally had some dealings with another traveling man because a month or so later she had a litter of 6 darling little black and white puppies. About this time we decided that 3 young children, a dog and 6 puppies was too much for me to care for, so my mom graciously volunteered to take Freckles and her brood. Freckles lived out her life in luxury .... spoiled to the max.

When our last child, Nancy, was 3, we were given a German Shorthair Pointer....a beautiful dog. His name was Argang's Dark Shadow and he lived with us until his death at age 13. Shadow was of the "traveling man" variety...if he could climb the fence, slip out the gate or get out of the door, he was GONE!. The kids would run after him yelling "Shadow, Shadow" and he'd tuck his tail between his legs and run....but he always came home. 

After Shadow passed away, I said "NO MORE DOGS" but of course no one listened. Our son was 16 and had just passed his driving test...he had a license!!.. so the first place he went was the animal shelter.
I was busily cleaning up in the kitchen when the phone rang....a lady from the shelter. She said that Jeff was there wanting to adopt a dog...since he was still under our roof, she said she couldn't let him have one without our permission. I asked "what does the dog look like, what kind is it?" She must have been very anxious for Jeff to have the dog because her description was a little vague...."well, its white with black spots and we think it is a terrier.." Yep, it was white and black alright, but about 8" taller than any terrier. We had Duke for nearly 10 years.

Finally our children married and moved into homes of their own. And, we were dogless. But not for long. Our youngest, Nancy decided that we needed a pet, so brought over a darling little cocker spaniel puppy....golden brown with a WHITE topnotch....his name was Copper Valley Flintstone. One look at those liquid brown eyes and we were hooked. Fred is 14 years old and is my husband's constant companion.

The last member of our doggy family was a Keeshound named D. B. Kuper....Kuper was one of our son's four dogs. When Jeff moved from the country to the city, he could only take three of the dogs with him. Kuper needed a home...ours. Luckily Fred and Kuper knew each other and Fred was willing to share his home and yard....not his doghouse however. Kuper knew that the doghouse was forbidden territory and never went in. They were good buddies until Kuper died of cancer.

Ole Fred is not in the best of health, he doesn't see well and is hard of hearing (so is his owner!) or has selective hearing....hears when he wants to. He has a small tumor which is being watched. We dread the day that Fred passes away, but realize that it will not be far off.  Fred will be our last dog....I cannot handle my heart being torn apart piece by piece when our sweet, beloved dogs die. Each of them lives in my heart and memories of them will be with me always.

Post script:  Fred passed away on September 1, 2011.  He had been ill for a while and one night, he curled up in his bed and went to sleep. We hope that he will be waiting for us with the rest of our beloved dogs at the Rainbow Bridge. 

I stood by your bed last night,
I came to have a peep
I could see that you were crying,
you found it hard to sleep
I whined to you softly as
you brushed away a tear,
"it's me, I haven't left,
I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here"
I was close to you at breakfast,
I watched you pour the tea
You were thinking of the many times,
your hands reached down to me
I was with you at the shops today,
your arms were getting sore
I longed to take your parcels,
I wish you could do more
I was with you at my grave today,
you tend it with such care

I want to reassure you,
that I'm not lying there
I walked with you towards the house,
as you fumbled for your key
I gently put my paw on you,
I smiled and said "it's me"
You look so very tired,
and sank into a chair
I tried so hard to let you know,
that I was standing there
It's possible for me,
to be so near you every day
To say to you with certainty,
"I never went away"
You sat there very quietly,
then smiled, I think you knew
In the stillness of that evening,
I was very close to you
The day is over,
I smile and watch you yawning
And say "goodnight, God bless,

I'll see you in the morning"
And when the time is right for you
to cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you
and we'll stand, side by side
I have so many things to show you,
there is so much for you to see
Be patient, live your journey out,
then come home to be with me.

(source: )

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