Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Love them doggies

I am not a dog person. I make no bones about it...pun totally intended. However, I am related to dog people who cannot fathom why I am NOT a dog person.

I grew up on a farm, and the first of several (many several) dogs was Dusty. She was a gem who lived to a ripe old age, even managing to survive for a year or so after getting stuck in a mud pit (not to be taken lightly in an area with dirt so clay-ey they make it into Hebron Brick) for two days. She was very dehydrated, and got some much needed TLC until she recovered.

After Dusty, we weren't able to keep dogs around for very long. Farm life is hard, and Pepper was doing well until a stack wagon (to make haystacks, duh) door fell and ended his short, joyful life. Just when he was starting to be such a good herder!

Somewhere in there we adopted Dede from friends in town. What a dog. She was a cockapoo - not the ideal farm dog, but she lived for quite awhile, managing to terrorize our chickens and kill off most of our cats in the process. Cockle burrs were not her friend.

Along with Dede, we had a cocker spaniel...for a couple of months. We never knew what happened to her....

After Pepper died, Dad got an Australian cattle-dog named Mick (named after Crocodile Dundee Mick), who liked to chase his pickup. One day he got a little too close.

Another adoptee, adult lab Shadow, fully enjoyed his new found freedom since being released from the big city. He ran and ran. One day, he ran so much he gave himself a heart attack.

This is starting to sound like "And Then There Were None" - possibly the best of Agatha Christie's novels. But it gets more cheerful!

Duke (black Lab) and Elsa (chocolate Lab) came soon after each other. They were opposite personalities. Duke was the typical "puppy" personality, but soo friendly. He let kids dress him in doll clothes for pete's sake! Elsa was quietly elegant. You'd never even TRY to put clothes on her...it would be so far beneath her dignity. Elsa died a couple years ago after being sick for awhile, but Duke is still alive and kicking.

I think I learned early not to form attachments to dogs, as they don't stick around long. Plus, farm dogs don't get regular baths, and tend to pick up big 'ol ticks and lots of manure in the course of their adventures.

But. I can totally appreciate the attachments others have to their canines. I found this totally sweet post on the best of Craigslist, and it was too great not to pass on. Plus, since it was on CL and not a forward with a chain letter attached, I am less likely to hate it's emotional lure and appreciate it as a genuine act of kindness.

Do you have memories of a special dog in your past? Even if you're not a dog person...We'll discuss cats another day!


mama.nichols4 said...

Oh what a sweet CL post. I have fond memories of quite a few dogs, and cats too. We had similar luck as you did with dogs with our cats, but I still found myself heartbroken each time they were no longer with us.

My most fond memories are of the dog my mom got for us shortly after my brother was born, her name was Ginger. My mom surprised me one day when I came home from school; I often wonder if the dog was my late Christmas present since it seemed that all I got that Christmas was a brother. (not exactly every 5 1/2 year olds dream of a Christmas gift)

Through the years, Ginger was always there. She was a nice dog, friendly to everyone even skunks and neighbor dogs. She would often bring home random critters for me to experiment on.

When I was in High School, we dreadfully found ourselves having to put her to sleep due to a heart problem that had caused her to deteriorate significantly. It was a sad, sad day.

Dogs and cats are so different from each other. Dogs love affection but don't require it, cats love to require attention.. :)

Ruth said...

totally started crying during the CL post. seriously, a mr. rogers book? what could be better?!

dog story---my co-worker mandy has two dogs, both rotweiler mixes. they are both happy and healthy dogs, and she stole one of them. it was tied to a post in front of house and looked terrible---it had worn a circle around the post where it could walk and had no food or water nearby.

so she just took it home! what an angel!

also, tim's dad almost lost a dog to a bear. but she defended their house in the wisconsin woods and lives on, even after the bear swiped away half of her stomach. what a good dog.

Suzi said...

Well most of your post was a bit depressing, good thing you put that sappy sweet craigslist posting at the end.

I am one of those dog lovers you refer to, as our current one was really our first baby.

My doggy experiences are a bit different than yours. We got our dog Tisha when I was younger and she lived to the ripe old age of 17, which is when she had to be put to sleep. She was around for most of my childhood and into college. It took me a few years to talk Cory into a dog (after we got married) and now we've had our current one for about 8 years. It's hard to imagine what life would be like without her.

Aaron said...

Started tearing up at the same time that Ruth did (the mention of the Mr. Rogers book).

Noel said...

OK, as long as we get to praise the superiority of cats another day...

My favorite dog was the one at my grandparents farm from the time I was about 8 until I was about 15. We were good buds when I visited. He disappeared one day and no body was ever found.

Anonymous said...

Hi Liz!

It must be a farmgirl thing. We went through dogs left and right on our farm too. Although, most of ours got hit on the state highway that we lived on. We have a dog now that is my first inside dog. We love it to death, but Aneesh thinks I'm nuts because I already know where I'll bury her once she dies. Somehow, after you lose so many animals as a kid, being ready for this death is some kind of defense mechanism. Gosh, to see that in writing, it seems somehow twisted. Oh well...