I always had a way with little children, horses, and dogs. It’s only some adults that I have a hard time with. Here’s three of my favorite dogs.
MAX The Australian Shepherd:
When my daughter-in-law, Sandy, went into labor, my son, Dave, rushed her to the hospital, leaving their Australian Shepherd, Max, alone in the house. Later, when the mother and the newborn son, Dillon, were resting, Dave called a neighbor and asked him to feed Max and let him out for a short time. Max never left the yard, always obeyed, came when called – but the minute the neighbor opened the door, Max ran past him and disappeared in a flash. The neighbor drove around trying to find the dog but it was no use. He decided to wait a while to tell Dave that the dog had run off, hoping maybe Max would come back on is own.
Later, as people came to the visit hospital, one friend mentioned to Dave that there was a dog outside, right below the window to the room: “He looks a lot like your dog, Dave.”
Dave laughed. He knew Max was at home, quite a ways from the hospital. But he went to the window and looked out. Sure enough, there was Max, lying right below the window of the room. The dog hadn’t run away; he had just run off to be with his family.”
Published 1/1/04, St Paul Pioneer Press, Bulletin Board
CHICO The Chihuahua:
My grandfather had a Chihuahua that liked a little bit of Hamm’s Beer. Each evening, my grandfather would sit down and open his daily bottle of beer. The dog would sit and whine until Grandpa would pour a little in a saucer and set it on the floor for the dog to lap up.
The dog was fussy though. If Grandpa would pour a different brand of beer in the saucer, the dog would sniff it, bark, and go curl up in his box. His evening was ruined.
Published 3/23/10, SPPP, Bulletin Board
LUCKY The Bear
We hadn’t had a dog in several years, so when my father-in-law asked if we would take his old dog, we jumped at the chance.
The dog is gentle, burly, jet-black mix of Newfoundland and Chow. He and I have a lot in common: Bad eyesight. Hard of hearing. Both of us walk very slowly, especially where stairs are involved. We would tend to overeat if my wife didn’t keep us on a short leash. And we both like to take naps.
His name is Lucky – I often refer to him as The Bear, because he resembles a black bear cub, and he does the coolest, lumbering circle-dance when he waits for me to catch up and let him into the house. My wife calls him Shadow, because he follows her around so closely, especially in the kitchen. He has this uncanny knack of lying down between you and your next destination – a talent which led our 2 year-old granddaughter to think his name is Move! Move!
He loves people, and his tail is in perpetual motion when any of the grandkids are over. He likes the attention and the extra work they create for him, because his main chore, which he works at without being told, is to see to it there are no stray crumbs or tasty tidbits on the kitchen floor.
Two of the little ones have just been taken home, and Lucky has finished one last inspection of the kitchen floor. I’m sitting and enjoying the summer breeze and fragrance of flowers coming through the deck’s screen door. Lucky is sprawled, in deep slumber, at my feet. The kids wore him out.
I can hear the birds at the feeder, singing for their supper, and an occasional noise from the sleeping dog.
But in my mind, I’m listening to the old song about how old dogs care about you, even when you make mistakes. About God blessing little children when they’re still too young to hate. About dreaming in peaceful sleep of shady summertime, of old dogs and children, and watermelon wine.
Even two out of the three makes it all worthwhile.
Published a few years back in SPPP – Bulletin Board
Dogs are like summer flowers, their lives have all too short a lease. And yet, they bring such joy and leave such memories…