Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Love Dogs, Do You?

If you read my Honest Scrap blog the other day, you'll know that when I was a kid I was afraid of dogs. I remember my parents had gotten a small one, I think an English boxer, but I was so afraid of it they had to give it away. In fact, in those days, if I saw a dog coming, even though it was on a leash with its owner, I'd cross the street to get away from it.

It was not until later on in high school that my fear subsided. That's when my family owned this great Collie named Thunder, which we all loved.

Anyway, my husband and I are now on our fourth dog, all from shelters. First there was Sadie, a Basset Hound, then Missy, an undetermined type mutt, then Morgan, a German Shepherd mix, whose name I stole for my pen name, and our latest, Rascal, who is part Amstaff (pit bull), part Dalmatian, and deaf.

Sadie was adept at howling and we laughed when she did that. She also barked and demanded food scraps because I spoiled her early on. Her great joy was sitting on the couch and staring out the window.

Missy also could do great howling renditions. She learned to do tricks, such as sit up and beg. She also had this gland problem and sometimes scooted her butt across the floor, which was comical. Missy was a charmer, and in the days when we were ambitious enough to throw Christmas parties, which we don't do any more, she was a great hit with the guests. Being a dominant dog, despite her not so large size, we never knew which other dogs she'd get along with. She was picky in that regard.

Morgan, although a fairly large dog, we assume had to have been mistreated as a pup because she was deathly afraid of people and only felt comfortable around my husband and I. She developed a seizure disorder six months after we adopted her, for which we had to medicate her each day. That somewhat controlled the problem, but not completely. If a person were to come into the house, we could almost guaranty the next day she'd get a seizure from her bout of nerves.

Now we have Rascal. She's the only dog we've had that almost every time we go for a walk into town, someone is bound to remark on how unique she is, with her white coat speckled with dots and her black patch around the eye. She loves people and other dogs. Though she can't hear, she's so smart people can't tell unless we clue them in.

The last few weeks the weather has been brutal in the Chicagoland area. Poor Rascal, who very much enjoys her walks and really needs them, has been subjected to quick dashes into our fenced yard and back in again. Today was another terribly cold day, with many of the sidewalks still icy and snowy after the 12 inches we got, but I hit on a good plan.

What we did was drive into town where the sidewalks and streets were already cleared. Then we walked the three blocks with Rascal to her very favorite place, Bentley's Corner Barkery, a small pet-everything store in town, a place she considers dog heaven. The owners, Lisa and Giovanni made a big fuss over Rascal, as usual, and she mooched treats off of them, as usual. Then more dog owners came inside to shop and Rascal conned them into petting her. It was obvious from the way her tail wagged and her eyes sparkled, that she had a great time.

I came home feeling really good we'd had the opportunity to make Rascal happy. That's the thing about dogs. I can't help but love them and want to do things for them. They expect and get so little in life compared to us.

Please share. Are you a dog lover? Or, maybe you like cats? They, too, are adorable, but we've never owned one because of allergies.


  1. I had a cousin who was deathly fearful of dogs. She had never been bitten or anything. I'm wondering if it's one of those "past life" things?

  2. I love dogs and have had more than I can count during my lifetime. My lovable black lab was killed over a month ago, leaving a very lonely Australian Sheppard behind to mourn with us. They were raised together from 2 months old and we miss our lab so much! We lost our cocker nearly 2 years ago to cancer and it's like losing your children.

  3. I, too, love my animals. We have a cat, a dog, a gecko and two horses. The gecko's a little standoffish, but everyone else is perfectly cuddly. Our dog is a Corgi, very bright and a real clown. Katy the cat is, well, a cat - aloof until she wants food or scratches. My mare likes me to kiss her nose and give her peppermints, and her son is an absolute goofball who wants to sit in my lap, except that he weights 1000 pounds!

    Jean - I'm sorry to hear about your lab.

  4. I love animals. We owned a dog when I was a kid, but right now we have 2 indoor cats and 1 indoor/outdoor one. They pretty much ignore us--which can be kind of annoying when you're looking for some loving, but they have their moments.


  5. My husband and I have been dog loves since our first year of marriage. We lived with a German sheperd for two years until our neighbor shot him through our fence. Since that time we have had several dogs that we acquired from friends and relatives who believed that our children needed a pet. Our last loveable friend was Queenie, a rotty who we also received as a gift from our son because he couldn't take her to live with him on his move. Our rotty attached herself to my husband and I immediately and we had to learn how to live with a big dog again. When we retired to Florida from Missouri, Queenie immediately owned the house and allowed us to reside with her. Her idea of size was strange. She thought of herself as a Lhasa apso, yet her 125 pound body did not fit in my lap. Two years ago, Queenie went to heaven to live with my mom. We miss them both.

  6. I love sharing pet stories,even though some are said. It's part of owning a pet to take the good with the bad, just like with humans.

    Thanks to those who have already shared. I look forward to hearing more tomorrow.

    Morgan Mandel

  7. my dogs and cat are attention lovers, so I gave them there own blog. You can hear their side of things at dogsrulecatsdrool (dot)

  8. I do love dogs. I have raised and trained collies, shepards and small dogs all of my life. The current "queen" of my house, Tinkerbell, is quietly sitting on my lap as I type this!

  9. My best friend's dog fear carried over into adulthood, although it's more of a wariness now.

    So wonderful you adopt from shelters! We've had mostly cats, and they tend to adopt US. So many unwanted animals out there...

    I was raised with both, as was my husband, but think we're more on the cat side. We're so busy and I'm always on the road, so an independent, low-maintenance kind of pet works best for us.

  10. I ADORE dogs! They literally have changed my life for the better. It has become my passion to share with others that disabled animals can live a quality life. I have a dachshund in a wheelchair who is so full of life. She has taught me so much about the simple things in life. If it were not for her and my first dog (plus now my yellow lab) I wouldn't be who I am today.
    Dogs truly teach us what matters in life.
    Author of Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog


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