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Dogs I have known

Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 in animals

My first dog must have been Sugar, who I do not remember. But I’ve heard so many stories of how after she died, the neighbor dog would come every morning and wait at the back door for her. It’s too bad that dogs don’t get to run around with their friends any longer. It was often fun to see a few dogs playing in a field together. But I also recall riding my bike or pony past loose dogs and being terrified that they were going to chase me. And often they did.

The neighbors had a German shepherd I was particularly scared of. When I was maybe five years old, I went outside one morning and saw part of a kitten on one side of the sidewalk and it’s leg and thigh on the other. That dog had torn my kitten apart. He also got loose once and left a trail of baby rabbits (we raised bunnies) across our yard and the neighbor’s. And once, while riding my pony, Pokey, on the sidewalk on our way home with my sister, that dog ran out and jumped up high enough to get its front legs on Pokey’s back. I fell to the ground. Pokey was such a good pony that while she did step on my chest, she only left a bruise.

Mostly I think dogs are good for you. I miss taking Judd out walking during the winter. The colder it was, the happier he was to be outside and running. I’m sure he was responsible for most of my vitamin D intake during those months. I loved feeding off his emotions and élan. He’d rather run than eat.

Although when he did eat he didn’t always make the best choices. He once ate baking soda that my sister had in her barn to use on the goats. It was during the winter. His poor little tummy make all sorts of racket and he left large foaming piles out in the yard.

Dogs seem to be easily confused. My sister, Everbelly, had an Irish setter named Casey. Casey was a very good and well-behaved dog, but she thought she was a cat. This didn’t pose much of a problem until both she and the cat had babies. Casey chose to nurse the cats rather than her puppies. Even after the cat had weaned her kittens, Casey would nurse them. My sister used to find her with bloody nipples and have to kick her and one persistent kitten apart. Casey managed to raise only one of her own puppies and each time the cat had kittens, she lactated. Later Everbelly had another dog, a border terrier, who would nurse baby goats.

Perhaps female dogs are simply very maternal. I remember my father talking about how every time they brought my oldest sister home, and several time during the day, they would have to unwrap her and show her to the dog. She was very protective of the baby and would frequently need to check on her. It gives a new meaning to the word bitch.

Weird/interesting dog facts:

  • Teddy Roosevelt’s dog, Pete, ripped a French ambassador’s pants off at the White House.
  • Basset Hounds cannot swim.
  • Three dogs survived the sinking of the Titanic—a Newfoundland, a Pomeranian, and a Pekingese
  • Up until the late 1800s, Collies were known as Scottish Sheepdogs

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