I had many dogs starting with Prince, my mid-size, black and white mutt. I received him from my parents when I was about 5 or 6. Not the best dog, but he was loyal to me and that’s what I remember most about him. He was with us for about 4-5 years when I was told he ‘ran away’. (Later I learned he was hit by a car.)
Then there was Sugar. Sugar was a purebred beagle that we purchased from Uncle Dwayne Knight since he bred and raised beagles. One day when I was 12, I was moving the lawn. I heard the brakes squealing and ran out to the road to see Sugar laying there dead. The driver who hit him just kept going. I cried over that for awhile☹ Then we got another beagle named Lady Bug. She was a great dog that Lyle and I shared. She lived a nice long life and had a super disposition – we all loved her! She was especially close to Lyle.
Once I got married and had kids, we had several dogs that didn’t last long for various reasons. Then I gave Lori a dog named Punkin. She loved Punkin and she reciprocated her love for Lori. Soon after, Lori received another dog from a friend who she called Nikki. Both dogs kept Lori very happy and we could see Lori was becoming a dog whisperer. She had a way with dogs and in her grown-up years and has since acquired many more.
When I met and married Sue, they had a little Bichon Shih Tzu dog named Tucker. He was just plain mean and even bit Dylan at age 2. Soon after, he bit the neighbor’s mother (Grandma George) and we had to put him down. It hurt Alissa but we had to do it since we just couldn’t break his mean streak.
Sue and I felt bad that Alissa didn’t have a dog so in August of 2000, we went to see Mother in Huron. I was running in Andy’s Road Race and it was also during the South Dakota State Fair. On Saturday afternoon we went to the fair, landing at the 4H Barn. A lot of commotion in the back of the building led us to a pen of miniature dachshunds just 6-8 weeks old. They were the cutest dogs ever. We found one we loved, bought him and named him Gus. My mother had a nickname called Gus when she was young and helping out on the farm. (All 5 sisters had boy nicknames since they all wore overalls!) We brought Gus home and he was so damn cute that we knew Alissa would love him. We got him mainly for her. We didn’t tell her a head of time and when we got home we told her to close her eyes and I put Gus’s nose on her check. She opened her eyes and loved him immediately and he loved her, too. Trisha, however, got up the next morning, saw Gus and jumped up on the piano bench screaming “What the hell is that?” Oh Trisha…
One year later, same place, same story but add Kevin, Lori, Trisha and Alissa to the scene. After my Mother’s funeral, we went to the fair to show the kids where we got Gus. Sure enough, there were more doxies from the same breeder in the 4H Barn. Everyone fell in love with the puppies and this time, we picked up two little black and tan female siblings – Greta for us and Maddy for Lori. Did we ever have fun with those dogs at the motel that night! Alissa, Trisha, Kevin and Lori and two little puppies were up most of the night laughing and having fun in their room.
So now we had two dogs – Gus and Greta – and they became inseparable. It was obvious they were pals from the start and loved each other. Gus was still attached to Alissa and Greta found her way to Trisha, but we all shared and enjoyed them. Years later, they became sick and we had to put them both down at the same time. That was a tough day for all four of us.
Fast forward to my retirement and my news of cancer. My dear wife thought it would be an opportune time to get me another dog – preferably another doxie. I was thrilled to receive Winnie, my little dog and companion. She’s coming up on 2 years old now and for the most part, gives me much pleasure. She weighs 10 pounds and is a smart and good little dog. Most of the time, you will find her on my lap or laying behind my neck. She loves to take naps with me!