I've written before in this blog about my pets (see below), but today I want to tell you about my dogs.
I grew up in a home that always had one dog, never more, but that dog was a treasured member of the family. On the other hand, since we were an Air Force family, there was lots of moving, and frequently the dog did not go with us, so there were a number of them. I loved them all.
The first dog I do recall was a very smart cocker spaniel named "Kimmy," (Pensacola, Florida). She was so clever that Dad would say to her, "Kimmy, go get a shoe," and she would trot off to his closet, snag a shoe, and bring it to him. If he said that wasn’t the right one, she'd take it back, bring another, and when one was finally accepted, immediately fetch its mate.
|Me, Mom, Mary Beth, and Aunt Mazzie (wet Kimmy)|
We moved to Nashville in early 1957, where I attended the first three years of high school. Dad, again wanting protection for his family when he was away on Air Force business, took Mary Beth and I, over Mom's objection ("No more dogs!") to a professional breeder of boxers, and we selected a puppy, all ears and big feet, and delighted to play with anyone near him. We took him home, loosed him into the house (the three of us huddled conspiratorially on the porch) and let the oversize puppy find my mother, who, in spite of protestations to the contrary, was a sucker for dogs). "Ah, look at him! Come here, puppy!" solved the Mom problem, and so "Honcho"—Japanese for "group leader," like the island—came into our lives.
I was a teenager during the Honcho period, and that meant I liked to sleep in a lot. Mom would get annoyed that I wasn't up and doing chores or whatever. My bedroom was on the second floor and I'd hear her calling up the stairs. "Doug, are you awake?" "Yes, awake and dressing, Mom," (a lie, as she knew). "Doug, I'm not calling you again!" "Good!" "I'm sending up Honcho!" "Aaak!!!" "Go get Doug, Honcho!" There would then be a noise like the Fifth Battalion Marines thundering up the stairs, my bedroom door would burst open, and 90 lbs of loving boxer would spring, drooling with excitement, into the bed, ready to lick my skin off. At this moment there were two choices, both with the same ending. Either I would get up, or I would hold him tightly until the excitement died down and he was willing to try and sleep with me. But that meant a slobbering (and frequently farting) dog in bed, and I would rise.
When we moved to Virginia for my senior year of high school, base housing would not allow dogs, so Honcho was given away to a friend of the family who lived next to a golf course.
|Barney and Mama|
“Dog Meat,” December 27, 2009
"Parakeets and Me," February 5, 2010
“Bears,” February 23, 2010
"Mama, Biopsies, and My iPad," May 19, 2010
"Milking Cows," June 8, 2010
"Teaching English to Cats," August 6, 2010
"The Purring Heart," November 23, 2010
"My Parents and Dummy," May 13, 2011
"Two Cat Stories: Mama and Barney in the Wild," July 9, 2011
"Barney Cat and the Big Mammal Nightmare," January 7, 2013
“A Guide to the Best of My Blog,” April 29, 2013