Thursday, December 31, 2009

In My Life

One of my very favorite songs is "In My Life." This time of year always gets me thinking of the past, of "people, places and things that went before." So, I think the next few posts may be about some of those things. Today's post is about Dogs I Have Known and Loved.

1. Smokey - On the Christmas Eve that I was either 3 or 4, we lived in Valley Stream, NY and my dad worked for Coca-Cola in Long Island City. On that day's drive into work, he watched a car ahead of him slow down and toss a bundle out of the car. He stopped and found a black puppy inside the bundle. He brought it into work with him and, with the help of several co-workers, he got the dog bathed and presentable to bring home. That night, to our amazement, my dad came in with this little guy with a big red bow around his neck. We were all shocked, including my mom, who had no idea that my dad was bringing this new family member home. He was black as smoke, hence his name.

2. Laffy My aunt had gotten a miniature poodle she called Nappy, which was short for Napoleon. I loved that dog and couldn't wait to visit them so I could play with Nappy. Smokey had passed away, so we were dog-less. The breeder where my aunt had gotten Nappy was having another litter, so we adopted Laffy, the name I gave him, which, in keeping with the French General's theme, was short for Lafayette. Although he was a gift for me, he really became my mother's dog. After my mom died, Laffy became a different dog. He would lie on the bed on my mother's side all day and couldn't be budged without a fight.

3. Tinker This dog was part of the package when I married my first husband. Tinker was a Weimeraner. He was a great dog, very smart with a gentle disposition. However, the marriage didn't last very long and when it was "bye-bye hubby" time, it was "bye-bye Tinker" too.

4. Patrick - After Smokey died, I asked my parents if I could have an Old English Sheepdog. I had seen Disney's "The Shaggy Dog," (the original one, not the re-make, where they used a bearded collie instead of an OES; totally unacceptable. There is only one dog that can lay claim to being the Shaggy Dog and that is the OES). But, no way. They're too big, too slobber-y, too hairy. So, now, being an independent, self-sufficient woman, I finally got my first OES. Don't ask me why I named him Patrick. I just always said that, when I get my sheepdog, his name would be Patrick. And he was everything you expect a sheepdog to be, big, goofy, intelligent, friendly (sometimes to a fault). One thing about this breed, wherever you go with them, people smile. I tell you, if you're looking to meet people, find an Old English and take him out somewhere. They are a people magnet.

5. Chloe - I stopped by my local Petsmart for dog food for Patrick and they were having an Adopt-A-Pet Day for a local, no-kill shelter. I went for dog food and came home with Chloe, a 14 month old Briard.
At first she was very shy, but within a few months, she became the Princess and took over the position of alpha dog from Patrick. (Sheepdogs tend to be wussy, in the first place, and he was almost 14 years old, so he really didn't give a shit, at that point). Briards are very intelligent and can be quite domineering, even of their owners, if not trained. I discovered this first hand and hired a trainer for ME, so I could learn how to handle her. She turned out to be a wonderful pet and my best girlfriend.

6. Bailey - Patrick passed away about 6 months after Chloe joined us and she was the solo dog for about 6 months, when I saw an ad in the local paper about a litter of OES puppies for sale. How could I resist? So, that's when Bailey entered my life and is, as I write this, laying on his bed on the floor next to me, both of us very happy to be here to see the new year in together, along with the LSH.



  1. Yay! I love this post. I can't believe he can fit in that chair! Must've been a puppy photo!

  2. Yes, that's an old pix. He was about 18 months there. He always tries to maneuver himself into places he can't fit.