Wednesday, March 21, 2012

For Faithful Friends, Part I

Thought for the day:  Labradors are lousy watchdogs. They usually bark when there is a stranger about, but it is an expression of unmitigated joy at the chance to meet somebody new, not a warning. [Norman Strung]

That's a picture of me with our family's first dog, not that I can remember him. His name was Tippy, and my mother told me he was so timid, she had to stand over him with a stick while he ate, so other animals wouldn't steal his food. So, I don't suppose he was much of a watchdog, either.

But there's something extra special about a dog, is there? In fact, some may say If there is no heaven for dogs, then I want to go where they go when I die.

I think there are valid reasons to call them man's best friend. What else is so faithful, so loyal? Let's explore that sentiment through pictures, shall we?

Do you remember the first dog YOU loved?

Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


  1. Our first family dog, Bonnie. We were the same age when we took her in and she was the most special dog any family could ever ask for.

    She also started my lifelong love of her breed [dachshund] but not having ever met Bonnie my husband always says "Tell me again how great Bonnie was because I am not seeing it in -fill in the name of one of our many"

    Dachshunds are a breed all their own, but Bonnie was one in a million.

    [We cherish[ed] all of dachshies, even Pooldad. He spoils Spot rotten, but only when he thinks we aren't looking. heehee]

  2. Our family dog growing up was "my dad's dog." She loved my dad and tolerated the rest of us. We had some fun with her as kids, but I don't think I was ever attached to her like I was to my cats.

    So for me, the first special dog in my life is the one we have now, our German Shepherd Sorcia.

  3. I've only ever lived with one dog, a beautiful Irish setter called Crispin. He was my favourite person in the house :-)

  4. Lots of dogs I liked a lot but the first one I adored and developed a true relationship with was Cleo my moms mini dachsie...that little girl had so much personality you couldn't resist her if you tried.

  5. My grandparents had a collie named Pal whom I adored. My first dog was Sugar Bowl, a black mutt who appears in my second novella, as does Tippy, my hub's first cat, but as the name of the dog in the story as Tippy died young from an infection, an occurrence that saddened him as a young child. I wonder how many pets are named Tippy? It's a perfect name, actually. We also had a dog named Bandit and a Shep named Charlie. No matter how tiring the day, they were always there.

  6. Sparky was my first dog. He was a toy fox terrier, and the smartest dog I ever new. My mom could send him to fetch us kids, by name, and he'd always go for the right one (there were four of us). But what I liked best was his protective streak. If my brothers teased me, Sparky would growl at them, and chase them away from me. Aaah. I miss him. :)

  7. I've never had a dog...and gosh if these pictures don't give me a sense of what I've been missing.

  8. I was lucky enough to own THE WORLD'S BEST EVER DOG. Hamlet was a scruffy, black-n-tan ultimate Mutt. He moved to France with me in 1972 when he was about 3. Time does not allow me to tell you about all his great qualities; but, believe me, he was THE BEST.

  9. Home run on this one Susan. After all, GOD is DOG spelled backwards.

  10. Hi Susan .. we didn't have one as kids - but my ex wanted one - he selected a bull terrier - thank goodness he was mostly terrier - but he was a delight - I loved him to pieces! I love standard poodles now - they're my brother's dogs .. love the photos we get of bloggers' dogs .. just brilliant - and they are our best friends aren't they. My Mum has Hardwick on her bed - a wire-haired terrier: he has no choice, but he's been a good companion to her ...

    Cheers Hilary

  11. My first family dog was a black mini poodle called Theakston Old Peculiar. We left him with friends who were moving to a farm when we moved back to England, so I can still believe he's alive... after 20 some years. ;) Now to give my Parker a big kiss on the top of his head.

  12. I loved my other momma's dog, Buddy, a sheltie He would count us all every night, going to each person's room and making sure they were there. Also? One could get in to the house no problem, but if one tried to leave, there would be ALL kinds of ruckus including barking, running round and round through three rooms and tail chasing. We were his sheep :)

    Oh, and he would do ANYTHING for peanut butter...

  13. The greatest loves of my life have been doggies. From Moochie when I was 2 to my daughter's dog Emmet now, nothing can fill my heart like a dog.

  14. Skippy- I think when we have a really good dog, it's only natural to want others of the same breed. Doesn't always work out, though. The chihuahua mix pup I had was sweet and loving, but every one we looked at after she was gone was a horrible little non-stop yapper with a lousy disposition. It's too cute that your husband thinks he's "fooling you" about how he feels about Spot. (Kinda hard for the guys to act like they don't like a critter when you catch 'em sweet-talking it, huh?)

    Dianne- It's funny how a pet can attach itself to only one member of the family, isn't it? Most of the animals we've ever had were "mine", but the cats we have now are equal opportunity cuddlers. It's almost as though they purposely divided their attention between my hubby and me.

    Sarah- Oh, Irish setters are such gorgeous dogs. That silky hair just begs to be touched.

    Delores- Aw, betcha Cleo was a cutie.

    Kittie- You hit the nail right on the head: "No matter how tiring the day, they were always there." There's something about a dog sitting nearby that's the epitome of comfort.

    Linda- Wow, that was one smart dog! I've never known a dog who'd fetch a particular person in the family. That's pretty cool.

    Liza- By the time I finish running the rest of the pictures, you might WANT one.

    Cro- Mutts are fantastic. They're usually healthier and have sweet dispositions. Hamlet may have been YOUR best dog, but I'll betcha lots of people would argue as to whether he was THE best dog. But you know what? I think the only thing that matters is that you thought he was, and he knew it.

    Mr. C- Thanks.

    Hilary- Funny, but a standard poodle is one of the few dogs I feel a little uneasy about. When I was a little girl, an enormous poodle lived down the street from us, and every time I walked past when he was in the yard, he'd jump the fence and come after me. He ... ah... got behind me with his paws on my shoulders ... and ... uh... I guess he liked me? Scared the living daylights out of me, though, and I could never run fast enough to escape him. Somebody'd have to come and pull him off of me. He never "hurt" me, but he ... ah... liked me a little too much.

    Carrie- Now, a mini poodle, I can handle. (They're too small to hump anything other than my ankle.) I can't help but wonder how you chose that unusual name for yours, though. You have to admit, it's a bit more uncommon than Rover.

    G's Lady- Now, that sounds like the kind of dog every family with teenagers should have. Sure would cut down on any illicit sneaking out of the house! (Unless they had a fistful of peanut butter to distract him.)

    Laura- I know what you mean. Dogs rarely less us down.

  15. Just over a year ago my darling dog, Josh, died suddenly. It broke my heart and I'll never forget him. I have two rescue cats now, ones that don't like dogs and I agreed when we took them in that we wouldn't have another dog. It's for the best. I couldn't bear that pain again.

  16. There's a reason dog is God spelled backwards. It's because the two are so closely related. We had a toy poodle named Jacques when I was growing up. I was 7 or 8 when we got him, and he died when he was about 16. I adore him and it still feels like a stab in the heart when another family member makes fun of him and says he was stupid. He wasn't stupid at all. He was sweet and loving, just like the three boys I have now.


  17. I had tears in my eyes when looking at the pictures as they were so touching. Then the last one changed my mood. That was a perfect caption.

    I grew up with many dogs (3 or 4 at a time), but hubby was not a dog person and when we got married he would not even entertain the idea of having one. Now though, my children have wonderful Labs and I am thrilled. They are my granddogs and I am a very happy grandma in many ways. Hubby loves them also, but still will not let them in our house. He is a cat man.

    I do not understand a person who does not like animals. I think there is something missing in their hearts.

  18. Rosalind- I know what you mean about how painful it is to lose a dog. We don't have a dog now, either, but we do have two rescue cats. I can't bear the thought of anything ever happening to them, but the reason we have them instead of another dog is because with cats, we can go away on the spur of the moment. Give them extra food, water, and another litter box, and they're fine without us for a few days. We always had to board our dogs, and then take them to the groomer afterwards for a bath and flea treatment. As much as I adore dogs, cats fit into our lifestyle much better right now. (Doesn't mean I'll resist if a pup happens into our lives, though.)

    Janie- Absolutely. Some of the dogs that have been in my life were my favorite "people."

    Arleen- I agree. Hard to imagine a person who doesn't like animals having much compassion for people, either. My hubby wasn't a pet person at ALL when we married. Not his fault; he simply wasn't raised with them. So he had the mistaken impression that dogs belonged outside. HA! Boy, did he have a lot to learn! Now, he spoils our cats almost as much as I do.

  19. love all your pictures. when I see my kids with our dog..I know it is right... it just looks right! like we belong together!

  20. momto8- Kids and dogs are a natural go-together, aren't they?

  21. Love the pictures, Susan! And you're so right. Dogs listen, don't judge, and are very forgiving. My first dog was Pepper.

  22. Donna- Our neighbors had a black cocker spaniel named Pepper when I was a kid. The one thing I remember about that dog is how much he loved to drink beer. But Pepper is a totally cool name for a dog.

  23. We had a beautiful Labrador retriever. My brother was afraid of dogs, so my parents adopted her from the nearby animal shelter. He and she were best friends by the time they drove home from the shelter. We had her for thirteen years.
    Thanks for the memories!

  24. Awh what a fab post. I had a dog at the age of 16yrs. She died in her 17th year and she was so lovely. I had wanted a labrador, but my parents got me a chihuahua. She looked like Bambi.

  25. Our first dog was a Golden Retriever, Shannon. We only had him for 2 years, he got a brain tumour. The next family dog I bonded with was a King Charles and Springer mix, Misty. She was a dote. Now I have Louie. He is precious. There have been others but these three were/are special.

  26. my parents didn't like dogs so we only had cats growing up. I didn't get my first dog until my son was 11 and oh did I love him (Cooper). My second was a German Shepherd - Marcus, who never did anything bad - and now I have Jonah, the lab, who isn't very smart but he's awful cute and good thin cuz he's the most horrible dog ever!!! I still love him tho :)

  27. Emily- Rescue dogs are the best, aren't they?

    Madeleine- A chihuahua is quite a downsizing from a Lab, but it's also much easier to hold on your lap. (Although most large dogs THINK they're lap dogs.)

    Ann- Sounds like you've enjoyed a lot of canine love in your life. Sorry the Golden retriever died so young. That must've been very hard.

    Marcy- I'm intrigued about your Lab. Surely he isn't THAT "horrible". (I mean, maybe he simply misunderstood when you took him to a friend's house and told him to S-I-T on the new carpet...?)

  28. First, thanks for your great comment about blogging etiquette. I completely agree with you. I was following a blog by a very depressed girl living with post-traumatic-stress-syndrome. I wrote her long, supportive encouraging comments. For a year. Never heard a peep out of her. So I quit. Now I don't give them that much time, I've learned my lesson ;-)
    I remember all my dogs, and miss them all. We are actually dog-shopping right now. My health needs to improve, though. Having horrid asthma problems and am one step away from going back to the hospital...
    So glad to have met you! See you during the challenge!
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

  29. This is a good post. I really liked the pictures.

  30. Tina- I completely understand why you stopped leaving comments on the PTSD blog. There's gotta be a little give-and-take involved. Sorry about the asthma problems. Last year's pollen gave me so much trouble I had to start using an inhaler, so I know how scary it can be. Good luck. I hope you get to feeling better real soon.

    Gina- Hi. Thank you for stopping by. It's nice to meet you. I'm glad you liked the pictures here, and I'll stop by your blog asap.