Saturday, March 13, 2010

Golden Memories

Whether it was when I was growing up or with my own family, we have always had a dog. A dog was an integral part of my life, until now. I am dogless. And I miss it.

In my growing up family, we had a dog named Spot. Original, yes? Spot was a mutt but she was attractive enough to get a thoroughbred Boston Bull Terrier as her mate and had thirteen little ones that looked just like him. But what I remember most was my mom feeding that dog like you wouldn't believe. I can still see her filling up her dish with everything she could find, piled high and mumbling in Swedish under her breath about the poor thing having to feed all those pups. Didn't buy dog food in those days. At least, we didn't. (Remember this was during or just after the depression.) Just table scraps tho I saw Mom give her lots of her homemade bread to fill her up with leftover gravy over all.

I kept one of the pups and called him Pepper. He died of distemper. You see, we didn't have all the shots and stuff like that in those days either. I wrote what I think was my first poem in my grief over his death.

In almost 60 years of marriage, we've had numerous dogs. I remember Flicka, a sort of black golden retriever looking dog who was a renegade and always running away from home. I would be teaching school at St. Edward's Catholic School about two blocks from our house and I would see Flicka running by. I was in my midlife years then--famous for running to the window and opening them to pant and the kids would all yell," Mrs. S is having a hot flash again." That's where I would yell out the window for Flicka to go home also.

When we lived in Denver we finally bought our"Lassie," only she was a tricolor fullblooded collie. Our children were still young enough to really bond with MaryAnn. Yes, her name was MaryAnn. There had been a collie across the street in Minnesota named MaryAnn and they would settle for nothing else. I can still see her chasing a neighbor's rabbit with the over six footer owner chasing her round and round. It was hilarious. When we moved to Michigan, she survived her first and only airplane ride. She too was a part of our family for about 10 or 11 years. A very beautiful dog.

Shyre was our first Golden. We had her for 12 years and loved her so much. Never saw my youngest son cry like he did after he took her to be put down. He wanted her to be looking at him with her last breath. Tough on him.
Then we got another Golden named Kate, because she was the ruler of the litter and spunky like Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. We had her for about 10 years when one day when she was visiting some people in the country, she was hit by a truck and killed. She was such a pretty girl. I used to tell her that all the time. I miss her.

And then there was George. I tried to have another Golden Retriever puppy while I was still taking care of my husband, but I could not handle it. George had to be given to another home. He was a blonde Golden and loved to pee all over the house and I could not devote the time to train him properly. The guy that took him told me he just peed in their house once. I figure either I was on the cusp of getting him trained or this guy had a better method than I.

But I want to get another dog--another Golden, and I may one of these days. My children say not to for they fear I cannot chase it if it should take off, and they are right. This may be reality but sometimes reality is hard to take. Especially if it interferes with one's dreams. A smaller dog or an older dog would not do it for me. There is nothing cuter than a Golden Retriever puppy. And when they grow up, there is no dog so easy to live with.

I just might get it yet!


Bernie said...

Oh Bernie you miss your dogs so much why not go for it and get another. He/she would be such good company for you and if you found it a bit much perhaps you could hire a teenager to walk him for you. Something can be worked out I am sure.........:-) Hugs

Makayla said...

Dogs can be such cute animals and great companions.

Those are many dogs, all so adorable as well! I have a friend who absolutely loves Golden Retrievers! They definitely are cute puppies!

Oh George reminds me of a dog my family has. His name is Copper and he is a Beagle and he chews on everything and when he was living in the house he went to the bathroom all the time. Finally we had to make him sleep outside and not let him in the house, he was impossible to potty train.

You should definitely get another dog, they are such great companions!!!!

Gail Durham said...

I have a great love for dogs, I have always had dog in my adult life. I have a golden, her name is Jodie. She is my best friend. I love reading your blog.

Barb said...

Hi Bernie, I didn't realize that you once lived in Denver. I, too, miss having a dog. My Golden Girl Breezy died 5 1/2 years ago - I still miss her terribly. Last night, my older Grandkids who are 7 were looking at some photos, and they came across some with Breezy. They act like they still remember her, but I think that's doubtful. We just have so many pictures of her. I sometimes wish I had a dog now, but we travel quite a bit, so I've held off. A dog is such good company. However, as I get older, I'm thinking a smaller (non-shedding) breed might be nice!

Von said...

Oh we do miss them when they leave us.My first Greyhound was George.I'm brand loyal too but will never have another now.You're sensible not to Bernie.

Gail said...

Dogs have always been a part of my life too.

Maybe check a shelter or dog rescue. Dogs end up there for many reasons and there is nothing wrong with them.

Or to help your dog urge, volunteer to foster a dog or to help at a local shelter. Who knows, your next dog may be waiting for you.

California Girl said...

What a nice remembrance of dogs past. I particularly like the story of your running to the classroom window to yell at Flicka and your students saying you were having a hot flash. Did they really? I didn't even know about hot flashes til my mom started having them. She was about 50 which would have made me 14 and I don't think I understood at all what she was referring to. In fact, when mother was 70 and still having them, I didn't understand how terrible they can be. Oh boy, I've sequed off into hot flashes. Anyway, enjoyable post.

Anonymous said...

So many dogs! I'm not a dog lover, but I do like big dogs. They're much more fun than their smaller counterpart! I prefer cats, however ;)

Ruthibelle said...

'This may be reality but sometimes reality is hard to take. Especially if it interferes with one's dreams.'

That's a perfect quotable moment you had there.. eloquent, profound... I'm stealing it!

And yes, what IS reality if it stands in the way of your dreams? Whatever you do, keep safe.

June said...

Love shared with a good dog is a miraculous thing. Each dog claims a piece of our hearts and leaves a hole behind when they go.
I don't think I'll ever again be able to handle training a puppy, so future dogs (when the timing is right) will be rescues. I think dogs who've been homeless always remember and appreciate their good lives just a little more.

live_life said...

Hi Bernie. I am a huge dog lover and I loved your post. It really showed just how much of an impact dogs can have in our lives.

I am in college currently, living in a Dorm, and I am not allowed to have a dog here. I miss my chocolate lab so much. I am going to school to start a business. I am going to start my own doggie day care business with locations all over the United States. I am planning to be a Non-Profit Business that donates all the profits to animal shelters around the country.

I loved reading all your stories about all the dogs you have had in your life and how they have touched you.

Kat Weaver said...

Goldens are great companions and also wonderful service dogs. I wrote about my pets on my blog because I love them so much and can only not deny yourself...adopt a lovely canine soul for your companion now!He/she would be a great asset to your life. No one loves us like our dogs do. Go for it, my friend!

Joey said...

Hi Bernie...
I've two dogz in the house now... one is my Maddie and one is a pup who belongs to Syd, my youngest. Her name is Marley, but we call her Mar.

Maddie turned eleven in February... all while she was having cancer removed from a spot on her face. She's my girl.

I've written about Mar. She's a basket case. A real bouncer!

Joey said...

One comment for you. You'll never be old.. always beautiful.

Your love of dogz reminds me of myself. I have two slumbering in the living room. Maddie and Marlie.

Maddie is graceful... she's mine. Marley is a pup and will eat anything and everything.

It's not ours, it's Marley's. Yep!

Anonymous said...

without my two little pavement specials I would be extremely lonely while everybody is at work. We talk to each other all day

Wanda said...

Hi Bernie... I miss our family pets too, Butter lived to be 21 years old, grew up with my children. For now, I try to think of the wildlife here as our "pets".

Maria Luisa Adães said...

I am Portuguese.
I write in portugurse, poems.

I understand english an I am able to understand all you say.

"Old?Who?Me?" lovely! Thank you to
found you and your youth.

Maria luisa Adães

Andre said...

Hi Bernie,

As a kid I never had a dog, and now I have an eight year old Cocker Spaniel/ Yorkshire Terrier mix and she is such a darling.
I have learned how intelligent they are and how they actually do speak!
I am from the generation of the first Dr. Doolittle and remember as a kid wondering if animals can or cannot talk.
Now, at age 44 I know the answer...they do, and plenty too, it's just that they don't use words, but they talk all the time and this has been a revelation for me!
I just cannot understand how anybody can treat animals in a bad way... they have as much feelings as we do.
I am still on my first, but doubt it will be the last!
Thanks for the article and the pics, was really fun to read/see!

Happy Frog and I said...

I've never had a dog but you make it sound lovely. Are there any dog shelters near you which let you take dogs out for a walk? I know people who do that and they say it is lovely to have the companionship and to help the dogs get out too.

yaya said...

It's a tough decision, like should we have another baby'll make the right choice for you I'm sure. My son and his dog live with us and Eddy is awesome (that's the dog! son is awesome too though)When they move into their own place I'll miss that boxer..(that's the dog)

Light Bearer said...

Those are stunning dogs, particularly the collie, wow its amazing how much they become part of the family.

I love my dogs so much, i have a boxer, a bull terrier and a collie.

Maria Luisa Adães said...

Old? Who? Me?

Your dogs are womderfull.

A had a Cocker Spaniel, she died last year. To day, I cry with "saudade". She was the best,
in my life, for 16 years.

I look you dogs and your love for
them and I think,you could offer me
like a friend, your photo with ons
of them in my blogs:

I am portuguese and I write poems in my language.
Excuse my english

maria luísa Adães

Re said...

Olá Bernie! Entendo um pouco de Inglês e espero que você possa traduzir o que vou escrever aqui. Fui criada com cães pastores alemães, muito amigos. Durante minha existência tive muitos amigos caninos, mas um dentre eles foi especial. Uma collie chamada Penélope, maravilhosa compaheira. Ela gostava de dormir embaixo de nossas camas e minha mãe ficava zangada quando permitíamos isso. ELa às vezes fechava a porta de nosso quarto para a Penélope não entrar, mas a cachorrinha era esperta e abria a porta com facilidade! Adoro cães e compreendo seu amor por eles. Venha visitar meu blog. Ficarei feliz! Beijos!

Nani said...

I say go ahead and get your puppy too! Leash when you're outside with him or her. They have those leashes that are like fishing poles, the dog can roam a bit and you can rel him back if you need to!

I'm visiting by way of your blog being a "blog of interest," but I'll be back to read some more! :)

Ana said...

I had a dog named "Meg" in honor of the movie star Meg Ryan - I'm smiling - but unfortunately now I only have a cat called "Rubens".

In fact, the animals in our lives are fantastic with all the emotions that make us feel.

Each one different from another but also comforting to us.

I wish you a beautiful day.


LaraAnn said...

I really enjoyed your blog about your doggies. They are all so adorable. I still miss my dog Ginger who I had when I was a kid in the '80s so I know how you feel. I definitely will be reading more of your blogs soon. Take care.

Paige579 said...

I know the feeling. I'm so used to having pets that if I one day do not have one I will feel the same way you do. Pets are wonderful companions and I agree, there is nothing cuter than a golden retriever.

Grelottement said...

Hi, I'm French so excuse my English ;)
Just passing the time to plant a "hello" from France :)

Deb Shucka said...

This is so sweet to read. Our dogs hold such a special place in our lives - all that easy love. We're on our third Golden (my fourth) and although after our previous one died of cancer and we swore we'd never go through that again, here we are with Toby - the most amazing dog I've ever known. I hope you get another one - the females are small and more compliant, would be easy. You deserve the love, don't you think? :-)

PrettyGuise said...

I came across your blog through the "Blogs of Note" feature and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised to find a blog worth reading. The stories about your dogs were just charming and I must admit to being a bit envious of you. I've only ever had a dog once and it was an evil little thing that seemed to dislike me. I wish I had had such lovely experiences as you did.

I say that you should get another dog. If you want one you should have one. As long as you have the resources required to raise the dog properly I don't see any reason not too. Someone suggested getting a teenager to walk your dog if you're worried about that and I agree whole-heartedly. If it makes you happy you should do it.

ABCO Everything Woman said...

I am a big animal lover. We have a horse and a Jack Russel named Frank who is part of the family. I have always had at least one dog my whole life. I think owning a dog is an important part of growing up.

Once in a while said...

Hi Bernie. Dogs are an integral part of our lives but some remain more prominent in our thoughts than others. I was CEO of my security company and so I owned about 30 alsatians. it varied at one time. But Yogi was the one I worked with. Fearless brave and very intelligent. One failing, he hated thunder and lightning. Now he was a very big dog, but whenever there was a storm he insisted on sitting on my lap and shivering. And he was heavy!!
Regards Patrick

jomyshyne1 said...

As far as I know Dogs are never faltering in the traits best found in people.. they're unbelievably loyal, unrelenting in their sense of fun.. protection... get another doggy, my rough collie who is also a tri colour has my heart! You need another for your heart too:D Take Care and Thanks for getting in touch:D

Wander to the Wayside said...

Hi, Bernie! I'm hesitant to comment now as you have so many lately, but can't let this one go. I have a 'hall of fame' frame in my hallway with the photos of 40 years worth of dogs, cats, birds, horses, hamsters and rabbits that have graced our lives, have been part of our family. So I appreciate this post very much.

I have had dealings with Heartland Golden Retriever Rescue in Knoxville, Tn., from when I 'rescued' a neighbor's senior dog. They found her a home with a family in Pennsylvania in three months, after treating her for heartworm.

With the world the way it is right now, they are drowning in dogs, as are other rescue groups. There are many many hard to place senior goldens, ages 5-15 years old, who are not hard to place behavior problems, but pets who have lost their homes thru no fault of their own. Maybe this could be an option for you.

There's no need to give up hope of having another golden, Bernie.

PatMac said...

I've been popping in on your site for a couple of weeks now and this post touched me. Our terrier-cross, Mac, who was a rescue (all our animals have been rescues over the years)is just coming up 16 yrs and has some days when he is stiff - but so do I! - he has cataracts, a heart murmur and has just had antibiotics for a tooth abscess. The vet won't remove the tooth because he doesn't think he would stand the anesthetic.
I know he won't go on much longer but he still chases rabbits when he gets the scent and has a bounce about when his lead appears. While he does that, we will nurse him along, keep him pain free and treasure his company.
Thank you for your blog. I do enjoy your writing.

becky said...

Hi Bernie~
Such a sweet post! Made me think of my childhood dogs "Bruno" & "Kito." Dogs are great, but haven't had one since I was a kid. I can relate to wanting one, but not being able to have one- I move too much & am often in apartments, so it wouldn't be fair to the dog. People say to get a lap dog- but I'm in the same boat with you... I'd like to have a full size dog, too. Maybe some day we will!!

CL Beck, author: MormonMishaps said...

Animals are so much a part of our family that it's hard to have them go when the time comes.

I'll bet if you look for dog parents that are calm dogs, you could get one of their puppies and not have so much trouble with it running away.

Loved the pix of the tri-color collie, by the way!

Seeker said...

I'm a dog lover too. They are such great members of the family, with such interesting personalities.

If you want another, go for it. Where there's a will, there is always a way.

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sanjeet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sybil said...

Why not compromise and get a slightly older pup that is already house trained ? Dogs are wonderful and keep you young.

Best wishes from Sybil in Nova Scotia


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