Best Friends

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Chris3755's picture
Joined: 08/02/2010

Below is a short story I wrote, hope you enjoy it. Chris S

Best Friends
           My first dog was Tammy, a cute little black and white cocker spaniel that was a present when I was ten years old. Sadly, Tammy only lived a few months and succumbed to distemper after a distemper shot went wrong. I vowed to never get attached to a pet again!
           Duke was a sort of mixed collie breed who strayed into our family right along about the same time as Tammy and stayed forever. Duke was a fairly large dog but he turned out to be loving and protective of our whole family, including Tammy. He wouldn’t let strangers in the yard and once scared a couple of nuns nearer to God when they walked in our driveway soliciting for the church. Duke held them at bay in the drive until Mom called him off. Those sisters left a little closer to heaven than they had been prepared for that day.
           Duke was a rascal and womanizer and often took night trips to visit the neighborhood ladies and once even brought home an earful of fine shot! It never deterred him and he was a stud till the day he died. There were “Duke Pups” all around the area and some of our neighbors expressed concerns for their poor female dogs’ reputations after they were visited by that “mongrel” Duke. He was definitely a scoundrel and a cad but he was ours and we loved him.
            Duke finally succumbed to a car as he no doubt was trying to find females somewhere on the other side of the highway. He was at least fifteen or more and well worn for his age, hard of hearing and probably near blind but still as frisky as ever. I was already in the service when my mother wrote to tell me of his passing but he had lived a good long life.
            Shortly after Duke arrived and Tammy had died my Mother came home one day with this old tri-color (black, gold and white) cocker spaniel that only had one eye and was promptly name Jiggs by my Mother who loved the comic strip by that name. Jiggs was a stray (maybe) that seemed very worldly but for some reason he adopted me, even in my state of denial from Tammy. I secretly think my Mother “found” Jiggs on purpose to get me out of my heartbreak. Jiggs lived a long life with us and I have written about our escapades and hunting with in other posts. Jiggs succumbed to old age (we never really knew how old, just old) when I was a senior in high school and I didn’t have another dog until I was out of the service.
             I got my Springer spaniel, Freckles, who I also wrote about before from a friend who was raising spaniels and thought I needed one. I had Freckles for quite a few years as a hunting pal and loving guard to our family until she left with my daughter who later told me old Freckles lived a long life with her.
             I was living in New Mexico when my next dogs (Labrador retrievers) happened along.  Labs were a far cry from my beloved spaniels. Muffin came home as a result of a breeder mentioning he had a runt golden lab female that he was giving away because she didn’t look enough like a purebred Lab. She really looked more like a hound! My daughter named her and she was our first lab.
           My neighbor came home with a cute black lab pup one day and I remarked how nice it was and he told me the guy with the labs had another one just like his only it was the runt female and he was going to get rid of her. I named her Bear (actually Baroness) and she was a real goofy girl but lots of fun. She didn’t know her tail was a very dangerous object when she was in the house, knocking stuff off tables and such but she was a good dog. These two Labs lived with us for over six years in NM and then made the move with us to Upper Michigan where they lived another seven or eight years. They eventually passed when Muffin was 15 and a year later Bear at 13.
           My latest dogs are mixed bag of fun and games. When I became disabled my daughter thought I should have a dog to keep me company. She contacted the local shelter via internet and found me a supposed collie-beagle mix? What I got was Tess (alias Stinky) who resembles a small collie shepherd with beagle front legs. She is actually smart but knows how to act dumb as a box of rocks when the situation calls for it. Naturally I love her to death! Her only real fault is that she likes to go visiting all the neighbors and forgets to come home prompting my wife to go get her.
           A few years ago our son decided his mother needed an Easter present and brought her a little ball of fur that eventually turned into a Shih Tzu pup called Mocha. Mocha grew into a neat little lap dog we call Baby Girl or Babes. She has turned out to be smart, playful and a fierce guard dog protecting our house from all evil with loud barking whenever she feels it.
Tammy And Duke (1)Tammy and Duke
Muffins In SprinklerMuffin in Sprinkler
Muffins In SprinklerBabes as a Pup
Muffins In SprinklerStinky
Muffins In SprinklerStinky and Babes

mworkmansr's picture
Joined: 09/21/2010
Thanks, Chris

I like your dog story. I never really had on until I moved from Montana to Mudhole, Mississippi at the age of 60. In the last ten years, I have been adopted by seven strays, of which five are still with me. I have never known a place in which people think it's acceptable to drop dogs off on country roads to starve. It's truly barbaric, and so ironic the U. of Miss. has a department called "Center for the Study of Southern Culture". 
At any rate, I have found that stray dogs, unlike humans, are appreciate of a home and are wonderfully loving. Mine are also very protective of our persons and property. They seem to know the boundaries, and woe betide critters and persons who enter the yard. And, God save people who want to hug or shake hands. And, unlike relatives, dogs will never turn against you.


Don't worry. Be happy.

Chris3755's picture
Joined: 08/02/2010
Right On

I found that in New Mexico too, people left their dogs run loose and I had several drop-offs while I lived there. I love strays and found dogs, although the Babes is a supposed pure something? But by and large mutts are the best, the love you and never talk back! Chris S