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Wednesday, January 28, 2015


I am currently pet less.  I will probably remain that way; Mrs. Cranky is not really that fond of animals.  I never thought I could be with a person who did not like pets.  I thought wrong.  Mrs. C. did have a rabbit in a former life.  I do like rabbits, but in the yard, not in the house.
I am not a cat person, though I can definitely see their appeal as a pet. 
I am a dog person. 
Growing up we had a Cocker Spaniel, a Boxer and a Beagle.  My family moved from Long Island, NY to California when I was five.  We left the Spaniel.  I never did find out what happened to the Spaniel, probably a friend with a farm took her.  Mom did not want to drive out to California with three kids and a dog.  Mom could be pretty practical and stoic.  She left the dog.
I loved the boxer.  The boxer came from a home that did not treat her nicely.  The boxer did not like men.  The boxer did not like my father.  The boxer bit my father.  My father took the boxer to stay with a friend on a farm.  We never visited the friend on the farm.
The beagle was a fun dog, but like many beagles, he ran away.  He ran away a lot.  He always came back.  One night he came back and he had apparently been in an car accident.  The beagle never completely recovered. He was never the same.  Among other issues he was no longer house broken.  He peed a lot.  He pooped a lot.  Dad took the beagle to his friend on the farm where we never visited.
My next dog was after I was married, it was an American Black and Tan (mutt).  He was a good dog, but he was not particularly loved by my wife.  I went away one weekend and when I came back she had taken the dog to the pound.  He was not claimed and so we took him back before he was sent to a farm.  We had the Black and Tan for 15 years.  He was also a runner and would only come back if I chased him in my VW.  If I called from the VW he would hop in and I would take him home, otherwise he would not come when called…go figure.  The black and tan lived for 15 years when he came down with Lyme’s Disease.
Then there was Minnie, a beautiful Black Lab.  Minnie was the one great dog everyone hopes to have.  You can have nice dogs, you can have fun dogs, but apparently everyone is allotted only one great dog in their life, the one that can never truly be replaced.
Minnie did not run away.  She was house trained and when out for a walk would do her business on command.  She would retrieve whatever you threw for her.  You could throw a tennis ball at her as hard as you could from just a short distance and she would catch it and beg for more.  When Minnie was tired and lying down, she still wanted to play.  I would roll a ball at her and she would stop it with her nose and then push it right back at me also with her nose.  She loved to swim.  She was smart.
Minnie was good with everyone, especially kids.  She never growled or nipped no matter what you did.  Kids might pull her ear and she would just walk away.  She was a solid dog, the kind you could thump.  My son's friend once described her as one big black muscle.
In all her life the one bad thing Minnie would do that we could not correct, was she loved tissues.  She would get them, chew them and leave a mess.  She just could not help herself.
Cancer took my one great dog when she was eleven.  We took her to the vet.  At the vets we had Minnie put down.  We stayed with her, we stroked her and we sang to her. 
There were tears.  There were tissues for the tears. 
Just before Minnie succumbed to the drugs, she reached out with her mouth and grabbed a tissue.  We did not try and correct her.
I’ve had some good dogs; The Black Lab was my one great dog.


  1. A great dog is truly a gift from God!!

  2. I've had many dogs too, some who went to 'live on a farm'. I'm so lucky that right now I have my one great dog around. Gus is special and sounds very like Minnie in many ways. He's getting older now and I try not to think how life will be once he's no longer here.

  3. Labs are great, they're the perfect family dog, gentle with kids, protective, loving and playful. I'm sorry you lost Minnie.
    My one great dog was a German Shepherd. Max. We'd only had him a little over a year when we had to sell our house and move to a cheap rental where pets weren't allowed. We had to give him away. a family that already had two dogs took him in and we heard he'd become the boss in about a week and really fitted in well after he got over missing us.

  4. Great story Cranky. I could use a tissue myself.

    I never had a dog until I was grown and married. Since then I've had Tahsha, Tara, Emma, Luke, and now Jax. I've proven more than once (when "between dogs") that I NEED a dog to make me truly, completely happy. Fortunately my wife shares this sentiment. Dogs rule! :)


  5. Dogs do have personalities and we do not forget them. I am a dog person but until we stay home more, we really cannot afford a dog and he cannot afford us.

  6. Made me cry this morning. Minnie seemed like a great dog. I'm sure the one of the hardest things you had to do was say goodbye to her at the vet. I'm glad she went out as she had lived, loving tissues.

    I think we too may remain pet less, but when you have a great dog like Minnie and like Koda, its hard to think of anyone ever coming close to taking their place.

    Off to grab a tissue.....


    1. I miss just reading about Koda. I had a Corgi but lost her in the divorce settlement. They are wonderful companions.

  7. Growing up we only had Labs. One would smile when you woke her up.

  8. Great story Joe.

    'Tis a little dusty in here this morning.

  9. oh, gosh. you pulled my heart right out of my chest. dogs are the absolute best, and (in my opinion) labs are the best of the dogs. :)

    my little yellow lab, marigold, was my extra special one. i love all my pups, but she was truly a stand-out that took part of my heart when she left at age 14.

  10. As a kid we had a cocker spaniel. He was a runner until I found he would follow when I road my bike. He had to visit the farm eventually.
    When I was in college I had a lab/shepherd cross that was totally undisciplined and went to a place where the family could actually interact with the dog.
    Next dog was a Sheltie. She was the perfect pet... stayed outside until invited in, never crapped when anyone found it, only bit people in uniforms (mailmen, UPS drivers, and cops), and hated the garbage man. There was a chicken killing yellow lab for which we were the farm and a cat that ruled, named Pizza George.

    Now we just have a cat. Reading what you said about your black lab, kinda reminded me of our cat. He pushes back when petted.

  11. That picture of Minnie is BEAUTIFUL! What an incredibly beautiful dog. There's just something about dogs that touch us deep in our souls...

  12. What a great post. You already know what we are going though with our Little Bit. Little Bit is our one great dog. Need I say more. I didn't think so. Excuse me while I go find some tissues.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

  13. I suppose Minnie was your favorite.

  14. What a great friend and a great story Joeh.. Now I need some tissues.. I feel the same way about my lit'l furry girl.. I really just cannot imagine my life without her.. Hugs to you.. What a beautiful girl.. <3

  15. Never met a black lab I didn't like.

  16. Thanks for the lump in my throat. I'll never understand people who take a beloved pet to the vet to be put to sleep---and just leave. Like you, we hold our pet and stroke and talk to it while the drugs go in. It seems the least you can do for an animal that asks so little and gives so much.

  17. You showed the heart you try to hide. Sweet story and I can tell the loss still visits you. Hope you break down and get another. I tried to go dog less but finally caved. It is so nice having another being around that thinks you are perfect.

  18. My sweet, sweet Juno is half black lab. So no arguments here. I'm convinced.

  19. You're diluting my morning coffee, here. Benny is the first dog I've ever had.. and really, he's Frank's dog. I had birds growing up but turned into a cat person once I was on my own. I've been there with my cats when that time came and it's so tough. I think it's beautiful that Minnie was such a trooper to want that tissue before breathing her last. She died a happy and loved dog.

  20. You're killin' me stories always get me! What a sweet girl Minnie sounds like...
    Shared to my FB page so others can read about her.
    I was a mess for days when we put down Tasha the wonder dog.

  21. Sniff, sniff.

    I'm more a cat person, but I know what you mean.

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