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Wednesday, May 8, 2019



Another re-run, from January 2015.  This article made me think of it.

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. Minnie does sound like the perfect dog, Labs are well known as good-with-children dogs. I'm sorry you had to lose her so soon.
    My one great dog was a German Shepherd named Max, we gave him away when he was only two and a half years old, because we had to sell our house and go into a cheap rental and pets weren't allowed. I still miss him and it's been 30 years.

  2. I couldn't read that link you had at the front of your blog post. Can't read anything like that after we lost our corgi almost 4-1/2 years ago. He was like your Minnie. He was perfect for us and cancer claimed his life at 10 years old. Still cry about him. Hard to get another pet because he was soooo good that we know next time around we'll get the corgi from hell. Loved him but do love the freedom of not having a dog, especially as high maintenance as he was his last few years with twice daily insulin shots, etc.


  3. I could have written this. Yes, we had Labradors, two of them, and loved them as only another Lab owner knows. They are great companions and I wish I had them now.

  4. i can imagine your sorrow when you were separated from your very first pet and i believe such things are unforgettable but your mom did what she thought was needed to do at that moment dear Joe!

    this is great that after some unpleasant experiences you found Mutt and than Minnie and spend a wonderful period of good warm relationship with them.

    Minnie 's end made my eyes teary!

    Everybody is different and we can't blame Mrs C for not liking the pet or may be she like but she is busy enough to take extra responsibility

    this is touching post and remind me my pets and bit sad stories about them

    Blessings to you my friend!

  5. What a wonderful post, JoeH. Thanx.

    We had many dogs, mostly Alsatians and Labradors. We had the male version of Minnie, a black lab. Behaved just like your Minnie. Very patient. We now have a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

    God bless.

  6. Awww....Minnie sounds like a truly great dog. I've never had a pet, besides fish. If I ever got one, it would be a daschund named Spiro.

  7. Awwww! What wonderful memories.

  8. Ugh. Now I need a tissue.....but I don't buy that we only get one great dog. We've have lots of great dogs. Tasha, a red husky was Romeo's dog. He would lay down with her on the floor and she would glare at me as if to say "mine!". Tessa was the sweetest terrier, and funny ~ she would suddenly run around and make a funny bark/growl after her bath. I loved them all, so much. Luckily Romeo loves dogs as much as I do ~ I don't see a point in our lives that we won't have a 4 legged, furry, drooling, shedding dog who loves us.

  9. You had Minnie and we had Little Bit. She was just like Minnie - perfect. Yes we all have that one great dog.

    Have a fabulous day, Joe. ♪♫♪♫

  10. I've had a couple of half-Labs, good dogs without attitude! I imagine your Minnie was twice as good, being full Lab. Of course your story made me reach for a tissue.

  11. That made me cry. I don't think I could ever be without animals in my life. For me,they keep me in check - I don't stress as much, or worry when I have a animal to pet and stroke and talk to. They are worth it.

    Its so hard to say goodbye to our fur babies. Its something you never forget.

  12. Uuuuhhhh, now I've got tears in my eyes!


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