Oh, to be a dog person

In the last 48 hours, we’ve had some interesting dog adventures.

Thursday: 6 Lab-mix puppies showed up at our back porch. Raleigh got stressed to the hilt.  Ken guessed they were only about 4 weeks old and hadn’t eaten in several days.  We assumed someone dropped them off and they wandered up where they smelled “dog”.  Ken boxed them up and took them uptown to the animal shelter.  I hope someone will get them as pets.

Friday: Sometimes (especially when the weather is pretty), we’ll let Raleigh out to play.  He’ll sniff around, dig stuff out of the leaves, roam in the woods, but he never seems to go far… until Friday.  This time, he teamed up with the neighbors dog – I call him “the big bear” – he’s a chocolate brown lab that’s about 1 and 1/2 times bigger than me.  They roamed and ended up somewhere wet, because when Ken called him and he came home, Big Bear was with him and Raleigh was soaked to the skin and MUDDY!  We could only guess that they had been down to the creek.  I couldn’t be mad, I just laughed and secretly thought this lab might have taught my spaniel to swim.

All this excitement got me thinking about my experiences with dogs throughout my life…

When I was little, we lived in the parsonage owned by the church that my dad was the pastor of.  Next door was Strawberry Shortcake – she was a red bulldog of some kind (American or Boxer) – and she was mean.  She’d bark and growl all the time when we’d pull in the driveway or if my toys ended up too close to her fence (thank God for that fence).

Then across the street was Bear, a black Chow.  He belonged to Danny, Melissa, and Dorothy – those are the kids that lived there that I’d play with (they had a trampoline).  Bear wasn’t scary other than his relative size to my 6 year-old body, he was black, and his name was Bear. But the still kept him up when I was over playing.

And on down the road was the Doberman.  I don’t know his name, and didn’t care to.  This dog came running up the road while I was riding my bike.  I was heading up the driveway and he stopped running and looked at me.  I turned my bike around and ended up hitting the broken spot in the drive way and took a spill.  I then ran crying into the house where mom was.  Now, as I think about it, that dog probably didn’t even step one foot in our yard but I was terrified.  Ended up w/ a skint knee and elbow.

After we moved to Georgia, there weren’t any dogs in our neighborhood.  The most interaction I had with dogs was when I was riding to school with my mom.  Over in the next neighborhood, there was a Scottish Terrier that we called “Scottie”.  He always seemed to have on a red bandanna/scarf when we saw him.  And then there was Bubba – a Basset hound.  And every day, sometimes going, sometimes coming home, we’d see them sitting in their respective yards just watching traffic.  And we’d wave and say “Heeeey Scottie”  and “Howdy Bubba”.

It wasn’t until I met the Fredericks that I learned that Dobermans could be sweet pets and are more baby than society gives them credit for.  And it wasn’t until I had to live alone in a big city that I actually entertained the thought of owning a dog – not for protection, but for company.

I have this “ideal pack” in my head of the breeds of dogs I’d like to own.  One small, one medium, and one large – HA!  Ken wants a Great Dane (that would be large), not sure what the small one would be. All at the same time?  Maybe, maybe not.

But for now, I’ll stick with Raleigh – he’s only 10 months old and he’s got a lot more to learn.

And just for fun, here’s a picture of “Raleigh the Rhinoceros”…