Country Gal by Vanita Blundell 6-20-06
It makes you wonder how dogs have survived as long as they have. My dogs seem to be --delicate-- sensitive -- allergy ridden--. Most of you know that I am in the process of raising Great Danes dogs. I am not convinced that pure bred dogs are as healthy as a plain ol’ mutt. I think that it must be the money. As I was growing up we had just plain ol’ dogs who seem to get along just fine- Well, that is not entirely true. I think that since they were either strays or give a ways and we always knew there were more where they come from. We did lose many dogs but I remember my growing up years by what dog we had. We did have a few pure-bred dogs we had a cocker spaniel, rat terrier, and border collies. Dad had a habit of naming any animal we had after the people that we got them from unless we could come up with a better name. Sometimes we named them by the way they were colored or marked- like Dottie, Blackie, Bobbi- we had one solid black border collie that Dad named- but because that name is something we do not say anymore as it is offensive to a particular group of people.
We had several cows that Dad had bought from Homer Reynolds and we called all of them Homer.
My earliest memory of a dog was a little rat terrier. We got her from Boz Richardson- we named her Pinkie because you could see her pink skin through her hair. We lost her when she came home with three punctures in her sides- we guessed it was a hawk or other predatory bird. I was heart-broken when she died. I had my singing debut the first and only time I sang at a funeral. The funeral was attended by only Dad and I. Dad dug a hole to bury her and put her little body in a wheel barrow and I followed behind singing ‘Where Oh Where has my Little Dog Gone’. I sang and Dad and I both cried as he plopped her in the hole and covered her up. That was my first experience with death that I remember. I have always felt that it is good for kids to have pets so they can have some idea of death. I would hate to think that the first time I knew of a fatality would have been a dear friend or a family member.
We had one dog that took up with the milk cow and preferred her company to ours. He would go out every morning and come in every evening with her, and he slept right by the cow in the barn every night until one fateful day he did not come in one evening.
We had several dogs that met their demise by chasing cars and trucks. We had a wonderful border collie named Happy who got ran over the County Gravel truck. I think that is was John Black who was the driver and he stopped and told us he was so sorry. We felt bad that he felt bad. It was a sad day, but if dogs insist on chasing vehicles it is more than likely that is what is going to happen. We lost a couple of dogs that way.
But the dog I grew up with was a little mutt Vickie brought home to me. I named him Snoopy- he lived until after I left home. He survived many difficulties- He chased and killed chickens which was and still is, a bad, bad thing for a farm dog to do. My brother Virgil and my cousin, Johnny caught him in the act of killing a hen they spanked him and threw him over the fence and broke his leg. Mom, Dad and I were not at home at the time. Virgil felt so awful about hurting the little chicken killer that they gave up their evening to take Snoop to Doc Allen and had his leg set. It was not long until Snoopy pulled the cast off and he healed up just fine, anyway- Ok so - he might have healed at little crooked but it never seemed to bother him. But he never chased another chicken again.
Dad got a dog from Carl Keesee it was a black lab cross. Dad ran over him with the pick up and horse trailer. If that was not bad enough the trailer was loaded with cattle at the time. It should have killed him but he lived-without a Vet bill. However, life was not the same for Blackie.
Years ago our dogs were lucky if they got vaccinated for rabies. Now we worry about every lump or bump they get. My dogs have gone to the Vet as much or more often than my kids went to the Doctor. I don’t know about you but maybe life really has gone to the dogs.