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It was all so predictable...
Old 03-29-2017, 07:02 PM   #1
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It was all so predictable...

The cold seemed to be intensified by the snow squall; the large flakes filled the air, and were coming down sideways. When I pulled up to the curb there was my future father-in-law under dressed in what looked like a lettermen's jacket, walking their snauzer Brandy. No gloves - he never wore them. I don't think the guy owned a proper winter coat. It was as if a guy from Florida couldn't understand the need for them. He looked cold and I felt cold looking at him. The vision of him walking that dog in the windy, cold, snowy day stayed with me ever since. I told myself no dogs for me.

It happened to me like it has happened to dads for ever; the kids wanted a dog and I wanted to move. A deal was struck if we moved there would be a pool and a dog. We moved and there was a pool but I was always was able to delay that dog. Then the inevitable showdown came "You promised" and I was done - it was I triple dog dare of fatherhood and I had no choice. Left to their own devices the Mrs and the kids would have went with one of the fru fru breeds. That wasn't going to happen so I stepped in and we compromised and settled on a labradoodle that we found online -supposedly low shedders. We drove to Lancaster to an Amish farm where the farmer slid open the barn door and put the light on his buggy on to illuminate some very large white puppies blocked in by hay bales. How to choose? I thought take the one that comes out the furthest. Which is exactly what we did 11 years ago.

I won't belabor their promises to care for the mutt or my pointing out how dogs limit travel because you know how that went. I have to call when we are away for more then three or four hours have you walked the dog?

Dusty is asleep on the couch next to me snoring (louder lately) 70lbs of white fur. We will be going for her evening walk after some time after 9. When we come back in I'll refill her water bowl because if I don't she'll wake me at 4AM. Some where in the past 10 years she learned to bang on an empty bowl. She'll stay down with the Mrs for a little while then I'll hear her come into our room and she'll find her bed and make a ruckus settling in. Some time after 5:30 AM I'll hear her collar ringing in the hall when she starts shaking her head. Time to get up old man. I'll go down and make my coffee and be lucky to get a few swallows before she comes down looking for her morning scratch and a walk.

I guess kids always get their parents dogs...I think I knew that.
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Old 03-29-2017, 07:29 PM   #2
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I lost my old pal about 18 months ago. Still miss her, at times, but have resisted the urge to get a new dog. The reality is that a dog would fit nicely into about 40% if my life, and for the rest of it either I would be inconvenienced to some degree, or the dog would not be getting all of the attention he/she deserved.
But they are great pals, great companions, and truly, IMO a gift from God to humanity.
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Old 03-29-2017, 07:30 PM   #3
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great story.
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Old 03-29-2017, 07:55 PM   #4
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When I was 5 Pops got me a dog. Ma didn't want no dogs, they shed, were messy, destroyed stuff...

But I was an only child and Pops thought I should have a dog. So we did.

When that dog died it was Ma that drove to the city pound not Pops. Me and Ma. And we brought home our second dog.

I was at school and Pops was at work and Ma was home with the dog. And where do dogs like to be? Yeah, close to you. And when they're not there anymore it leaves a big hole. That needs to be filled.

It's been a long string of dogs for me and I don't see it ending anytime soon. The pain of losing them is great but the pain of not having one is worse.

I've lived with dogs since I was 5 and me thinks I'm be living with dogs till I die.
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:32 PM   #5
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I've lived with dogs since I was 5 and me thinks I'm be living with dogs till I die.

I think that's a great idea...
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:35 PM   #6
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Thanks for the great story Ray. We have three dogs at the moment, I don't see our lives ever without 1 or more dogs. All of our dogs are 50-85 lbs currently, we are bigger dog people.
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:42 PM   #7
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We drove to Lancaster to an Amish farm where the farmer slid open the barn door and put the light on his buggy on to illuminate some very large white puppies blocked in by hay bales.
The Amish run many of the puppy mills. They are notorious for that and then abandoning the females when are no longer of use. Not my favorite people.



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I've lived with dogs since I was 5 and me thinks I'm be living with dogs till I die.
Just make sure you know someone who will take the dog when you die.
In just the 2.5 years I have been volunteering at the no-kill rescue, I have seen more than what I want to see with dogs whose humans died or went to a nursing home, but no family member would take the dog. The lucky ones end up at our rescue. The unlucky ones end up at high-kill shelter.
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:45 PM   #8
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Present girlfriend is 10 years younger than me -
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:56 PM   #9
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Just make sure you know someone who will take the dog when you die. In just the 2.5 years I have been volunteering at the no-kill rescue, I have seen more than what I want to see with dogs whose humans died or went to a nursing home, but no family member would take the dog. The lucky ones end up at our rescue. The unlucky ones end up at high-kill shelter.
I've already informed DW that like the Egyptian emperors of old, I expect to have her and my dogs buried alive with me. She said she'd be sure to take care of that for me.
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Old 03-29-2017, 09:19 PM   #10
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fearful of the same situation, I required my daughter to sign a contract prior to getting the dog. She would be the ultimate responsible teenager, taking care of all of the dog's needs, leaving me to go about my business at home. it lasted 6 months. by then, I too was trapped by my affection for the animal, and she remained with us for 14 years, long after my daughter had moved out. although we have sworn off animals from here on out, we miss her terribly. my daughter, meantime, has 2 daughters and one full time dog and one part time dog that they sit for.
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Old 03-29-2017, 09:23 PM   #11
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I, too will always have dogs. Perhaps the next two will not be as big as the current ones. At 72 and 95 lbs, they can be hard to handle at the end of a leash. Can't imagine life without my dogs!
The cutie that is my avatar is a little girl, about 72 lbs!
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Old 03-29-2017, 09:29 PM   #12
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Spouse brought home a puppy once. Someone talked her into it while riding the Frankford El. Son had allergic attack, and I'm not sure where the pup went.

Daughter wanted a pup for 25 years. Went to Lancaster and brought home a Cavapoo. Pup got me through long layoffs, lots of walks, and many hours in the recliner.

They've moved on. See them both once or twice a month.

I don't miss the walks, but have put on weight.

Here she is, in the recliner next to me. One of her favorite spots. Mine too.
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Old 03-29-2017, 10:00 PM   #13
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We have two smaller dogs. Great companions, we walked a couple of miles today. We've been fortunate to have a few great dogs.

Years ago DW came home intoxicated, her girlfriend dropped her off. She had a baby pot bellied pig with her. I let her take it to bed as it was easier than arguing with a drunk.

The next morning at daybreak that piglet was in my DW'S face. Ugh, ugh and rooting the sheets. The look on her face was totally amazed as the pig was looking directly in her eyes from 12" away. She was kinda hung over from the night before and the pig in the face was an excellent reminder.

The pig lived with us for several years. A brilliant creature, house broken and very attentive. A lap pig, loved to be scratched, her squeal never to be ignored.

She could make DW go absolutely nutty begging for food. That pig could make DW bat sht crazy in three minutes. It generally takes me fifteen.

We eventually re-homed her with our dog groomer. She and the pig were very happy.

I'm glad I lived with a pig, they're pretty smart.
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Old 03-29-2017, 10:16 PM   #14
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Boy a house is not a home without a Golden

Virtually our whole married life we have had a Golden. First Buster, who was my pal right beside me as I started my business. That dog could sniff out a 3 day old taco under a pile of lumber. We lost Buster on his 15.5 birthday. We went over a year without a dog. It was awful

Finally picked up a rescue from a Golden rescue outfit. Then we fostered Goldens for them. Which led to our 2nd Golden..a failed foster is what they call it. He's Momma's boy. I'll call him..nada. Mommy calls him and he's right there.

So our routine is i get out around 6:00-7:00 am and walk all of us over to the park. Race home and get breakfast. Then I read the paper online and we settle in with a cup of coffee. Then if I'm not fast enough getting my bagel they wander over and start barking.

We are going on a 3 week trip. I had to say goodbye to them this am. Mrs Scrapr says no more dogs after these 2. I'm not sure I can do that
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Old 03-29-2017, 10:31 PM   #15
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Everyone tells me I need a dog. I don't need no stinking dog!
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Old 03-29-2017, 10:38 PM   #16
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OK. For the rest of the story.

DS had asthma really bad when he was small, so it didn't look like a dog for the kids. Then on a trip across Eastern Utah, we stopped at a barren roadside stop and a puppy about 5 inches long crawled out from the only bush around. We had her until she was almost 18. Did the "kids and Mom will care for her" thing. That meant I cleaned up after her and took her for walks for about 18 years. She died about 3 years ago. Haven't relented to everyone trying to get me another dog yet!
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Old 03-29-2017, 11:38 PM   #17
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OK. For the rest of the story.

DS had asthma really bad when he was small, so it didn't look like a dog for the kids. Then on a trip across Eastern Utah, we stopped at a barren roadside stop and a puppy about 5 inches long crawled out from the only bush around. We had her until she was almost 18. Did the "kids and Mom will care for her" thing. That meant I cleaned up after her and took her for walks for about 18 years. She died about 3 years ago. Haven't relented to everyone trying to get me another dog yet!
but Hermit...They're so CUTE!!!!
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Old 03-29-2017, 11:50 PM   #18
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My mom said that my first spoken words as a baby were "I want a dog," but she didn't like dogs, so it took me until I was 14 or 15 to wear her down. We finally got one and a couple of years later, when I went off to college, I wanted to take my dog, but my mom said "no" and told me to get my own dog. Neither one of us has been without a dog since.

Our older girl had the dreaded bloat this last weekend. We spent a very non-LBYM amount of money at the emergency vet and didn't think about it twice. She's doing fine after surgery.
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Old 03-30-2017, 02:00 AM   #19
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We started our marriage with a dog (hers a terripoo), and after a few kids, we added a GSD. We went for a month without, before getting another GSD (was in the works before we lost the second). A couple of years later, we added a Bichon Friese and then our Golden Retriever. We rescued an older GSD, so at our height, we had 4 dogs for about a year and a half. Then we lost one each year over 3 years, which was hard to take.

Our Golden tried her best to be everybody's dog while she was alone, doing her best to fill in the voids. Her biggest bond was with our youngest, as she would jump up and give him a hug every time he returned from college. A couple of months after we lost the last, another GSD was rescued. He was an escape artist and I spent 2-3 years escape-proofing our backyard (he liked to say hi to other dogs and occasionally tree a bear).

Last July, we lost our Golden to heart failure. Our away kids came home to say goodbye, as she was a very special loving dog (probably all Goldens are). So now, we're down to our last GSD, who hasn't adjusted to being an only dog. Unfortunately, his time is short as he's come down with Degenerative Myelopathy, probably won't see 2018.

Once our last GSD is gone, we'll likely go without for a few years to make longer travel easier. I do see us getting another Golden at some point, plus a smaller dog for the wife. As others have said, a dog makes a home. I hope we'll be able to survive those few years of travel.
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Old 03-30-2017, 04:20 AM   #20
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We really enjoy being pet free. I love cats, but my prior cat, who lived to 21, did make spontaneous travel difficult, and we felt bad about leaving her in her old age when we started traveling more. So when she passed, we decided no more.

Most of our Winter Texan neighbors have dogs. They travel by car or RV and take their pets with them when they go, whether it's touring for the summer or returning to their "regular" home. I guess flying off for two weeks in Hawaii is not so easy unless they are willing to put their pets somewhere and I get the impression that most don't take those kinds of trips.

Maybe a lot of them took to RVing in the first place so they could more easily travel with their pets......
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