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Dogs we have known

January 14, 2009 - Jim Bartholow
Leslie, my wife of 36 years, and I saw “Marley and Me” the other night and it got me thinking about the dogs in my life. First there was Daisy, a kind and gentle collie that my aunt Emily owned. The first dog I remember in my family was Cricket, mostly a beagle. I think my sister Sue got her while attending Ohio U. but somehow she ended up in our family. Cricket was mine. We slept together, watched TV together. She loved to eat my mom's shoes, nobody else's. I was a teen by this time, and kind of a loner. Cricket was nice company. Once I graduated from high school, my mom bonded with Cricket. She also adopted a German shepherd/collie mix named Prince from a relative. Prince was calm, loving and thought he was a lap dog even though he weighed close to 60 pounds. If you were a stranger, you didn’t want to encounter Prince. He was a good watchdog. But if he knew you, poor Prince would lose all control on the porch, or your shoes. Prince and Cricket were buddies for years. As with all of us, they eventually passed before my mom moved from Cleveland to Chicago to be closer to my sister, Sue. As we dated, Leslie’s toy terrier named Sniffer, came into the picture. He didn’t like me much, except when it was time to go out. Whenever we took Sniffer on an errand, or later to our house, he insisted on sitting between us. For good measure, he growled continuously ... at me. Once our first baby arrived, we decided to send Sniffer back to Leslie’s parents, where he eventually passed. They never got another dog after Sniffer. He truly had a special place in their hearts. The same can be said of Pooh Bear, the first dog Leslie and I got on our own as a family. Pooh Bear was abused early on by her previous owner, so much so, that this 12-pound peke-a-poo that never barked, went crazy one day when I picked up a hammer to do a home project. We had Pooh Bear for 18 years. Leslie and Pooh were best buddies. That dog knew when you weren't feeling well or upset. Pooh died five years ago, after both of our children grew up and left home. Her death left a huge hole in our hearts.. We had her cremated and buried her in our front yard with a rose bush by her side. A few months later, we brought Loki into our house. She’s a wire-haired dachshund appropriately named for the Viking god of mischief. Three other dogs are currently in our lives: Brutus, a long-haired dachshund Leslie spotted at the animal shelter during a visit with our son and daughter-in law, Angie. He’s very lovable and I think has a special soft spot for Leslie way back from being found in the shelter. Then there are Latte and Sadie, two big, lovable Labs that belong to our daughter Jana, and son-in-law, Rick. They can’t get enough loving, but I wouldn’t want to be an intruder.


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