I never had a dog growing up. The family dog was given away when I was born–that’s in a much earlier blog. I don’t know if my brother ever forgave me for that. I wasn’t nearly as cute as the Scotties that were so popular back then. My younger sister had a short-lived turtle named Tillie and a shorter-lived parakeet she named Budgie. Miracle of miracles, I did get a cat when I was in eighth grade but I never had a dog.
But George had grown up with dogs. When he was in seminary, his sister gave him a puli, which is a Hungarian sheep dog. She raised them. Smart creatures, smarter than their owner plus prehensile paws. She could wrap my arm in her paw and drag it to exactly where she wanted me to scratch. She was grey and furry and just a darling. (But she looked nothing like the gorgeous picture of a beautifully groomed puli at the beginning of this blog.) My first dog–and I had no idea what one did with a dog. This is a picture of twenty-five year old George with his dog.
Andy–her real name was something fancy like Andromeda of Sunny Brook Farm but she was just Andy, the runt of the litter. Because I’d not had a dog before, I was amazed at her loyalty. She wanted to go wherever I went. She wanted to sleep with us. She loved me unconditionally.
We had a double bed. Andy took up a great deal of it. One stormy night, Andy work me up. I thought she needed to go out so I put on my rain coat, snapped the leash on her and took her outside. She looked at me with confusion on her fuzzy face but did her business. An hour later, she woke me up again. The same thing happened: I got up, took her out, she looked confused but was a good dog. I got little sleep that night because she woke me up every hour. Remember, I had no experience with dogs. I just knew I was worn out. George explained the next morning that she was probably afraid of the storm. She didn’t want to go outside. She wanted to be loved and protected–inside but, nonetheless, she went out into the storm because I wanted her to.
Andy had one friend, a dachshund. the two of them would run around the parsonage full steam. However, the dachshund had little short legs, so Andy would lap him. I still remember Andy’s romping, happier than any creature who’s ever lived.
Being a lovely, sweet creature, she forgave me all my sins. She adored me. She followed me everywhere. Since then, we’ve had Bridgette, Ginger, Pepper, Daffy, and Dream, but Andy was the first. Now I live in a apartment and miss everyone of them. I’ll be remembering them and sharing their stories every now and then.
Do you have a story about a pet you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it.
2 thoughts on “I never had a dog”
MIssy was Andy’s dam, a lovely long-haired grey puli (New England was breeding grey pulik at the time until the Hungarians complained bitterly that they were contaminating the breed). She was so sweet and loving but without the puli’s assertiveness. The only award Missy ever got in the ring was a major, and when, puzzled I asked the judge why she was put up, and he said he felt sorry for her. Andy’s father was a black puli with much shorter, denser hair and had some brown going through his coat. We purchased him, with championship lineage, from a lady in Ohio. It turns out that the cross breeding was a disaster. We got a lot of strange coloration and some long and some shorter hair. They could not be shown in the ring, even with AKC papers. The entire litter was sold or given away as pet quality. However, I’m told that all the puppies were wonderfully dispositioned as pets. Needless to say, we never bred Missy or that male again. We paid stud fees to have our black bitch bred to a championship dog in New Hampshire. There was one puppy, a vet fee for the birth, Louise Bedford wouldn’t acknowledge the puppy so Charlie had to be raised by hand. Shortly after that the kennel went out of business. It takes a lot of hutzpah to breed quality dogs. But the Briatpatch pulik still have a place in my heart.
That explains why Andy was brown and gray with a short, white underlayer. Thank you. She was a darling.
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