The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.


on February 16, 2012


I love them, whether large or small, upper, middle or lower class. I’m now without one and miss those fellas. When I was a child we owned a few. Tiger, the brindle Great Dane, gentle as they come, towered over me when he stood on his hind legs. I diligently fed him a pound of horse meat every day. A Spaniel called Sniff detested all males: used the doorways as his fire hydrant every time Dad entered the house. Rocky was well named. His goal was to bring home every rock he could find. Our yard couldn’t be mowed without first building an igloo of stone.

Many years later the first dog I had was a dachshund.  She came to me at the same  time I came home from the hospital with a new baby – a baby she detested. I learned from her the true meaning of jealousy.  She’d dig into the diaper pail, drag out a dirty diaper and hide it – hide it in places she knew I couldn’t get to – under the refrigerator – behind the toilet. So upset was I with her antics that I’ve forgotten her name.

Then along came Heidi, a yellow LabradorI stole for $25 from some farmer I once stumbled across.  One day I made the mistake of leaving a bowl of bread dough to rise and left the house for a few hours. When I returned, I found Heidi flat on her back, her tummy swollen to the size of a basketball and an empty bowl.  I  threw a blanket around her and raced to the vet midst about six feet of snow.  He called me the following day and said, “I have been a vet for 30 yeas and I have never seen a case like this. Your dog is drunk out of its doggie mind.”  The yeast had turned to alcohol and Heidi was on I.V. for three days.

She was later followed by another yellow Lab whom I couldn’t find when I came home one day.  My son later found her in the back yard, dead under some bushes at the back of the yard.  An evil neighbor had thrown a poisoned piece of salami over the fence.  Shortly thereafter that neighbor moved away and a few months later I was gratified to discover the house to which he moved had burned down.

Appropriately naming a dog is tricky. I met a beautiful Boxer the other day and was appalled to learn her name was Candy. She should have been called Princess.  Cutsy names ought not be given to regal canines. A Dalmatian called Spot is redundant and reflects an unimaginative owner. To name a Malamute Snowy is just as bad; worse is calling a Poodle Frenchie. Dogs deserve names befitting their dignity

Dogs are ignorant of our faults. They posses beauty without vanity,  strength without insolence, courage without ferocity and the virtues of man without his vices. They commit no sins. They are loyal to a fault;  greet you gleefully each time you come home, care naught about wealth or status;  will admire the meanest of men. They ask only to be loved and fed  A man’s goal in life ought to be to become as good a person as his dog thinks he is.

When you’re feeling blue a dog doesn’t try to find out why. Instead of scolding you when you make a fool of yourself he’ll make a fool of himself too.  A dog can express more with his tail in seconds than his owner can express with his tongue in hours: he laughs with that tail. For a child, he is the god of frolic, a master at playing tug-o-war. He teaches children responsibility, is an excellent role model for sharing

Dogs are not permitted where I now live so I have a calico cat instead. She’s warm and friendly and often jumps on my lap for a scratch, curls up to sleep with me at night. She’s occasionally amusing and sometimes destructive but she’s the epitome of dumb – can’t be taught anything, She doesn’t bark either.  Charlie Brown got it right: “Happiness is a warm puppy”

Julie Rose


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