Wednesday, August 23, 2006


When I was growing up, dogs were dogs and they were treated like dogs. How should be dogs treated? Well, mostly they sleep outside or in the garage, eat table scraps, learn to bark at strangers, and if they bite anyone, they're sent to Uncle Ed's ranch to live out the rest of their years.

We had a few dogs while I was growing up, Duffy, Topsy (who went to my grandmother's house when I became negligent in picking up her scat), Bitsy and Tirzah. They lived a dog's life.

As my parents got on in life, they had three more dogs at various times. Kimba, Rags and Dough-gee. It was always to my amazement that they let the dogs do what my brother and I couldn't do in the house. Like getting up on the couch (equivalent to putting your feet up on the couch with your shoes on or being really dirty and sitting on the couch). Or sleeping on or in mom and dad's bed (something as kids we were never allowed to do). And how about being allowed to kiss dad on the lips. I well remember the last time I did that and was told that I was too old to kiss dad that way. Each of the dogs got outstanding medical care and if I asked my brother, he would most likely agree that the care that we got growing up paled in comparison.

Candace couldn't stand to be around the family dogs. They jumped up on her, smelled her crotch and shed hairs all over her clothes. So, we had cats (and that's a whole 'nother story) instead of dogs. The kids liked cats so this arrangement in lieu of having a dog worked out well.

After swearing for so many years that we would never have a dog, along came Jilli. It was by chance one day that I was visiting the school office and the father of one of our students was there holding an 8 week old Pomeranian puppy. She was black in color and she was so cute that she took my heart away. The man holding the puppy gave me the telephone number of the breeder. I made the call and was told that they had one female puppy left. When I arrived at the breeder's home I was shown where the last puppy was. There was the last female puppy, laying on her tummy, face between her paws and taking everything in with her big chocolate colored eyes.

I was just as taken with this puppy as I was with the one in the office. Candace was away on business so I waited until she came home to announced, "I have a surprise for you." Not knowing what the surprise was, we drove over to the breeders. Long story short, Candace would not leave without the puppy. We bought the puppy but the breeder would not allow us to take her unti she had a chance to check out our home. She wanted nothing but the best for her puppies.

We picked out some long name that include Jillianna in it to satify registration requirements with the AKC.

For a while Jilli slept down stairs in her kennel surrounded by a little metal fence to keep her contained. Before we turned the lights out each night, we'd read in bed, watch a little television and of course have Jilli on the bed. When it was time for lights out one of us would take her downstairs and put her to bed. Before long, Jilli began protesting when she was put to bed - just like a toddler protests. She would bark and bark. During one of these fits we put her back in bed with us and that was the end of it.

Jilli has been a bedpartner for more than 7 years. Like mom and dad, this is something we would have never allowed our kids to do. She usually sleeps like pack animals do, cuddled up next to another pup in the litter (that would be me) or on top of the pack of pups (that would also be me). There are nights when I sleep on my stomach and then when I attempt to turn over I get stopped dead in my tracks because the dog is inbetween my legs, sleeping on top of the blanket which firmly pins me in position. Sometimes I think that I'm nuts to put up with this. Okay, I'm nuts.

Jilli still has fits, especially when I walk out the door and get into the truck without taking her along. She barks and barks and barks at me. Or if I won't play ball with her I get barked at. I sometimes wonder what she's saying to me when she barks like that. I can only guess.

The two dogs, Jilli and Zoe (in the picture - larger dog is Jilli) are like two good friends who love us unconditionally. Jilli has been with us during the times when our parents passed away. She was great comfort not only to Candace and I but to our kids as well. Both dogs are now like family - and right up there in our hearts right along with our kids. Posted by Picasa


Max said...

Ahhh.. That was smart to not buy the dog before she came back.

Bob said...

That was one of my better moves.

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States