Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My Dogs

The first dog my husband and I got was Brenda, a brilliant, deaf dalmatian. We named her that because dalmatians are fire dogs and the name, Brenda, means fiery.  She learned to understand about 300 signs in American Sign Language and taught us about 30 dog signs. She was amazing! A story I wrote about her is in the Chicken Soup for the Soul book, I Can't Believe My Dog Did That.

Then we got another deaf dalmatian as a companion for her, who we named Buttons because his spots looked like buttons. He wasn't as smart as Brenda, but was a great pet.

We had the dalmatians for a long time. Unfortunately neither of us had raised a dog before and we didn't know coffee was poison for dogs. We let them lick coffee off our fingers every morning and both dalmatians died from damaged livers at about 14 years old.

Our next dog was Bungee. We named him that because he was bouncy and his tail had stripes like a bungee cord. The stripes disappeared when he got older. Bungee was a tan, terrier mix and, judging by his long body, short legs, and colors of his undercoat, he was part corgi. Terriers are bred to hunt rodents and corgis are herding dogs. Bungee had an amazing instinct to herd rodents. He'd herd our daughter's guinea pig around the floor and keep it from going under furniture, He'd lick the guinea pig and it would lick him back with its tiny tongue. He also made friends with a squirrel and a racoon.

We got the dog we named George on Washington's birthday as a companion for Bungee. He was a black mongrel who had some sort of brain injury and wasn't very bright. George would jump high into the air and catch flies. Once he caught a bee that stung his tongue, but he was back jumping at flies a minute later.

Both those dogs also died in their teens.

Then my allergist said I could only have a dog that didn't shed. At that time my aunt was terminally ill and asked us to take her dog, a Lhasa Apso named Nicky.  We did, but he only lived for a few years.

Then we got a poodle/bichon-frise mix who we named Suds because her white, curly hair looks like soapsuds. She's smart as a poodle and loves to snuggle for hours like a bichon.

I love Suds and hope she lives for a long time.

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