Pets: Part of the family – Part 1

Seems like we always had a dog or two while I was growing up. My first recollection was a black Cocker Spaniel named Fraps. He originally belonged to my cousin,who lived next door, but when they moved away the dog stayed on with us.

After Fraps was struck and killed by a truck, my Dad brought home a male beagle pup named Lucky, he was a hunting dog and not really pet to play with. I remember he had very sad eyes and a very cold nose. In the early 60’s my dad moved our family to a farm in the country. He was a bit worried about city life in the town we were born in. He also believed that it would be healthier for us heart and soul to live off the land. It was then my father decided to raise Beagles for hunting out on that old farm.

The first dog was named Max, and he was to be in my Dad’s eyes the “mother of all hunting dogs”. I still can remember clearly the day my dad and my brother went off over the hill at that old farm with Max in tow.. The weather was chilly and wet, and I worried about Max getting cold and dirty. Feeling sad for Max, I told my mom that someday I would have a big old dog and a little red convertible. My dog would not be required to do anything but be my friend. Hearing the first shot fired from the 4-10 shot gun and hearing the howl of Max getting closer and closer to the house. I thought he was chasing the squirrel my Dad tried to shoot. Max howled all the way home, he was what they call “Gun Shy” a hunter’s worse nightmare. I ran out to meet Max at the gate and he nearly knocked me over trying to get to the house. That day Max became the “family pet”. No longer would he be required to hunt.

Oh my Dad had other “hunting dogs” but Max was our pet dog for the rest of his life. When I married and started my family, I did not “require” a pet, I was too busy trying to be a wife, mother, chief cook and bottle washer.

At age 40, my husband a police officer by profession decided he wanted a German Sheppard for “his” dog. A fellow police officer’s parents owned a kennel with German Sheppard’s, and suggested we call his father and set up an appointment.

If you have never visited one of “these” places, let me give you a little insight. Do NOT get out of your vehicle. Wait until the owners come to you. When my husband and I pulled into the drive way, the car was surrounded by roaming K-9s. The true beauty of these dogs was momentarily lost in the fear welling up in my throat.

When the owner came to the car,

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