Friday, July 27, 2007

Dog Daze

Over my desk I have a picture of Rogue, my old 135lb Rottweiler. He's been off this mortal coil for a couple of years now. The anniversary of his death is coming up in a few weeks. I suppose thats why I've been thinking about dogs gone by.
Rogue was a fine animal... Champion lineage. I hadn't wanted a Rottie, and got duped into it by my girlfriend (later my wife, now my ex). He was a gentle giant, and we were together for 8 1/2 years, 5 cities, 3 states, 2 countries and one wife. He could understand commands in spanish, french, italian, english, german and hand signals. Very few days go by that I don't miss him. The first day we brought him home I awoke from a nap to hear this 12lb ball of black and mahogany fluff growling at a noise in the other room. 6 1/2 weeks old and he was out to protect me. He learned to swim in the ocean when we lived in the Carribean, and after that you couldn't keep him out of the water. After he was older he had some hip issues and I think he liked having the pressure off. I took him to my oldest brother's house on the lake and he spent the first several hours just swimming around the dock in big circles. I taught him a lot of tricks, some of which were fairly subtle, but the one that was best recieved was if you made a thumb/forefinger gun and said "bang" he would drop and roll onto his back with all four feet up.
Prior to him was a 3/4 Lab 1/4 bird dog named Chance. She was a queen. When I had her I didn't have all the languages I had for Rogue, but instead she learned to spell. She loved water and pickup trucks and learned to understand t-u-b, t-r-u-c-k, g-o and r-i-d-e plus a few other words. I could take three balls (or apples, she loved apples) throw them in three different directions and have her bring them back in any order I chose. She could bounce like a kangaroo and once pulled a dove I'd shot out of the air four feet off the ground. Cancer took her in old age and she was going blind. I owe my youngest sister a great deal for being with her since I couldn't.
Then there was Bilbo. A Lab/mutt mix who just wanted to play. He disappeared when I was in my early teens. Followed off a bitch in heat and never came back. I should have learned something about women then, but as intelligent as I am, sometimes I'm not that smart.
Bilbo was the offspring of Lady, a Lab/Doberman mix my dad got from a guy who trained Labs. She was originally a present for my Aunt Elizabeth after my Pop's brother died. She was a bit of a chewer as a puppy, so she became ours. One word for that dog. Loyal. She would stand by you no matter what. She followed my father around the yard and when we went for walks she never went too far off exploring.
And lastly, or I should say firstly since she was the first dog I could call my own, was Tinkerbelle. A small blonde furry mutt. Pop had a friend who everyone called Tink. He was with Pop when he brought the puppy home, and so Ma suggested we name the dog after him (of sorts). Tinkerbelle was a wanderer. she went where she wanted when she wanted. She would go crazy for M&M's and Pop would take us to the country store. He'd hang out inside with his buddies and I'd sit in the back of his old blue and white Chevy Scottsdale pickup and share a 6 1/2oz Coke and a bag of M&M's with my dog. She bit a handful of people... One of my sister's male friends, because she was alone in the house and the dog knew it. My oldest brother (and maybe the younger one too) because he was playing rough with me, and I was squealing. One of Pop's friends because... Well, just because he probably deserved it.
I have had friends who didn't like to call me K-nine, but if I could be half as good as any of the canines I just mentioned, I'd be very good indeed.

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At August 12, 2007 9:48 AM, Blogger LindaSoG said...

sigh. My shepard/dobie mix learned to spell too, s-w-i-m, and she knew we were going swimming. She also learned to close the door, but never with any finesse. She'd just slap at it and slam it closed. I miss her still.

Funny thing about my moosh, give him a bite a steak and he'll pretty much swallow it whole, but give him one M&M and he'll chew it, and chew it, and chew it some more.

My life has been blessed with some good dogs.

At August 14, 2007 6:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention that Chance could find anything that you had touched---in snow---under 3 baskets and pine straw or in 2 or 3 different directions that you threw them on land or in water in the order that you told her. She also liked open doors--no matter which direction they led--she just liked to go through a door--house or car. Dumb! huh? Ma

At August 14, 2007 6:49 PM, Blogger K-nine said...

I know. Chance even found a pair of my Ray Bans 6 months after I dropped them in the snow.

And Rogue would stick his head completely under water and bark.

So many good memories, so many good dogs.


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