It’s a dog’s world

Castlegar News bi-weekly columnist looks at canine-related events from her past

I love dogs. In fact, many of my earliest memories involve dogs. I think I was about six when I first met my grandmother’s two Pomeranians. Funny thing is, I can’t remember their names, but I haven’t forgotten how very spoiled they were. Yes. Spoiled. As in rotten.

Grandma was a hefty Swedish woman, who although probably only 50 or so at the time, looked every part the grandma right down to her homemade apron, heavy black, no-nonsense shoes, and her silver hair coiled back into a bun at the nape of her neck. We had gone to visit her for the first time ever in Fort Frances, Ontario.

It seems that all I ever saw grandma doing was baking or cooking. Her two dogs would wait patiently beside her for “accidental” droppings. They never went away hungry…ever.

I remember the first time grandma set the supper table while we were visiting. Even at age six I knew that seven (in my family) and two (she and grandpa) equals nine. So why were there 11 place settings? Uh huh.

Apparently the two extra settings were for the dogs, which just happened to have their own chairs, and evidently their very own place settings at the table. Just as supper was being put on the table, as if on cue, those two dogs jumped up on their assigned chairs and awaited their meal!

Throughout the years we owned many dogs. There was poor Tiger, who had the bad and unfortunate habit of chasing cars. Not a good idea.

Then we had Mike. He was a Gordon Setter. We got him as a puppy and that dog was loved and adored. Well, maybe not so much when he exhibited some very bad behavior. For some reason, the sound of a ringing phone would send him scurrying to the closest leg available and (I will leave it at that).Unfortunately, there came the day when my dad’s boss came to supper. All was well until the phone rang and Mike’s closest victim was… you-know-who.

Then I had Sebahka (sorry if I spelled that wrong), which is the Russian word for dog. Clever huh? Sebahka, too, had the bad habit of escaping the house and playing in traffic. R.I.P. (Sorry kids – I know we told you a kinder story than that.)

Then along came three Cocker Spaniels into my life. I love Spaniels. They are such a soft, loving and gentle breed.

After the last one passed away I swore I would never own another dog as the heartbreak of losing your pet and best friend is almost too much to bear. Besides that, my husband and I are too impromptu (and now, a wee bit selfish). A dog would hamper us. But sometimes life has other plans. We have two friends from Illinois and they are parents to a Brittany spaniel named Annie.

From the minute I met Annie I fell in love with her. She is smart, loving and funny. Best of all, I could love on her all I want without any of the responsibilities. I guess that love for Annie was fairly obvious to our friends. One morning, while having breakfast together, my friend Rose set down her fork, acquired a serious look on her face and said, “Ken and I were talking and we’d like to ask you a question.”

Oh boy. Here it comes, I thought. The honeymoon is over.

“Yes?” I said.

“If something happens to me and Ken would you guys take Annie? I can see how much you love her,” she replied.

Immediately we replied, “Of course.”

There we were, two footloose and fancy-free adults who wholly and willingly agreed to take their dog should the need arise.

Now, I don’t wish my good friends dead, but I smile to think about Annie possibly being in our lives. I’ve missed having a dog. That being said, I now can’t stop looking at every puppy up for adoption.