Wednesday, July 16, 2014

It's (Almost) Another Shoebox Day

... but not quite.  The bits by Mia, first:

Which made me think of my dearly departed puppehs, which, in turn, made me think of this post:


Apropos of nothing…except for the fact that there’s waaay too many frickin’ cat pictures on these here inter-tubes…here are a few pics of my late, lamented puppies. Late is an understatement: the last of these old ladies left this life back in 1996, well over ten years ago. I’ve been dog-less ever since, mostly because having a dog is semi-incompatible with my lifestyle. Yes, people who live in RVs own dogs. I’m more than aware of the fact. But a dog is a big commitment, and I tend to be commitment-averse these days. Let’s leave it at that… and get on with the biographies. 

First…FiFi La Bonne, otherwise known as The World’s Ugliest Dog. She was a mixed-breed terrier and was so damned ugly she was cute. She was also a hunter extraordinaire, and was one of the few dogs I’ve ever seen who could run down a squirrel and kill it. Which she did about two or three times a year when I lived in Michigan, always making sure to bring The Second Mrs. Pennington and I some sort of trophy from the kill. We really appreciated that, ya know. She was also quite adept at assassinating gophers and moles. The gopher-hunting wasn’t nearly as popular with me, as she tended to dig huge holes in my yard in pursuit of her underground quarries. When I say “huge,” I mean bomb-shelter huge. Large enough for me to drive my riding lawn mower into one of the holes and flip the mower over on its side. That huge.

I wish the above photo of FiFi in the snow was better… she had the strangest habit of burrowing in deep snow, and it was a hoot to watch. She’s pictured after coming up from one such snow-burrowing exercise. FiFi came to live with TSMP and I while we were in Oklahoma (around 1984, or so) and lived with us until 1996, when TSMP put her down due to complications associated with old age.

And then there’s Bōgus Dōgus, who was a Lab/Border Collie cross. TSMP and I got Dogus shortly after we arrived in England in 1980, and she was with us for 16 years. She was my favorite, even though she was TSMP’s dog first and foremost. That dog was crazy… in that she had this “thing” for food. The “thing” being she’d eat anything that wouldn’t eat her first. Anything. Everything. Including, on at least two occasions, an entire loaf of bread… snatched off the table once and out of a bag of groceries another time, and consumed within 45 seconds. The first time she wolfed down a loaf of bread I thought she was gonna explode from the resulting bloat and gas. I had to put her outside until the gas went away, for what should be obvious reasons. But not until such time as she laid at my feet… moaning, farting, and generally making life uncomfortable for everyone within ten feet of her.

This is also the dog who tried to commit suicide by leaping off a bridge in Wales. If we hadn’t had her on a leash she would have died in the fall to the river and it was a near-run thing, anyway. Have you ever tried to pull a strangling dog over a bridge railing? It’s not easy, Gentle Reader. As to why she jumped… I have NO earthly idea. I said she was crazy.

Lastly we have Fritzi Ritz, a German Shepard cross. Crossed with what breed is unknown, but a cross she was…and she was small for a Shepard. Fritzi had all the good traits of a Shepard… intelligence, loyalty, and beauty. She also suffered from hip dysplasia, which eventually got so bad we had to put her down. Fritzi was the alpha female, as might be imagined, and kept the other two dogs in line. The first pic was taken in Oklahoma, the second in Ferndale, MI.

Each dog was a mutt; I’ve never owned a pure-bred dog. Further, two of the three were “rescued” dogs. TSMP was active in a dog rescue organization when we lived in Oklahoma; FiFi and Fritzi arrived in our household via that organization. All three dogs slept in the bed with TSMP and me, and they each had their places…never varying position from night to night. You might think things would get a bit crowded, but it really wasn’t. They were very discreet Old Ladies, too, always being considerate enough to give us our space when it was time for TSMP and me to play. It's a great good thing dogs don't talk. Coz those dogs could have told some stories, Gentle Reader.
This is the fourth time I've posted this old chestnut, having put it up in 2008, 2009, and 2010.  I think we've exceeded the useful life of this post now.  But I STILL miss my puppehs!


  1. OK, I didn't take the bait in the previous posts, but I will now. My first dog as a child was a small mutt terrier mix of some sort we named "Lady." Later we got a Beagle with four white feet we named "Socks." but he kept running away/incessantly howling so we took him back to the Beagle farm from whence he came--and he ran away from that! My final dog before college was a female collie we named "Susie" but she became my Fathers dog and even used to follow him out to campus where she became quite a hit with the co-eds. Dad and she used to stretch out on the floor together with her head on his chest as they watched TV together. I didn't have another dog until I got married., where "our" first dog was a German Shepard/terrier(?) mix we named "John Phillips Snoozer" Later in Louisville we acquired a female Doberman named Gretchen from a couple that was moving to Alaska and didn't want the trouble of shipping her, etc. She used to sleep in bed with our young child with a protective leg and paw over his chest, lol. I used to take her one street over to Central Park and let her run free--talk about a mild panic! LOL. Our last dog was a pure-bred (with papers) black Chow out of a Grand Champion in Oklahoma. Talk about a great guard dog! She would check out every room in the house on patrol before bedding down at night. Away from the house she was docile to strangers, but on our property? God forbid.. The Chinese knew what they were doing when they bred for a house guardian! We named her Tchoupitoulas (after the street in New Orleans named for the Louisiana Indian Tribe) "Chop" for short, lol. She has been gone some 15 years now. We've been traveling too much between Louisiana and SoCal for a dog, but that looks like its about to change, so we're mulling over the choices..

    1. Wow. You've had some dogs now, haven't you? I thought about gettin a dog after I moved out of ECMdP, but then I found out my landlord has a "no pets" policy. So much for that...

  2. PS, Let me tell you how smart "Chop" was:

    When she first saw a "talking head" news-caster in our TV in our amoire in our den she walked around the sides of it and behind looking for the rest of the body, LOL! And you simply COULD NOT fool her into taking her worm pills (she hated them) by mixing it with her food. She would tease it out and separate it every time. When we first returned to Louisiana from Louisville we lived in a home in Lake Charles that had a glass enclosed breeze-way that connected the main house with what had been the garage, but had been made into a den/bath xtra bedroom. There was a set of two French doors in the exact center of the breeze-way that opened onto the new driveway on one side, the KOI pond & garden on the other and served as the primary entrance to the house (functionally speaking) via the breeze-way. After her security detail at night she would bed down in the exact center of the breeze-way at the door entrance so as to be able to view/confront anyone approaching. This was a placement that she, herself, chose, not us. (would rest there during the day, also) NO ONE was going to sneak up on our "Chop." lol! "Smarter than the average Bear" as they say, lol. And cat owners beware! She was death on cats. Caught her with one in her throat once choking it to death--had to pry her jaws loose, lol.

    1. Wow. She really was a helluva dog. My dogs were dumb as rocks... but they had their moments.

  3. One never tires of puppeh stories. Ever.

    1. But the same one, over and over?


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