Saturday, March 22, 2008


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.


  1. Oh, Buck,

    what great stories about your pups. We have a maniac. She is not a mutt, she is a shih tsu and right now in need of a a full grooming. Usually I do it, have so since we got her 18 months ago, but now she has an appt on the 2nd to go to the Beauty Salon to have the works done....If she knew how to be excited about this, I am unsure who would be more excited about it, her or I......I will have to take a picture of her now, full of fur and sap from having full rhein of the yard and then afterwards when I will once again force her back into the house. I miss her so, but her jumping all over me hurts.....I think she needs prozac!

    lol ~ASW

  2. LOVE the pics and stories - they are all so completely loveable looking, and they look well-loved too.

    Wish we could have fur-babies. I loves me animals in a big way, but sadly along with this all-consuming love of the fur-babies, I have an all-consuming allergy to all of them. I can take cats & dogs in small doses at someone else's house...but can't ever have them at my own.

    So I live vicariously thru the cats & dogs of my friends - and happily add these to my list, even if they have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

  3. Buck, thanks for your dogs you loved and who loved you. The devotion of the animals we support for their life time speaks worlds about our thiking and caring. Congratulations.

  4. I love the dog pics. Fifi reminds me of a dog that we called "Larry Ugly". As you said, so ugly they are cute. When I saw the picture of Fritzi, I thought you had something on her head - like antlers. Pretty funny!

    I need to post some dog pics - especially Zoe who is now taller than me when standing on her hind legs.

  5. Great dog tales... "Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace." - Milan Kundera

  6. I love dogs. I am a dog person. Great stories and pictures. Your choice of names is interesting. But they are good names.

  7. FiFi was NOT ugly. I've seen many uglier dogs than that. The loaf of bread story had me laughing out loud. I had a dog once, part irish setter and part something else. Cute dog, but the farting..... OMG, wake me up out of a sound sleep and I sleep VERY soundly.

  8. I love to hear dog stories. I've had a few myself, but until I was nearly grown. My dad didn't like dogs. He'd had some bad experiences with them as a child.

  9. I agree, too blame many cats...thank you for the doggie pictures Buck!

  10. Hope you're having a great Easter holiday.

    The best to you and yours on this day.

  11. What a lovely collection of bitches. It's actually good of you to forego the pleasure of dog companionship rather than to give one short-shrift - it's a huge commitment on the part of the Master(or it SHOULD be).

    They are all quite lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Awww, those dogs stories and pics are great!
    As you know, I'm a dog person.
    Fifi looks amazingly like a dog I had named Ernie. We also said that he was so ugly he was cute and had no idea what he was exactly, some terrier mutt. My dad brought him home from the bar when I was 6 (hence being named after the Sesame Street character) and he died when I was in college. He loved to fish, and would bark when the bobber went down. What a great dog.

  13. Thanks, all y'all. I was beginning to think the 'net consisted solely of cat lovers, LOL! Well, except for a lot of y'all who have also posted pics of your pups!

    I still miss my dogs terribly, even considering the fact it's been such a long time since they were with me. These last ten-plus years are the longest I've ever gone without canine companionship.

  14. I can understand how you miss them still. I went for ten years after my best dog friend died before I got another one, then two. Both just found us by fate, I guess. It is a full-time commitment though, no doubt about it.


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