since I’m out of the usual update material and it’s been a while, I thought I’d write about my latest research subject.

as you know, jellybean and I have been testing the waters in preparation for getting a dog. After seeing other people’s pets, doing a little breed research, and watching the Dog Whisperer, I started to realize I wanted to do some things differently with a new dog.

but before I talk about that I’d like to share some stories on previous dogs in my life..

My first dog was Bobby. That particular shivering black terrier mix was brought to us by a farmer on the outskirts of town. Bobby had wandered into the farm yard, probably abandoned on a highway by his former owner and left to his own devices.

Looking back I really don’t remember much about him, just mostly his unfortunate habit of chewing up this or that. He was put to sleep a few years later, when he contracted a disease at his groomer’s. The vet noticed many  open wounds the groomer admitted were "grooming mistakes".  That grooming business quickly closed – I’ve heard our complaint wasn’t the only one against them.

Many months went by when my mom got a phone call from the farmer again. He called us to ask if our dog had gotten loose and perhaps came to visit.  She replied that no, Bobby was dead for some time, but went out anyways to see the little fellow who showed up at the farm. To our surprise, this dog was same color and breed mix as our first dog! That day, that dog got named Bobby 2, and became part of our family. He lived well and happily into his teen years.

I remember a little more about Bobby 2. His favorite place was undoubtedly out at the cabin. He, along with his dog buddies Puddles and Cash, would march every morning from one end of the beach to the other. They seemed to inspect every cabin and lot along the way, and say good morning to any human and canine they encountered.

When he wasn’t out with his crew, Bobby most liked to sit in wait for a squirrel to cross in front of the cabin. He’d leap off our high patio onto the sand beach with all four legs running comically before they even hit the ground, and in hot pursuit of those blasted squirrels that invaded his territory. That squirrel would bug him all day, and you had to wonder at times if it was a game the two played.

I did a little training work with him – he had sit, heel, and down mastered. He could sometimes even figure out all my wild gestures and motioning and handle shake-a-paw and roll over. Well OK, he laid down and I rolled him over, but it was a start. Sometimes he’d pee and poop in the house and we’d discipline him way after the fact (which I know now was bad, and futile). Overall though, he was well mannered, and liked being with people and his family.

When I moved to Lloydminster for college, Dad quickly moved to occupy that space in Bobby’s life. Dad would take him in the truck every morning to go to the post office. People would lean in the window of the truck and say hello and pet Bobby on their way to get their mail. And when Dad spotted a cat along the way, he made sure to point it out for Bobby, so he fulfilled his "bark at cat" needs.

Bobby developed arthritis and epilepsy into his senior years, and it was rough going. When he hurt too badly to jump onto the couch he liked, or into the truck in the mornings, Dad would lift him. Unfortunately, there came that point we had to make the decision to put him down so he wouldn’t have to suffer through life as his symptoms got worse. I wasn’t there, but was told he went very peacefully, and without pain.

Looking back, there were a lot of good and some bittersweet memories for me remembering those two dogs. And that was a lot more output than I expected so I’m done for now.

Until next time, why don’t you comment with some of your favorite pet stories? I would enjoy them..