This past Monday, my brother Tony wrote about missing our dogs and I wanted to continue the story with some background information on some of our beloved pooches.
Back in 1985, my younger brother Scott and I went to Thiessen’s Pet Shop downtown to look around. We found these two Australian shepherd mix puppies regularly $6 marked down to free. One was rambunctious and friendly while the other was meek and clearly the runt of the litter. Of course we chose the feisty one and were about to leave when we decided we couldn’t leave that small, quiet, shivering puppy alone. So we took her instead. (If you adopted a feisty tan free puppy who was alone in a cage from Thiessen’s in 1985, you’re welcome.)
The fragile little puppy thanked us for choosing her by puking all over Scott on the way home.
Once home, our mother told us there was no way we were keeping her. We kept making our mom hold her and after a few minutes, Mom was calling her “Missy” (AKA Emma) and we knew we were keeping her.
Three years later, Scott told me a friend of a friend in Vacaville was giving away Rottweiler mix puppies. We drove out in the sticks the next morning and a busty woman in a skimpy nightgown answered the door with more than a half-dozen puppies spilling out onto the porch.
Scott and I made our selection within 30 seconds of seeing the puppies, but we extended our stay because we couldn’t take our eyes off of this woman’s . . . puppies.
We brought the little pooch to our mother who once again said he was not staying. We named him Brutus and of course, he stayed.
I told Tony not to play fetch with him because I didn’t want Brutus to become “ball happy.” Tony agreed but proceeded to have Brutus fetch anything and everything he could. Brutus became the most ball happy dog I’ve ever seen. He would fetch anything from beer cans to rocks to footballs to two by fours. I once pretended to throw a ball and he ran out into the yard and came back with a gopher! (I won’t lie. I screamed and ran into the house.)
Tony described Brutus as a scary looking but harmless dog and he was, or so we thought. One day me and Tony were kicking it in the living room with the front door open. Brutus was at my feet. Kenny, one of Tony’s friends, came by and just walked into the house. In a flash, Brutus raced up to him, jumped up on him and chomped on his arm. Who knew? And what does it say about Kenny that Brutus found him an easier match than the Chihuahuas next door?
I miss those dogs.
Sadly I’m approaching the one year anniversary of having my Beagle Tyson put to sleep. In that year we’ve discovered that it was Tyson who’d been chewing up stuff and trashing the living room. We’d always blamed his loudmouthed brother Theo. Theo has been a model dog. He is in declining health but he still loves pancakes and has miraculously stopped recycling his food.
Like most dog owners, Cathi and I say that after we lose Theo and our maltoodle Rafi, we won’t get more. It’s too hard losing them. But the truth is we know our love of dogs will compel us to get more.
This column is dedicated to dog lovers everywhere, but especially City Councilwoman Catherine Moy and her family who recently lost their longtime canine companion, Hunter. Peace.
Kelvin Wade is a writer who lives in Fairfield. Email him at email@example.com.