The Meanest Dog I Ever Loved
Years Ago We Got a New Family Member
We Grew Up Around Dogs
When our son, Rodney, was very little, around three or four years old, he would walk around the neighborhood and visit neighbors and dogs. Especially dogs. He really loved dogs. One day he surprised us when he started telling us about all of the dogs he knew. He named more than 20 dogs and where they lived. We didn’t even realize that there were that many dogs in the neighborhood.
When Rodney was a teenager, we got a beagle puppy. We were told it was a male and named him Wendell. A while later, we found out that Wendell was a female. We had gotten used to the Wendell name, so we didn’t change it.
Linda and Little Wendell
Wendell Grows and Is a Bit Sneaky
As Wendell grew, her personality grew. We soon realized that she was a bit sneaky. She had these little razor sharp teeth, and she knew we didn’t want her biting us. If I was sitting on the floor watching TV and had my hand on the floor, Wendell would often bring a toy over and put it right beside my hand. Within seconds, her mouth would go from her toy to my hand and I would feel the razor teeth digging in.
Whenever we would go anywhere, as soon as we came home Wendell would lie on her back, close her eyes tightly, and squeal with joy. Who could resist such a welcome? When I traveled for work and was gone for days, Wendell would often lie by the garage door with her nose almost touching the door waiting for me to come back.
My right ankle tends to snap when I walk, and once when I was away, Rodney built a roaring fire in the fireplace. A log snapped and sounded just like my ankle. Wendell ran to the garage door squealing with delight thinking that I had come home.
Wendell Was a Beautiful Dog
Mean and Loving
I call Wendell the meanest dog I ever loved because she would not hesitate to bite us if we didn’t do things exactly how she wanted them done. She loved it when I would pick her up, and she would sit in my arm with her back straight upright. However, every time I put her down, she would snap at me and try to bite me. I don’t know why she did that. It got so I practically had to toss her down and jump away so I didn’t get bit.
Wendell was a very loving dog. When I was was home, she was like my shadow. She followed me everywhere. When I worked from home, Wendell was usually under my desk. During conference calls, I often had to mute my phone because of her loud snoring.
When we would leave the house we put Wendell in the kitchen and used child gates to keep her in there. She hated having to go to the kitchen. One day my wife, Linda, tried to make Wendell go to the kitchen and Wendell bit her and made her hand bleed. Linda gave Wendell such a scolding. She really yelled at her and told her that she had better never do that again. From then on, whenever we would say, “Wendell, kitchen,” she would jump up and run into the kitchen. She had finally learned that Linda was top dog.
A New Puppy
Alex a Sweet and Handsome Dog
When Wendell was a few months old, my brother’s dog had puppies. So we got another puppy. His name was Alex. Wendell and Alex became lifelong pals.
Alex was not the most graceful dog. Wendell would catch food if it came within five feet of her. When we would toss Alex a snack, more often than not, it would bounce off of his nose and he would then realize there was food and pick it up off of the floor. We called him a lummox. His klutziness was comical.
Begging for Her Christmas Stocking
One Christmas I picked Wendell up and showed her a stocking on the mantel with her name on it. I told her that was her stocking. From then on, evey Christmas she would sit under her stocking and beg.
Wendell Wants Her Stocking
Graceful Wendell and Alex the Lummox
Wendell was easy to hold because she would lean into you. The lummox Alex always felt so heavy when we picked him up. He never seemed comfortable being up in the air. It felt like gravity had a greater impact on him.
The Knee Gatch
Alex loved comfort. We called him the "King of Comfort." When Linda would lie on the couch, Alex would get behind her knees and snuggle up in the knee catch.
Alex and the Knee Gatch
Our Son Gets a New Family Member
Our dogs were family, and we were blessed to have them with us for many years. After they died, we decided that we would not get another dog. The pain of that loss is not something we want to go through again. However, we are grateful that they were part of our lives. We love dogs and are always happy to see them. Now we get to enjoy our granddog.
This Thanksgiving our son and his family brought their new beagle dog, Cooper, to visit. It was nice to have our granddog visiting. I probably confused Cooper, and our little granddaughters, because I kept calling the dog, “Charlie.” My excuse is that our neighbors on each side of us have dogs named Charlie, and one of the dogs is a beagle. I think that is a pretty good excuse for my confusion. It has nothing to do with age. No nothing at all.
Linda and Cooper
Knowing Neighbor Dogs
These days Linda and I enjoy morning walks around the neighborhood, and it seems that we are a lot like our son was when he was little. We know several dogs, and as embarrassing as it may be, we probably know the names of more neighbor dogs than we know the names of neighbors. Well, after all, dogs really are, “Man’s best friend.”
© 2018 Ron Grimes