Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy - Part two

He had a number of different names.

Happy-wappy-puppy-wuppy boy turned into Happity-wappity-puppity-wuppity boy. We also called him Iron Claws because he had this tendency to leap at us in joy. None of us were spared the occasional long red whelp where an iron clawed paw slid down an arm or leg. He was also referred to as Himself the Dog or just The Dog because he was so independent, bullheaded, stubborn, and sure of himself. Sometimes we called him The Beast or The Monster because he let us know in no uncertain terms when he didn't like something. I suppose we should have called him Grumpy Claws or Growleo or Snarl Jung or Grrrrronimo for all the fang-displaying snarling he did. At one point or another each of us got bit learning what his dislikes were and in the process learning how to handle him.

He absolutely did not like anyone messing with him while he was eating. I made the mistake of getting down on all fours next to him while he was digging in and got a scratch on my forehead from a lightening flash snap of fang accompanied by nasty growls. The odd thing is he would only eat when he knew we were all home. He also begged at the table. He'd put his head on a lap and look up most piteously with his pretty brown eyes. His eyebrows did that dog thing of moving around independently like they had threads attached to them and a puppet master was pulling on them. If he didn't get anything he'd move on to the next person. And he'd keep making the rounds until he did get something, which he usually did.

He absolutely hated water, except to drink. And this posed a problem because he absolutely loved to roll in wonderful smelling stuff like dead animals and soft cow patties which meant he had to get a bath. We learned if only one of us did the deed he would allow himself to be bathed with nothing more than a great deal growling protest as he stood there. If two of us tried to bath him he would get mean about it. I suppose he felt he was out numbered and that it wasn't fair. So he'd not only voice his protest he'd get lippy about it, show off his fangs and even snap. Removing his "eau de stink" was a fairly regular occurrence. You'd think he would have learned there were consequences to his rolling. But he never gave up perfuming himself and we never gave up bathing him. Hmmmm, maybe it was all a sadomasochistic ploy on his part because he absolutely LOVED being toweled dry.

Here he is at Gifft Hill with Mom and me about the time he fanged me. Mom is working on her rock garden. One of the 55 gallon drums contained kerosene for our refrigerator and lanterns, the other contained gasoline for the generator Dad installed so he could have his ham radio station. It also gave us a little extra light at night. One light bulb in the middle of each room. On Saturdays it ran the wringer washing machine so Mom could do laundry and the radio so Erva and I could listen to Story Hour with Aunt Nelly.


  1. Love the picture. Dogs are great companions. My old dog, Puppers, used to put her head in my lap while we ate, too.

  2. I think I would have been a bit afraid of your dog but it seems he was a good companion too. Got a chuckle from the photo that you're wearing flip-flops on the rocky hill. At that age I lived in mine, too, no matter what the terrain.

    I read your story in Children's Writer. It's wonderful! I can see why you won. (There were 1,500 entries? Holy moly.) Congratulations again. I hope you're still thrilled.

  3. Happy sounds like a wonderful dog...a dog with personality is the best kind of dog to have...

  4. I love all the name possibilities. Am especially taken with "Himself." :)

  5. Very interesting and so delicate.
    With all means, go ahead!
    Daniel D. Peaceman, writer and editor

  6. Happy was both Keeper and Lord Protector among his other roles. Another more appropriate name for him might have been "Fangsalot." He certainly was devoted to all of his family!

  7. I'd have been scared silly of Happy (our dogs were little and tame and cowed by our cats) but perhaps not if I'd grown up around him. You've painted a lovely picture of a dog with a distinctive personality. It always amazes me how every dog and cat, no matter how dog- or cat-like, has its own totally idiosyncratic personality.

  8. I loved the dogs that begged at the table and I'd do everything in my power to keep our "secret" from my gram so she wouldn't put them outside. My beggar dogs were super at scarfing up the eggplant until I acquired a taste for it. :)

  9. Kelly, Begging dogs and food go hand in hand.

    Thanks MG! As grumpy as he was I don't ever remember being afraid of Happy. As for the flip-flops, I had a tendency to lose one because I hated shoes (still do) and even flip-flops got in my way.

    He was that, Brenda, a dog with personality. Tons of it.

    Fangsalot! LOL. Good one Erva.

    Mary, Isn't it wonderful how each animal/pet is unique? Just like humans. Just like kids, no two are alike.

    I never have devloped a liking for eggplant, Lee. I do remember Happy happily taking any liver I could slip to him, another food I never acquire a taste for.

  10. What a cool dog. Oh Bish, it brought back memories of one of my dogs. I loved the story. That dog had chutzpah. =)


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!