By Norene Thomson

Dogs, you can’t do with them, but you sure as heck can’t do without them.  After a while you get addicted to these four legged fur balls.

My husband’s and my initiation into Dog Addiction began early in life.  As a child, my family had one dog and only for a few years. He was a Chinese Pekinese named Fooie, which was short for Foo Man Chou. When I was seven, my parents gave him to someone from out of town. At least that is what they told me but I’ve always suspected that he died and they were protecting me. My husband’s family always had a dog while he was growing up—he felt that everyone should have a dog.

This belief that one should always have a dog blessed our marriage right from the get-go.  Our twins were not quite a year old when my husband, Bill, got a German Shepherd puppy for the twins.  He named him Fritz. Well Fritz did not stay small for very long.  He was a frisky pup and the twins, Bonnie and Barb, had a hard time walking because Fritz was always in the way, or would grab hold of the seat of one of their diapers preventing them moving.  Although frustrating, Fritz was so funny we couldn’t help but forgive his mischievous behavior.  Fritz did, however, became a problem with the neighbor children because of his size and his playfulness.  Reluctantly, we found a new home for Fritz.

We waited for a few years before getting another dog. Our son Brian was starting kindergarten and was able to walk to school as it was close to our home. The road to school passed a couple of homes where there were dogs that would bark and run out and jump up on Brian.  Because Brian was afraid of these dogs, we had to find a different route. After much pondering of this situation, we decided that maybe if we got Brian a dog, he would lose his fear of dogs. Bill and I agreed this was a plan worth implementing.

Angus - so loveable!We were able to get a puppy from the SPCA. They had a litter of Border Collie puppies , at least the mother was a Border collie. We chose the runt of the litter, a cute little black ball of fur. My husband named him Angus for his Scottish roots and color, you know “Black Angus”. Well, our son Brian fell in love with Angus as we all did and they became great buddies. Brian would take Angus to bed with him and sing to him. Brian only had a library of two songs: Oh Canada and the Star Spangled Banner. (Brian watched a lot of hockey games with his Dad).

One of Angus’ favorite games was football.  He would steal the football from the kids, get it between his front paws and shoot it out through his back legs. Although the kids in the neighborhood loved Angus, if there was any wrestling or roughhousing going on Angus was banished to the house.  This was necessary because Angus was very protective of our kids and would attack anyone if he thought were hurting our kids. We had Angus for about 14 years.  One day I came home from work to find him passed away, lying in his favorite position on the chesterfield.

Stanley Coming Through!Before we lost Angus, though, we had a second puppy come to live with us… Bonnie and Barb had a friend whose dog had puppies and they just had to have one of Tash’s puppies. He was a little black and white Terrier Cross.  Bill named Stanley after the character played by Don Knotts on Three’s Company on TV. Stanley Roper wasn’t very bright and my husband didn’t think this new puppy was very bright either. Our daughter, Bonnie, didn’t care for the dog’s name because she was embarrassed when she would have to call “Stanley” to come in from the outside. However that became less of an issue when one night Bonnie heard a man down the street calling his dog whose name was “Sir Stanley”. Stanley was brighter though then we thought, and I dare say was a good catcher of rats. We had rats in the green house in the back yard that we built for my Mom who was living with us.  One day one of the rat creatures got into the house. We had left the sliding door open for Stanley to come in but someone closed it before he came in. Bill, my husband, heard Stanley barking and scratching at the door.  Stanley was very agitated. When Bill opened the door Stanley dashed by him and went to the couch still very excited.  Stanley began scratching at the couch.  Thinking Stanley had his pet rock or piece of leather toy hidden behind the couch, Bill pulled the couch out from the wall. As Bill was pulling the couch, he caught out of the corner of his eye something brown racing toward the stairs leading to the front door. Stanley also took off.  He jumped from the top of the stairs and caught the brown thing, which of course was a rat, who had originally come in through the patio door. With one shake of his head Stanley ended that rat’s life. Bill couldn’t get him to give up his prize.  Desperate, Bill finally offered Stanley a peppermint candy that he loved. That did the trick.  The prize was released.

Stanley - Alert @ Ready!Stanley also was very protective of my Mom accompanying her on her walks.  One day when Mom was sick, Stanley would not let the doctor enter into her room until Mom said it was okay. All of these beloved pets were a great addition to our family.  Now all my children are grown and have dogs of their own now giving us at the present count four grand doggies (Ozzie, Rocky. Brie, and Maverick) and one great Grand doggie (Hudson) to love.

Never Enough—our family keeps getting more dogs.  I’d say we are all addicted to dogs and love our addiction.  Dogs are great friends, and bring many laughs to our family affairs!

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