like dogs. I always have. But I do not want them in my house. I do not want them on my furniture. I do not want their hair in my food. And there hasn't been for over ten years.
Until Bruno's death in 1986, one dog or another was a regular member of our family. Bruno was just a little dog, a cross between Nancy's tiny poodle and a renegade interloper. He was trained to attack the toes of whomever was nearby. Doesn't this sound vicious? Think about a 16-inch fur-ball focussing its attention on your big toe while growling like a Tasmanian Devil. It was hilarious.
He did not shed a lot mostly because he was a very little dog with a short haircut. His short, fine hair was everywhere.
Hairy Irish Setters
That was nothing like the Irish setters we had years before in Minnesota. They shed profusely. We lived in the country and kept them outdoors. Daisy's annual litter of 12 pups were also kept outside, except on March 10, 1963, when she delivered her brood in the living room while Ron and I waited at the hospital for number four of our "brood." The temperature was below freezing and thirteen-year-old Mike responded to Daisy's plea by bringing her indoors for her delivery. We sold several litters of her puppies. They are beautiful hunting dogs and loveable pets for any family. They are truly an outdoor dog that should not be penned or tethered.
Daisy was an interesting individual that curled her upper lip into what looked like a smile. My brother-in-law, Bob, trained his female Irish setter to reply to his questions with whimpers, moans and whines that sounded conversational. To a visitor the toe pinching was unnoticed but key to the responses. The results were impressive.
Stray on by
After the experience with Irish Setters, I put my foot down on more than one dog in the family at any given time. But Ron managed to find a homeless dog from somewhere. Once he answered a "free" advertisement and brought home a cute little terrier that immediately jumped on the table and peed. Once traveling down a two-lane highway, Ron stopped for a forlorn little beagle. Another time we took in the runt of a litter that grew into a fifty pound butterball. Once we had a female cocker spaniel that ripped out the screen door to scratch a primal itch.
Dogs are wonderful pets. I think everyone should have one. Everyone else but me.
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