How many of you grew up with a dog? Just curious. Here’s a quick recap of our family’s dog history. I grew up with a Toy Fox Terrier named Tiger when I was in preschool. (Isn’t it strange that my parents named a dog after a cat.) They adopted a Pomeranian named Little Bit during my elementary and early teen years. When she died they found another Toy Fox Terrier and named it Tiger 2. (My Parents are in their 70’s and still have a Toy Fox Terrier named Tiger that sits in a chair at the table and eats dinner with them every night.)
When Debbie and I got married, the first dog we owned was a Poodle and Pomeranian mix named Harmony. Then when we started having children we got a white Bichon Friese we named Pampers, because we had two kids wearing them and one on the way. The last official family dog we had was a Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier named Rags that passed away during summer camps a few years back.
Since my kids were heading into college and moving away, we decided our dog experience was over. But I was wrong. There were only a few child-free and dog-free months, until my college-age children started moving back into our house with their own dogs. I might add here that they don’t have the kind of house dogs that we raised them to have, they actually have yard dogs that are living in the house.
Hannah has a Boxer named Bauer, yes he’s named after Jack. Hannah has stated that one of her goals in life is “to be as good of a person as her dog thinks she is.” Sarah has a Labradoodle named Kali who may be the most obedient and affectionate dog I have ever seen. (She has her own Facebook page, see Kali Joiner. Her profile picture is above.) And Rebekah has a German Shepherd named Boston. I’m not sure if he is named after the city, or the Augustana song. (By the way Rebekah, I really need Boston to earn his keep and take care of a rat I found in the garage this morning.)
There has recently been a new addition named Kemah, that is a mixed mutt that Hannah adopted and gave to Sarah. It’s not unusual to come home to all of these dogs greeting us at the door, and falling a few times trying to get to our bedroom. A lot of weekends there are even a few extra dogs that the girls happen to be watching for friends.
So what is my point about our family history of dogs? I’m not really sure. I was just thinking about dogs today. It’s hard not to where I live. In spite of the money and energy they require from our family, I am grateful for the role they play in the hearts of our kids, and our memories.
There is a line in a book called “My Dog Tulip” written by J.R. Ackerly, which is soon to be an animated movie about an old man and his relationship with a German Shepherd. It says, “She offered me what I had never found in my life with humans; constant, single-hearted, incorruptible, uncritical devotion, which is in the nature of dogs to offer.” It’s an interesting tribute to the love a dog can give. Another tag line that gives the movie context is, “Unable to love each other, the English naturally turn to dogs.” That maybe be an exaggeration, but I am glad that God made dogs, a lot of homes are better places because of them.