A Dog Person

skipper 3

Skipper and Me

“Your Mom used to cry every time we watched Lassie on TV,” my brother told my kids recently.  I tried to think if I ever told my kids about that, but I couldn’t remember.  “She used to drive us crazy,” my brother snickered.

It was true.  I don’t know if my brothers wanted to watch the show with me or if they were just watching me to see if I would cry again.  I would always get through the show just fine, but it was at the end, when the music played, and Lassie just sat there looking at us from behind our TV set.  When Lassie held her paw up to wave good-bye was when I just couldn’t hold it in any longer.  I busted out the tears and howled so loud.  I was just so sad that I wouldn’t be able to see Lassie for another entire week.  My brothers laughed, and I vowed that the next Sunday night I would not cry, but I always did.

lassie photo lassie.jpg
Lassie Photo Courtesy of
Only One Jess @ Photobucket.com

This entire ruckus might have led Dad to bring home a dog. I can’t remember if I ever asked for one, but Dad brought home one anyway.  One of Dad’s co-workers wasn’t able to care for his dog any more, and that’s how we got Skipper.

When Dad told me about Skipper, I was scared.  I wasn’t really used to dogs.  They were okay to love when they were sitting on the other side of the TV screen, but having one close up was going to be a different story.  Thankfully, it wasn’t long before Skipper and I became friends.  Every night, Skipper sat and listened intently to all my stories as I brushed his brown fur in the back hallway.  Mom wasn’t very happy about having a dog, and that’s why Skipper was never allowed to go beyond the kitchen.  Skipper slept in the basement, and I made sure he had a bed.  Dad taught Skipper how to jump through his arms, roll over and play fetch.  With all the attention that we gave to Skipper, we were surprised that he didn’t stay around our home very long.  He would run away and be gone for days.  When he came back, he had cuts that were deep and bleeding or he had dried up blood on his fur all from a fight with some other dog, we guessed.  Mom nursed him back to health by cleaning him up with warm water soaks.  Skipper healed up, hung around a while longer, and then ran off again.  This scene was repeated over and over again.  One day Skipper ran off and never came back, and we never found out what happened to that dog.  😦  I still wonder…

After Skipper didn’t come home for a long while, I asked for another dog because I missed our conversations.  Unfortunately, it never happened in the family I grew up in.  I had to wait a long time, but I got to get my dog, Music, about 13 years ago.  I’ve written about our dog Music here and here just to name two times so far.  Music was my dog, and I couldn’t have asked for a better one because she was just like a person stuck inside a dog’s body.

Now we are lucky to have Lila, who is a real dog, acts like a real dog, and loves her Dad.

Lassie is where it all started.  It’s when I figured out I was a dog person.  When did you figure out what kind of pet person you are or did someone else have to figure it out for you?

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9 thoughts on “A Dog Person

  1. I’m definitely a dog person and always have been. I love the way you said, “…she was just like a person stuck inside a dog’s body.” That’s exactly how I feel about my Australian Shepherd/ Chow mix little girl now. She so wants to be human, I think. I think they all have an agenda and when Skipper ran away, he knew exactly what he had in mind. My grandma had a dog named Skippy, or Skipper, but he was called Skippy. A nice story, Mary Ann.

    • Thanks, Mary. I just wonder what Skipper’s agenda was. That’s great that your grandma had a dog named Skippy. You don’t hear that name much any more. My dogs are always named by the time I get them, so I haven’t had a chance to name any of my dogs Skipper.

  2. Your were obviously born with a heart for a dog. I remember that I loved to watch Lassie too, but I never cried. Maybe that’s because my mom was a dog person and our home was rarely without a dog. My earliest memory of one of our dogs was a beautiful collie named Neko.

    My first dog – other than the ones I grew up with – was Shelby. She was a sweet, gentle, kind Springer Spaniel. She was so patient. She joined our family when the kids were just little. She grew up with them and was such a good companion to the kids, but I feel now like I didn’t appreciate her like I should have. I was too busy taking care of babies.

    When Shelby left us at 14 years old, we were all heartbroken. I thought I could never love another dog again. It took three years before I gave in to that inkling that I might have room in my home and heart for another dog. When I met Lucy and fell in love with her … that’s when I knew I was truly a dog person. I had been all along. I just never really knew it until Lucy came along and filled that gap in my world left by the kids growing up. She and Bella are my pals now, always there to greet me when I come home from work and always wanting to sit with me and always so happy for my attention.

  3. Oh it makes me sad about Skipper. 😦

    I always had dogs but I was never a “dog person” until Sampson came into my life. He’s taught me so much and now there will always be dogs in my life.

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