From our first days in Wilmore, Kentucky, we’ve enjoyed a four-legged family member in our home. Dogs are our favorite animal and we’ve grown to love quite a few over the years.
Our first, and arguably the family favorite, Isha was a pound dog. She was our child before we had children. There were many walks around the town of Wilmore, the neighborhoods of Muncie and Avilla with Isha on the leash. When she died in 1999, we tearfully drove back to Kentucky to scatter her ashes on the hills of the little town where we played so freely together. She was loyal, sweet and very smart.
Other than the time he ate our daughter’s Guinea Pig, Chip was my favorite of the family pets. A good friend who saw me through some tough times, he never questioned me but knew that a ride in the car would make everything better. We spent many hours together walking the woods and lake shores of Indiana. I still get misty-eyed when I think of him.
Kula…well, let’s just say that Kula was a mistake that we couldn’t have predicted. A pound rescue at 12 weeks old, she turned into a holy terror. She attacked friends. She attacked family. She attacked me. Needless to say, she wasn’t with us very long.
Jack is affectionately called “Our Little Space Monkey”. He is stubborn and lovable and we wouldn’t trade him for anything. Well, we would trade him for something nice, like a TV or a blender. No. I take that back. He stays because he’s family…unless you really are offering that TV.
We were lucky enough to have Sidney join our family shortly after Chip died. I say lucky. My wife might use another word. Actually, she has used lots of words but this is a family-friendly blog and I can’t post them here. Any faithful reader of Austin’s Acre knows that Sid has posed some challenges. She has special needs, and we freely acknowledge this. But she’s getting better. Sometimes. But not today. Just don’t look at her, call her name, get up quickly from a chair or think kind dog-thoughts and you’ll be fine. Otherwise, it’s your own fault when the tongue-wagging, Labrador lapdog joins you.
Dogs add depth to a family. They add character. The house might be quiet and then a subtle yacking from the front room reminds you that you are not alone. The house might be clean and then you let them in through the back door on a rainy day and you spend the next two hours mopping. You might spend an extra $20 bucks at the grocery store just to feed your dogs for the week. But every minute is worth it. They are tried and true and they love you through thick and thin.
And I didn’t even mention Ralph, Noami, Stupeedo, Red, Stud, Bandit, Velvet, Bones, or Dale. They were all great dogs. Each and every one. Well, all of them but Kula. She would eat your arm for breakfast. But the rest were great.