Pets make up a big portion of our lives. We get too attached and wonder often why we even have a pet.
My first dog - Oscar He was a gift from my paternal grandfather William Monroe Wells. He was a "rat" terrier. No papers, only fond memories of him. He was the neighborhood terror. At the time we had Oscar we lived in Dallas county and there was no leash law. Oscar came and went as he pleased. Our dogs of today are envious of that kind of freedom. It cost him his life, as when he was on his way home from somewhere, he was shot and killed. Our yard man (Noble Nixon) found him dead along the curb of the street coming up the hill to our house. This picture was made soon after he came to live in with us. He weighed about 12 pounds when he was fully grown. He had a brown and black markings and white stockings on his feet. I don't recognize the house in the background.
There was a long interval of time between Oscar and other dogs. When I was about 12 we moved into a new house and my mother found a set of tiles which created the picture of an English Pointer bird dog inlaid into the tile on my bedroom floor as you entered the door. She said it was the best kind of dog to have.
As a matter of fact, an English Pointer was my next dog. I was an avid quail hunter, and thought I needed a bird dog. His name was King. I can't find any pictures of him. He was not much of a bird dog. All I remember is how much pain I had in my ankle after a hunt. That later became a real problem, as I had a congenital flat foot that later required surgery to resolve the pain.
The next dog was a fox terrier female. She was very noisy. I had a friend in medical school who was a vet. He offered to spay her, as he said it would calm her down. It did, as she did not survive the surgery. That was bad!
The next dog was a beagle named Susie. She was to be my rabbit hunting dog. I had great places to hunt when I was young. Owen George, my god father, owned property in what is now Allen, Texas. We had many good days of rabbit hunting on his place. Susie got sick, and our vet at the time gave her streptomycin. She became quite deaf and was afraid of the woods and refused to leave the vicinity of the car.
Another long interval, then came another Susie, a Brittany Spaniel, the gift of a fellow quail hunter. She was a wonderful pet, but never much of a quail hunter. She lived a long and happy life.
Then came "Andy" a miniature poodle purchased from a breeder in San Antonio while I was in the Air Force. He was nearly grown and never really made friends with me. He was OK with the wife and kids. I think he never liked me, as I was the one that gave him baths and did the clipping.
The next series of dogs came when we were interested in field trailing. We had several dogs, and raised puppies. Susie was bred to a fine hunting male, but we did not think she became pregnant. We took her to the vet who did not think she was having a false pregnancy. She then delivered eight false puppies. We also raised a litter of English Pointer puppies from a female we got from our trainer/handler. We discovered it is best to buy a fully trained bird dog than to raise puppies. About one in a 100 dogs turn out to be really good hunters.
Our best hunter was a Brittany Spaniel named "Pat." We traded "Dollie" in on him after she proved to not be a hunter. We got both dogs from Delmar Smith in Edmond, Oklahoma. Jane and I took dog handling training from Delmar and his son Tom. "Pat" later won a walking field trial handled by Jane.
We gave up field trailing when we discovered we could not own horses, bird dogs and have children in college at the same time.
We did not give up the dogs. We had several house dogs, starting with "Prissy" a miniature Poodle. She was a wonderful dog. She lived 12 years.
She had a friend named "Holly" who is still alive and now lives with Jane's brother David. David kept Holly on several occasions when Jane had to be gone to New Mexico to look after their ailing parents. Holly fell in love with David's Yorkshire terrier. We let David have Holly, as it was a difficult time for us. I was working all the time and Jane's parents were living 500 miles away and she went there often.
We had another interval of no dogs. That spell was rudely broken in a very weak moment. We were walking in a mall while we lived in El Paso and saw a pet store. We went in and fell in love with a Cairn Terrier named Molly. She developed what I think was congestive heart failure and we put her down in 2012. We miss her still.
After we put Molly down we swore we would never have another dog. It lasted 18 months. Jane had been looking at dogs in the Dallas dog pound. They had a satellite store in the PetSmart store in north Dallas. She asked me to go with her to look at a dog she had found. As we went into the shelter area a lady was writing a check for the dog Jane had been looking at. We looked at the other dogs they had and soon found one that we thought work for us. She was small and shy. She was rusty brown and white and had the features of a Chihuahua with long hair. We took her home. The shelter had picked her up in a tire shop in Oak Cliff and they thought she was about a year old. She was in the recovery phase of being spayed. We took her home and as Jane was driving she sat in my lap. She has spent considerable time in that spot ever since. The is the "best" dog we have had so far. Very friendly, save for the postman when he rattles the mail slot in our entry way. We call her our burglar alarm. Her name is Mini. She rules our roost!
Last page update: April 25, 2017