Saturday, August 26, 2023

International Dog Day August 26 (2023)

 Today my blog has "gone to the dogs!" 😊

Sister's two Basset Hounds

Quoting my Sister: "The puppies pooped out after a morning of obedience class, a ride thru the car wash (not scary at all), and a trip to Dairy Queen! The Bears are on TV but they’re not watching." 

The pups are named Maggie and Daisy. If my memory serves me well, they will be 18 months old in September and have probably reached their full size. Over the years Sister's household has had 17 Basset Hounds. Charlie was the first, then came Samantha. They married and had 12 puppies (all at one time and within weeks of when Sister gave birth to triplet daughters!!).

me with my niece's Basset Hound

The puppies were sold and eventually Charlie and Samantha died. Sister got another Basset named Linky who lived a long full life and then passed. Years went by with a house empty of pets and children until 2022. 

In the  meantime squirrels and rabbits had figured out no dogs patrolled the property and became a serious nuisance to my brother-in-law's large garden. Daisy and Maggie came to them from a carefully-researched breeder in a neighboring state.

Gary and I meet my niece's Basset Hound, Andi 

Last October we made a road trip to the Far North, including in our stops our first meeting with Sister's pups and also my niece's Basset Hound. 


In the late 1980's into the mid 1990's my family had a rescue Basset that I named Elmer. I never told anyone at the time, but I gave him that name after a childhood boyfriend of mine. According to the vet, Elmer was probably 3 or 4 years old when I brought him home to be a companion to our female Beagle, Patches. 

She was quite a character and to be honest, not the favorite of all the dogs underfoot in my homes over the years. The two of them turned out to be partners in crime, but she was easier to tolerate once we brought Elmer in. 

Red and Missy Lou
Gary's Redbone Coonhounds

"If you want a friend, get a dog." This is one of Gary's frequent quotes. I love watching him with dogs. When we are outside in our yard or on our bikes, the neighbor dogs always gravitate toward him first. He carries no treats but they just know he's a "good guy" and seek his attention.

Missy Lou's paw print and dog tags

I love to hear him tell the story of how these dogs came into his home. He and Edith had moved out to the country and he wanted a dog. He did his research. They went to a breeder to select a male Redbone Coonhound. He did not want to deal with issues that come with a female dog. However, as they stood with the selection of puppies at their feet, this one little female planted her foot on top of Gary's shoe, like staking her claim on him! 

Gary ignored her but Edith pointed out to him this dog wanted him and he should pick her up. It sounds to me like this pup melted his heart, so when they left, they had TWO dogs, this female and one male. 

Red, the male, is described to me as "all male," who likened himself to the main character in the old TV show, Life of Riley. Gary tells me Red would drag Missy Lou's padded mattress to pile it on top of his so he could nap in the best of comfort.

Missy Lou, however, loved affection. Gary says he could pet her until she was bald and still want more attention. He dearly loved both dogs, but Missy Lou has that really special place in his heart.

Buddy and Pal with my mother
~ 1998
Over the years as both a child and an adult, I've had many dogs: 

~ three "Heinz 57" terrier-types: Susie, Button, and Chipper

~ one Boxer named Oliver

~ one Great Dane (actually belonged to my parents when I was in college) named Duke (for the comic strip character Marmaduke)

~ one Beagle named Patches who had hip dysplasia and walked so slow she almost went backwards!

~ one Basset Hound named Elmer

~ two buff-colored Cocker Spaniels named Buddy and Pal. They were litter-mates and never cried at night until Buddy died at the age of 14 years. Pal was, for the first time in his life, left by himself. 

Some things I've learned in relating to dogs:

~ approach a new dog down on his level as best you can so to not appear to be a threat

~ avoid showing your teeth in a wide grin

~ extend your hand, palm down slowly and gently to stroke the dog under their chin

~ most dogs like to have their ears rubbed and even folded over and rolled around in a massaging motion

~ they can sense your personality, so be gentle and speak kindly

~ if the dog growls or gives you a negative indication, back off

As I close out this post, I'm including a piece by the late evangelist, Dr. Billy Graham, who responded to a question regarding our pets in heaven. It's not a long article and very comforting:

Billy Graham: You very well could see your pets in Heaven

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: You probably get asked this question a lot, but do you think we will be reunited with our pets in Heaven? Our dog died recently after almost 15 years, and I just can't imagine being happy in Heaven unless he is with us. -- Mrs. S.J.

DEAR MRS. S.J.: God will provide us with everything we need to be happy in Heaven -- and if animals are necessary to make us completely happy there, you can be confident He will arrange for them to be with us.

Some Bible scholars have pointed out that the Bible suggests there may be animals in Heaven -- but without the aggressiveness and dangers that are part of their lives now. 

The prophet Isaiah saw God's coming Kingdom as a place of absolute peace, where even animals that had once been enemies will be friends. He wrote, "The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them" (Isaiah 11:6).

Over the years, my wife and I have had many pets, and I understand your grief; we are always sad when they die. I sometimes wonder, however, if God isn't using them to remind us of a far greater reality -- and that is the reality of our own deaths. Life is brief, and it can end in an instant. The Bible says there is "a time to be born, and a time to die" (Ecclesiastes 3:2).

That is why we must never take life for granted, but see every minute as a gift from God to be used for His glory. And if we aren't sure of our eternal destiny, now is the time to be sure by making our commitment to Christ.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Until next time, grace and peace.

Shimmy, one of my granddogs


  1. I remember Elmer!! ❤️

  2. Such a lovely post my friend. I have no doubt (reading Mr. Graham's thoughts) that Coffee (our boys German Shepherd) is up there with him. I could never imagine they weren't together, grin. We once had a pastor who said, when asked by Liam, "Don't you know son, all dogs go to Heaven?", I will lean on that, smiles.

  3. What a fun post to read about all the dogs, Barbara! I had totally forgotten that it was International Dog Day yesterday. I guess I need to remedy that today and give Max some extra love and treats. Happy Sunday and have a wonderful week!

  4. I really enjoyed this post. And I truly believe our pets will meet us in Heaven. Currently I have 1 black lab named Laydee and a bossy gray cat named Susie. We love to dote on them so they are quite spoiled. My husband always says, "they are not spoiled, just well-loved" and that is the truth. I have always had dogs and cats and can't imagine life without them. They make me laugh everyday!
    Wonderful post.

  5. I've certainly had many precious dogs over the years, and two cats. All are gone now and neither Danny nor I want another pet in our lives. I'm enjoying the occasional visit we can have with my daughter's family dog and cat. They are both so precious! We just got back recently from visiting all of them in NC. That will be featured in my next blog.
    Blessings, Barbara!

  6. You definitely have known a lot of dogs with a great variety of names. Greg did not have dogs growing up and neither did I. We only experience dogs when we visit homes where dogs reside. That's the same with cats. We have had occasion to dog sit and had Katie and Andrew's cat arrive to our home with them for a visit. Hope you have a nice week ahead.


Proceeding to Father's Day

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