What is a dog Army? It’s a collection unconditional love. For an example of this, lock your dog and anyone that says they love you, in the trunk of your car for twenty minutes. Open the trunk and then tell me which one is glad to see you? A year ago in June I wrote “It’s A Dog’s Life” in which I explained the therapeutic value of having dogs. Would that mean that the more dogs one has the longer you’ll live?
My dog army is made up of eighteen assorted breeds of dogs, a few as old as ten years plus and some younger. We just had 3 Dachshund and 5 Spitz puppies leave for new homes last week. But I never count them as new recruits in the Army as we only keep them for 10 weeks after they are born. Three months ago it was Shih Tzu puppies.
Last month my eldest dog passed to that dog heaven we’ve all told kids about. His name was Smarty, he was a Spitz and was about 12 years old (our years). He was a bit arthritic and was blind in one eye for his last year. The Vet came every few months and told me he was not going to last. Smarty decided he didn’t want to hear that and squeezed another year of life just to spite the Vet.
So the dog Army was one man short, until a week ago. Our Daughter, who I gave two Black Labradors to a while ago, and she had decided she likes Lab’s (Who Doesn’t?) and bought a Chocolate Lab puppy. And named her Hershey for all the obvious reasons, after a week she thought; “This dog is going to be huge”. Since it was too small to live on the farm, and too big to live in her apartment in town. So off to her Daddies house she goes and asked if we would take the puppy?
We told her we would but that name had to go, my wife Mayang named her Coco as in a cup of coco not coconut. So I’m busy teaching her to go up and down stairs, and relieve herself outside. These are the things I do well but I don’t hold a candle to Cesar of “Dog Whisperers” fame. (He is good!) If anyone read an article I wrote a year or two ago about our Shih Tzu Goldie leaping off the roof patio, well last Tuesday it happened again, only this time it was Coco the new Labrador pup. It was just before supper when we heard a thud in the front yard. When Mayang investigated, here came Coco limping into the house and upset as hell, as were we. I’ll provide an update later.
Now why do I have so many dogs on a 1000 square meters of land? My mother and father had dogs when I was a boy, and we loved them very much. After I left home I went without a dog for the next 40 years due to my life at sea. It’s true I had a few times on land for short periods, but I knew I’d be leaving again and that seemed unfair to any dog I might have.
Okay; what about the ten years in Puerto Rico? Well that was a life style choice. Bachelor, Club Owner and playboy of the western world, but I did have an African Gray Parrot in my bars. The parrot was bi-lingual of course. When I left the Island I had twenty people who wanted to buy the bird. But I gave it for free to the one I knew who loved the bird, and would give it the best life. I’m a Nobel kind of guy!
Do I know every dog’s name? Well yes I do, and I take timeout every day to play and talk to them rain or shine. My dog Army has grown in ranks in some strange ways. I had a friend years ago who moved to an apartment and gave me two full grown and quite old German Sheppard’s; they lived with me for five years until they passed on, of old age. When my friend Rich passed a few weeks ago his wife asked me to care for his Black Lab named Brittney who now is on the farm living a most contented life and has the love of my Son-in-law Chris and the Sanguyo family. Two years ago I gave them Mandy another Black Lab, who loves farm life.
I normally just can’t say no to a dog that needs a home. Oh yes I also have some mixed breeds (Heinz 57’s) whom are a pleasure to be around, the truth is, that all dogs are equal in my eyes.
I’d not call any of my dogs “Watch Dogs” I think doorbell is a more acceptable term as you’ll never miss someone knocking on the gate no matter where you are in the house.
So now that I’ve explained My Dog Army, I’m going to grab a cold beer and go and see if I can teach them to march. It will be difficult, not because the dogs aren’t smart enough, or that I’ll be drinking beer, it’s the fact that I was a Sailor, and everyone knows the Navy never could march!
The Coco the Flying Labrador update, she’s fine and has taken to chewing all of Mayang shoes. This is going to be an exciting time in my life!