Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Inspired by Dogs

I was inspired by Monica’s post yesterday to think about all the dogs in my past--and to blog about some of them here.

I was born a dog-lover, I think, even though the adults in my family were relatively indifferent to them when I was a child. When I was eight years old, my maternal grandfather took pity on me and bought me a puppy at a pet shop. I assume he checked with my parents first, but I’m not sure.

We named that puppy Cuddles--and we had her all of one day. My mother took her to the vet while I was in school the day after we got her, and he diagnosed Cuddles with distemper. We returned her to the pet store that evening--and it was my understanding that all the puppies there were sick.

These days people who know better generally don’t buy puppies from pet shops because they so often come from puppy mills, but back then I don’t think anyone believed the worst about some pet stores selling pets. I learned my lesson, though.

Plus, we were faced with a quarantine for a while. We couldn’t bring another dog into our house for three months, for fear of it catching distemper. I spent that entire three months studying dog breeds, including reading DOG WORLD MAGAZINE, to decide what breed would work for us. My grandfather again came through, and we adopted an adorable brindle Boston Terrier we named Frisky. Frisky was with us for thirteen years.

A few years later, I happened to be visiting London, England. I saw a woman on the Underground carrying adorable red and white puppies. I asked what they were and she told me they were Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

The rest is history--my history! I fell in love with the breed. Cavaliers were rare in the U.S. at the time, but I found a breeder coming to my area who could bring a male puppy available for adoption. That was Azorese Pandaemonium--Panda--my first Cavalier, and that breed has been my favorite ever since!

And of course my older current Cavalier, Lexie, starred in my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery series and sometimes has cameo appearances with Kendra in my new Pet Rescue Mystery series!

How did you happen on your favorite kind of pet?


Betty Hechtman said...

I don't have a favorite breed of dogs, though I definitely have a soft spot for terriers, particularly terrier mixes.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Terriers are adorable, Betty. I'm delighted with how well they're portrayed on the cover of THE MORE THE TERRIER!

Janie Emaus said...

This dog wasn't my favorite, but when I as about 9 or 10, we got a Pedigree Standard Poodle puppy from my uncle and I was terrified of this dog. His name was Pepe. And I remember coming home from school and not being able to cross the street to our house because he was barking and being a terror. My mom sent him back!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Oh, dear. Sorry that dog didn't understand how to be a family member, Janie.