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Owning a dog is nice, but not always easy

Owning a dog is nice, but not always easy Owning a dog is nice, but not always easy

Without car shows or parades this summer, I’ve spent more time sitting outside, reading and watching people walking their dogs. On a given evening, everything from a tiny Chihuahua to Great Danes will pass by.

I am not a dog owner now, but growing up in Dorchester, we always had a dog. Most were of the “mutt” variety, and I use that term most lovingly. Mutts can be very affectionate and loyal companions The first dog I remember having was a black mutt named Parachute. He was a wonderful, gentle dog who went with us when we went on Sunday drives. When we stopped for ice cream, he always got a cone too. His favorite flavor was vanilla.

I had a painful experience when I was quite young when I came home from school to find that Parachute had drunk some car antifreeze that he found in the garage. He suffered a very agonizing death, which taught me a valuable lesson about the correct way to store poisonous auto fluids.

Our next dog was Wimpy. On Sundays, wewouldtakehimforarideinthe country. After a few miles, we would let Wimpy out of the car. He loved to run loose behind the car as my dad drove slowly. One Sunday, while doing this, we suddenly heard what sounded like a gunshot. My dad stopped the car, and Wimpy was gone. We went to the nearby farm where we found a man holding a rifle. He admitted to shooting Wimpy because he had killed some chickens. He threatened to shoot my dad if we did not leave. Fortunately, we found Wimpy. He was injured but he did make a full recovery.

The last dog we had was a beautiful beagle named Skipper. However, he also caused some rather serious trouble. One day he got loose and killed quite a number of a neighbor’s chickens. But, he was an understanding man. Knowing my mother did not have the money to pay for his chickens, he turned his loss into his insurance company and soon forgot the incident. We also tried having rabbits at one time, but that did not work out too well either. We went on a short trip one summer and when we returned, we found all our rabbits had been killed by a weasel.

I have not had a dog now for almost fifty years, but my wife and I have had three cats. Our first lived to be nineteen, the second lived to be seventeen, and our current cat is nine. And I can honestly say, none of them has ever killed a chicken.

Ken Anderson, the “Mayberry Guru,” can be reached at and www.themayberryguru.