Saturday, August 22, 2015

Love Those Dogs

Hi Bill

You probably know that today is National Dog Day! I'm sure you are celebrating with your dogs. As you know Pat and I have always loved dogs, or maybe we just need the love that dogs give us. I know that you have also always shared your love with your dogs. 

I thought it would be therapeutic for me to put together some photographs of the dogs that have brightened the lives of Pat and I (and Rayna and Zeb) over the years. Pat and I have had many dogs, beginning when we were living with our parents and continuing to the present. Our family has all received much emotional support from them over the years.

Clark's Dogs

I got Timmy (my first dog) while I was in kindergarten or first grade, when you and I (and our parents) were living with Grandpap in the city. My love of dogs began with Timmy. I confided everything with him and I have done the same with all my other dogs.

Bill and Clark holding Timmy (my first dog)

Grandpap and me with Timmy
You brought Mopper home to me in the mid 1960s after Timmy had passed. I needed another dog to share my life with at that time.

Clark and Mopper 

Bill and Mopper 

Unfortunately my parents relegated Mopper to a dog house. 

Pat's Dog

Pat's childhood dog was a large and very strong boxer named Muggs. I never met Muggs, but I know from stories told by Pat and her father (Ken) that Muggs was well-known in the neighborhood, which he pretty much ruled. He was also very protective of Pat and her family.

Pat, her brother Jim, and Muggs

Muggs with Ken (Pat's father)

Muggs with Pat's brother Jim

Clark and Pat's Dogs

Shortly after Pat and I were married we bought a Basset Hound puppy from Puppy Palace in Philadelphia. She was an incredibly cute puppy and grew into a very beautiful and large Basset Hound. Of course she was very affectionate toward us and we loved her very much. We named her Jessie.

Pat and Clark holding Jessie in December 1973

Pat and Clark with Jessie in January 1974

We took her everywhere we went, including many visits to your house, Bill. We also took her with us to Acadia National Park in Maine with two of our friends. She loved every minute of it, except when we had to lock her in the car briefly while we were rock climbing. She loved camping, but when it rained. Tragically she became very sick at an early age and even the Society Hill Veterinary Clinic could not save her.

We lived without a dog for several years until we moved to Brookings South Dakota in 1983. Shortly after we got there we bought a wonderful Golden Retriever from a local breeder. He had a large number of puppies and they all swarmed us including Rayna who was 5 and Zeb who was 2. Rayna was a little afraid of the wild herd. However she noticed one that was calmly sitting and staring at her, an adorable little female puppy. She was the one we chose and we named her Belle.

Zeb with puppy Belle 1984

Zeb with Belle Autumn 1984

Rayna, Zeb, and Pat with Belle  1984

Rayna with Lewis the cat, and Zeb with Belle

Belle was another very sweet family member who loved and protected all of us, but especially Rayna and Zeb, until 1991.

We got another puppy in 1992 and named her Nonnie. She was half Chocolate Lab and half Alaskan Husky and she was quite energetic and determined. She loved to walk and we walked her on a leash regularly. She was an incredibly strong dog that loved to pull us wherever she wanted to go. However, she was also very sweet and affectionate like all our other dogs were. We enjoyed her company and protection until the early 2000s.

Nonnie when she was young

Zeb with Nonnie

Rayna with Nonie

Nonnie 1993

Somewhere along the way Rayna and Zeb grew up and moved out of the house. Pat and I moved into a different house in a small town near Sioux Falls in 2001. We got Lola, an amazingly cute Miniature Dachshund, that same year. 

Rayna with Lola - May 2006

Clark with Lola



Lola was an energetic and playful dog who loved to be held and to sleep on our laps. However, she injured her back and left us in 2008.

We tried to resist getting another dog after Lola's death, but we failed. The parents of one of Zeb's friends raised Shih Tzus and we succumbed to an invitation to look at some new puppies. However, we didn't get a dog this time. We got two dogs! One of the Shih Tzu puppies chose Pat and another one chose me, and neither of us could walk away from the little black balls of fur. We brought home Lenny and his brother, Squiggy.

Lenny when he was young

Lenny after grooming



About a year later, Pat added Zuzu (a fiesty Chihuahua) to our family and she rules.

Zuzu being cute

Zuzu after a recent grooming session 

Zuzu, Lenny and Squiggy

All our dogs added much joy to our lives and we loved all of them and miss those that are gone. Our memories of them remain vivid and joyful. Our current mini-pack keeps us happy, healthy, and active because they love their walks. I hope you enjoyed our abbreviated Dogs photo album. We have several hundred photos of our dogs but I guess this is enough for you now.

Bill - I know you also have had many dogs and currently have two to enrich your life. Enjoy them. Take care of them. Also take care of yourself and your family.

Sincerely Clark

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