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.
|Bill and Clark holding Timmy (my first dog)|
|Grandpap and me with Timmy|
|Clark and Mopper|
|Bill and Mopper|
|Unfortunately my parents relegated Mopper to a dog house.|
|Pat, her brother Jim, and Muggs|
|Muggs with Ken (Pat's father)|
|Muggs with Pat's brother Jim|
Clark and Pat's Dogs
|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|
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|
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|
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|
|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.