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Monday, November 11, 2013

I Miss that Dog

It was a crisp, fall morning and my brother Rick, Mom, Gram and Gramp were off to pick some apples at the local orchard.  This had become quite a tradition for the family every fall.  We would often pick several bushels which would eventually turn into apple pies, apple sauce and apple grunt.  This morning was different from other apple picking ventures, because in the open trunk of our car, in a basket sat a new puppy.  A Brittany Spaniel (now called a Brittany) my brother had named Brandy because of her orange colored spots and ticking.  This brit was unhappy at recently being taken from the company of her  mother's warm protection and was letting us know by yelping at the top of her lungs.  Needless to say my brother and I took turns trying to comfort the poor dog but on she yelped.

We didn't know it then, but that morning would start a relationship that would change our lives in many ways.  Rick spent hour after hour training this dog to sit and lay down and retrieve birds.  Brandy loved feathers naturally and would immediately get excited whenever a pheasant tail was presented for play.  There was something happening here that I don't know if any of us intended.  Day by day this dog became less of Rick's hunting dog and more like the Cuda family dog.  Day after day this dog played with socks, feathers and swam in our pool with us.  She had a look of complete intelligence I have never seen on a dog and don't know if I ever will again.

Did she hunt you may ask?  I think she did go on a hunt or two but never went on many.  She was too involved in being a pampered family dog to dream about hunting.  She had it made.  All she had to do was flash those eyes and she melted our hearts.  She was the type of dog who would sit at your feet and respect you.  She was not prone to growling or biting and was always happy to see Dad or Rick come home. By the hour she would sit at the front window waiting for any sign of them.  She would only take time to eat and play a bit and back she was at her post.   She died of diabetes many many years ago but her memory lives on in each of us.

I thought I would just write down these thoughts as I think back on our childhood pets.  All I can say in conclusion is there will never be another dog like Brandy. She was the true embodiment of the notion of "mans best friend."

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