June 27, 2011

Memory Lane Monday - Wet Noses

l-r: Duncan, Handsome, MacDuff, Bryn and Old Morgan
When I first met Handsome in 1981, he already had "Old Morgan". I loved him from the moment I first laid eyes on him. (Handsome, too!) Morgan was our only dog until Bryn came along in early 1985. She was my first "very own dog".

Morgan completely ignored her for about three days, but on the fourth day, he dropped down into the grass and they played for what seemed forever. From then on, he took on the roll of her big brother, her guardian, her buddy.

Six months later, we brought home our first Golden retriever, MacDuff (who we nicknamed "Duff"), and a little black Labrador for our older son, who he prompty named Duncan. From then on, there was no turning back.
l-r: Friday, me and Kyra
Bryn had two litters of puppies during her lifetime. I kept Bannor from her first litter and Kyra from her second.

In this picture, I'm holding two pups that stayed with us from her second litter in 1988. The lighter-colored pup on the left, was given to our younger son. He called him King Friday the 13th (just like on Mr. Rogers), but his call name was Friday, and Kyra is the darker yellow Lab in my other arm.
l-r: Bee (Duff's sister), Samantha Rose, Kyra, young Morgan, Bryn, Bannor & Duff.
In 1997, our own dogs numbered seven. We had a six-run kennel and worked our dogs in the field nearly every day. Our building kept them cool in summer and warm in winter and they could go inside and out as they pleased. All of them were housebroken as pups, so we always rotated them in and out of the house. However, when Wisconsin winter held our days firmly in its grasp, we brought all of them in so we could keep each other warm.

As time passed, so did some of our beloved dogs. New pups came along and over the years, we were fortunate that our kennels were still populated with beautiful, affectionate and skilled working dogs.
Young Kirby with me
Kirby came along in 1999 (a gift from my BFF and her husband), and along with my yellow Lab, Bannor, young Morgan and his daughter, Kes moved with us to Florida in 2001. After Friday died, Kirby moved from our home in Florida back to our younger son's home in Wisconsin.
Kirby with me in 2007 (Wisconsin)
She still lives with them to this day. She is no longer a youngster, but a grand ol' lady who spends her days watching over our granddaughters.
Older son's dog, Conor
Conor was Kes' littermate, born in November, 1997. We gave him to our older son and our daughter-in-law that Christmas. When our grandson came along, Conor watched over him and they became fast pals.

They all lived happily together until sweet Conor passed about three weeks ago. He and his sister would be fourteen in November. He was just too tired to go on and it was his time. He will be sorely missed by those of us who knew and loved him. I think Kes may be the only dog left now from her litter.
Of course, Fezzik
Of course, you remember the little light that lived with us for a very short six months. I can't mention all the pups we've known and loved without mentioning him. Fezzik was our first little dog breed, and I know he'll forgive me for calling him small when he didn't know that he was.

While Handsome had never had a small dog his whole life, we both quickly learned that Corgis are far from being little dogs. I'd been told they are big dogs in petite bodies. I soon found that to be an accurate assessment of their personalities.

If you'd like to see more photos of our dogs, you can click here to go to my Flickr Dog album.

There is something special about having a puppy - that small version of the magnificent dogs they will become. They make us laugh. They try our patience. They stretch our imaginations. When they grow up, we remember their youth almost as well as we remember our own.

Something about us loves the feeling of renewal that comes with bringing home a new puppy. It's a joy that is unknown to those who've never had one. Not only do they seem to make an old dog feel young again, but they bring that same gift to their people. And once you've been given that gift, it's seared in your memory forever.
Thank you for joining me for another Memory Lane Monday. I didn't reach back as far as my childhood, but wanted to let you know that you needn't reach back that far to find memories that make your heart sing.

I hope you'll put a memory into words and come back and link your post to this Memory Lane Monday. I'd love to have you join us each month with a remembrance that inspires you to share it with us.

22 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Cozy Little House said...

Oh, I didn't know about this one! I absolutely and thoroughly enjoyed this post. Misted my eyes a bit. My best friend Nola who is my age, 54, had never had a dog since she was 5. Well, two years ago, dachshund Chili joined her, her husband and their five cats. She can't now imagine life without a dog. I often remind her of those first few weeks when she couldn't take two steps and stop without a puppy running into her, and saying: "I don't know if I can do this." She wouldn't trade this experience for anything in the world now. Enjoyed the pics!

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Beautifully written memories Donna.
I could not wait to come by and see what memories you were sharing with us this month.
Enjoyed reading about all of your babies and the pictures you shared with us are really perfect for this post
As always I love my visits here and I send you much love

Marydon said...

Oh, Donna, you grabbed my heart memories of all my 'babies'. How beautiful all yours are ... & so many. They are the most beautiful friend a human can be blessed with ... forever faithful & loving, never criticizing & so loyal.

Thank you for reminding me of today ... jostle me next month also.

Have a beautiful day, my friend.

Just Me and My Shadow said...

Beautiful memories. The paw prints our beautiful dogs leave on our hearts are truly precious.


nancy huggins said...

Oh My Gosh Donna..That is the BEST DOG post anyone has written..very well said and you know who my best friends are and I bet you can even remember the Maggie stories (and of course Calli and Bianca and sweet little Annie)
My Dogs Past and Present hold more memories than my whole child hood (even though some of them were not plesant) but I wouldn't part with my fur babies for a million dollars and I sincerely mean that.

Minimiss said...

Delightfully gorgeous photos of cute pups and fantastic friends.

Sharon said...

Beautiful post, Donna! Excited about the 4th...

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh Donna Sweetie...
What a gorgeous share. Love the photos and love the memories of each critter. They sure do tug at our hearts don't they? The little corgi grabbed my heart. Love that one.

Thanks for sharing sweetie. I added my memory link here along with sharing Marydon's Monday Love Is. So I was able to hit both of yours. I enjoyed sharing my memory.

Many hugs and much love, Sherry

Twyla and Lindsey said...

Donna, I so enjoyed seeing all your babies. They were all very handsome dogs and I'm sure they all had hearts of gold. Loved all the pictures! Twyla

MosaicMagpie said...

Their wet noses and my wet cheeks. Crying like a baby. Such a great post. You are right about how they add so much to our lives.

Carol said...

Some of my best memories are of my puppy pals. Wonderful to remember them. Hard to think about a new friend to fill that space, isn't it.

These are great pics of you and your pards.

Lululiz said...

What a beautiful post. I can't imagine life without dogs anymore.

Jillayne said...

This was beautiful Donna - it's easy to see what wonderful and important members of your family your dogs have been.
And they all look like they have the biggest grins on their faces!
You have shared some lovely memories here today!

Kris said...

Oh, Donna - when the two husbands have come and gone and the friends and acquaintances come and go, it is the dogs (and a few cats along the way) that have punctuated my life with love and compassion!! My cute Dad, at 93, knows that if I am to be able to help him through the rest of his life, it has to be me AND Pollie!! He's not much of a dog person but he spoils Pollie rotten!! I love them both with all my heart!! Thanks for a wonderful post!! Kris

Sherri said...

Donna, you are right there is just something about a puppy! All the puppies in your life have been special and I hope you find another special puppy in your life in the near future! HUGS! I still miss Fezzik!

Michelle May (Shell) said...

Such a beautiful post. I still cry when I see Fezzie's face. Critters have always been my best friends. They want nothing but love.
xx, shell

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

Donna, what a great post! Love it's title, too. My precious JRT Sissy is really facing battles right now (I was on the phone with her specialist today) and so this really touched me, reading all about your loves! They are each so sweet and special in their own way.

You have such a kind and loving heart and it really shows!! If I believed in reincarnation, I'd wanna come back as YOUR next little love!! :0)

Big TX Hugs,
Angelic Accents

Shirley said...

Hi Donna, I enjoyed your post tonight. It reminded me of all of the pups that we had as growing up as a child. Our pride and joy was a black lab that my uncle told my dad he would just be a little dog. Boy was that wrong. My dad was over 6 ft and he could put his front paws on dad's shoulders. He got is a fight with something and we could not save him. After that it was always just mutts as we called them. Have a great day. Your Missouri Friend.

Sarah said...

A very special post, Donna. Thanks for sharing. ~ Sarah

Quiltin' Sandy said...

Hi Donna, I have so enjoyed reading about all of your many pets. What a joy they are, I cannot imagine a life without a pet. They are all beautiful and deserving of our loving care. The picture of Fezz still brought tears to my eyes, he was so sweet, but we know that he is waiting to greet you again one day, along with all of your other beautiful pets. Hugs, Sandy. :)

dogsmom said...

This was very sweet and still saddening as one of my "Old Men" passed this winter (still too recently) and another is on his final days. Even if they had lived to be 15 or 20 years it is too soon.
We have to treasure them every day we have together.

Faerie Moon Creations said...

So sorry I am late in visiting you here for this beautiful and special post. I know that it must have been hard to write. But there is also so much joy in it, too. There is truly nothing like a sweet puppy to bring a smile to one's face. And watching them grow into loving and loyal members of your family. Each time one of my furry "children," it tears a chunk out of my heart. But their loving carefree lives and how they touched me will always live in my heart. Thank you for sharing this amazing post!!!


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