Monday, April 4, 2011

Canine - Today's Blog Feature

I'm really getting into this A to Z blogging Challenge. At first, I thought I was nuts to agree to do it on two different blogs (this one and my Author Exchange Blog). Now, however, I'm getting into the groove. And just saying that dates me but, if you got a glimpse of my PR photo, I wouldn't need to say silly things from the 70s to provide you with a clue  about my age!

Canine is today's blog topic. Canines belong to the biological family "canidae," which refers to a group of animals that includes wolves, coyotes, foxes, jackals, and domestic dogs.


When I was little, my fear of dogs paralyzed me. I'm still scared stiff of dogs under certain conditions: Seeing a dog running at me when I'm walking outside--and don't know the dog; two dogs meeting each other for the first time--all that sniffing, growling, and potential for disaster has me hiding behind the nearest person (even, I'm embarrassed to admit, my own kids); and a bunch of dogs playing together--as they do at the park or in doggy day care.


I've owned a number of dogs in my lifetime, starting with the two dogs my parents adopted when I was a kid (Prissy and Gypsy). My ex-husband gave me a Siberian Husky puppy (Eska) as a Christmas gift when I was pregnant with Beth (yesterday's blog feature) and, before the kids grew up and moved away, we shared our home with another Husky (Kia) and a pound puppy named Rosie.

After divorcing and shooing the kids off to college I got lonely, so I decided adopting a dog would be more mentally healthy than dating and adopted a greyhound named Quaker. That didn't work out when Quaker become overly protective and growled at anyone who entered the room. I returned him to the Greyhound rescue agency and adopted my current puppy, Delaney, an 11 1/2 year-old lab/pointer pound puppy.

When I remarried, my husband Stephen came equipped with two Rottweilers--5 year-old Tyson and the puppy, Patience. Tyson was the sweetest dog and, after my initial wariness of his 113-pound body, never experienced a moment's fear. Not of him or of Patience (even I can't be afraid of any dog who came into my home as a puppy). Stephen and I adopted Charlotte, a German Shepherd/Golden Retriever puppy found wandering the streets in Missoula, MT when she was about 4 weeks old. She's a good dog--if you don't consider all her neuroses.

I tend to favor dogs with gentle, affectionate, and friendly dispositions. That's one of the things I love about Huskies and Labs--along with the fact that they're terrific with children (and grandchildren). On the other hand, I fell in love with all the German Shepherds and Stephen's Rotties. In spite of my fear of dogs, I don't hesitate to walk up to these breeds when I come upon them in public. Probably because I understand their temperaments, quirks, and body language.

Beth and Eska

The best thing about Canines is the unconditional love they offer. No one--not my kids, husband, parents, or best friend--has EVER met me at the front door, wiggling with barely contained excitement simply because I arrived home. Ditto when I get up in the morning. Delaney and Charlotte sleep 5 feet away from the bed, yet each morning they nearly wiggle themselves out of their fur saying good morning.

What do you like best about Canines?

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