Man's Best Friend
Canine who have graced my life
About 1975 or so a stray appeared on the doorstep one day. He was smallish tan dog and for whatever reason we called him "Scruffy". He had
obviously been mistreated at some point and was a bit skittish in some ways. But he was full of love and loyalty for the family that gave him a home.

Smart as a whip, she became house trained after ONE accident on paper, and was perfectly behaved unless I left her in my bedroom alone too
long. In those cases she would turn over the trash can and carefully spread its contents as far and wide as possible.

In mid-1981 Scruffy disappeared, probably shot by a someone who had nothing better to do.

In December 1981, just over a year after she came, Mutt was playing with a neighbor's dog in the field next door. Both dogs ran in front of the
neighbor's truck. Mutt was killed instantly. I carried her lifeless body back onto my parents property and laid it down. I sobbed and sobbed calling
out her name in a wail. I carried her another 1000 feet or so and buried her beneath a cedar tree next to where I had buried Dutch a few years

While dogs were sometimes around, I didn't really own a dog for twelve years after that December day. Losing Mutt was hard on me in so many
ways. It ripped my guts out. My best friend was snatched away. Losing a dog is a different dynamic than losing a person. When a person dies
people understand. When a dog dies only "dog people" understand. In late Summer and early Fall of 1981 I started working for the local radio
station as an announcer. This gave me something to concentrate on and put my energy into but losing my best friend at 19 was a tough lesson in
the harsh side of existence.

A wonderful friend, Mutt and/or Boodoo.
LEFT: Her papers said her name was
"Mark's Beloved Virginia Girl"
but she was mainly called Mutt.
Mutt the Third that is.
Later in life she also answered to "Boodoo".
June 11 1993 - January 6
A work in progress, Mutt the Fourth
RIGHT: The cycle continues.
Laughter triumphs over tears.
She is Mutt the Fourth and came
to also be known as "Midiboo."
In late Fall 1980 a small black dog wandered up to our house. With
strays you never know if they intend to stay or are just visiting. My
bedroom was in the basement of my parent's home and that evening I
heard a scratching at my window. There was the black dog. She and I
became inseparable. I was eighteen and for the first time had a dog that
was "all mine". She quickly picked up the name "Mutt" and while she
spent the night in doors with me, she roamed during the day usually in
company with Scruffy. As it turned out she was a puppy with a lot of
growing to do. Clearly a Lab mix, she grew to roughly the height and
length of a Lab while being somewhat lighter in weight.
The original Mutt with Linda my sister
Mutt the First with my
sister Linda. This
picture was taken in
late Summer 1981.
I pity the man who's never known the love of a dog. Next to a loving family, good health, and freedom, nothing else
on this Earth compares. I am fortunate in this respect as I've loved and been loved by more than my share of
canine. In 1963 when I was about a year old, my dad brought home a Cocker Spaniel puppy . Black and with a tiny
bump of a tail, "Dutchess", or usually just plain Dutch, was always there in my childhood. When I was six or so and
old enough to play alone in the fenced in back yard, I would get Dutch from her pen and run and play. She was loyal
to a fault and many were the hours that we played hide and seek. I'd hide and she would make every widening
circles with her nose to the ground in search of her young master. Dutch lived to be more than 14 years old and I
am ashamed to say that in her last months she got less attention from her now teenaged master than she deserved.
Her back end got weak and finally useless and the end came on a cold day in February 1978. At left is a snapshot of
Dutch and I during the Summer of 1972. I was 9, she was 8 and already turning gray.
Dutch and I, Summer of'72
"Sadie" was a Bassett Hound that my sister Sharon bought as a puppy in about 1972. Sadie had a large appitite
and just as big a heart. She was a gentle sweet dog who loved to play tug of war with a rag or whatever was handy.
She and I had a game where we would "fight" and then I'd pretend she was too much for me and I'd go into the
fetal position and beg her to not eat me alive. She'd stop until I moved, at which point we would start the game all
over. Sadie had a BIG voice and if you heard her without seeing her you would have thought she was a Great
Dane. Sadie died sometime in the early 1980's. At right she is about 6 months old and all ears and feet.
Sadie, a sweet and funny Bassett Hound
Born February 14 2006