Many Dogs…

Queenie The wonder dog
I have had many dogs in my life and each and everyone of them were a gift and a true blessing. My first do was Queenie, she was a black Lab mix. She came into our lives from a family member. When my family got her my brother and I were young kids. When we got Queenie she had a broken leg. She was stepped on by a family member as a puppy. Well Queenie’s injuries didn’t end there. If there ever was a Wonder Dog it was her. After her broken leg this little girl was hit by a truck, mauled by a Doberman and once she got out on us and had a one night stand. Well she came home pregnant and what a wonderful experience that was. My brother and I being in elementary school thought it was so cool that our dog was going to have puppies. My Dad at the time was working late so when it came time for the birth it was all up to Mom. She rushed Queenie to the vet and the pups couldn’t wait. Queenie was giving birth in the car. I don’t recall what happened next because I was home with a neighbor watching me but I remember Mom coming back home with Queenie. My Mom put queenie in a large cardboard box and she gave birth to the rest of the pups. Sad to say one was born breech and my Mom had to help Queenie along with that one. My Mom was always a trooper. No blood and guts ever got to her. Hell she raised two boy and we spilled enough of it. Seeing that pup be born dead was such a sorry thing. My neighbor who was a dog breeder said to get it away from Queenie ASAP.


Queenie was such a great Mom and me and my brother were the toast of the town. Hell, we had puppies and all the kids wanted to see them. Queenie was a protective Mother but not a vicious one at that. She would let anyone handle her kids. I have video of those pups and it is such a wonderful thing seeing them grow in those videos. My parents would take the pups to the vet for check ups and when the time came the vet said to my Dad, “Be ready for when Queenie wants no more of them feeding from her.” He said we were going to have to make some mush for them to eat. When that day came that Queenie wanted no more of them sucking on her, my Dad put a bowl of mush down and Queenie picked each and everyone of them up and put them in the mush. Why cant we do that with libs? Get the off the Government breast and put them in mush. There are so many great memories of The Queen as I called her, but the toughest day was when we had to lay her to rest. As I said my Dad worked nights so he wanted his boys to come home for lunch so we could spend some time together. Well one day my brother and I went home for lunch during school and my Dad said it me. We have to put Queenie down. Saddest day of my life. Mom saki I didn’t have to go back to school but I did as my brother and father went to the vet. I needed to get a late pass and the lady at the attendance office looked at me and said, “What’s the matter? You look like you lost your best friend.” Well I used a few curse words and damn not got suspended from school. Did this with a few other teachers but I ain’t going into all that. The fondest memory I have of Queenie is when my father would take us to a wooded park and we would play hound and the hare. My brother, my cousins and I would run off into the woods. My father would give us a few minutes to get ahead and then he sent Queenie looking for us. She always found us.

Duke our first pure bred Lab. The Dukester
We got Duke when Queenie was a few years old. Here was this BIG puppy who wanted to romp but Queenie was an adult now and didn’t have much romp in her. When we got Duke from the breeders they said he was going to be a very big boy and you will not be able to show. him. What did we know from putting a dog in the dog show? We just wanted a dog. Well Duke was a huge Lab. 95 to 100 pounds of muscle. This dog was gorgeous. This dog was big. Not big enough for Queenie to put him in his place though. When she had had enough she let him know it. And the big lug would back down and he had about 55 ponds on her. Duke was an athlete. Would run all day and swim all night. You couldn’t keep this dog out of the water. He once jump into the Great South Bay on a Super Bowl Sunday. My father took us to the beach on Super Bowl Sunday and was about to let Duke out of the car. I don’t think in all my Dad’s life he thought Duke would run into the water. But he sure did and there were icebergs floating. Everyone in our town knew Duke. My father working nights would take Duke to the ball field and run him there and all the kids loved to throw the ball for Duke. Duke was one hell of a watch dog too. I remember having a party once when my parents went out and invited a few people over to drink beer and goof off. Hell why not? Parents are out and that’s what teenagers do. Well I invited people I trusted. A guy down the block was having a party too and some of his riff raff decided to crash my party. They rand the bell and said, “I hear you’re having a party.” And I said it was by invite only. They said they were coming in anyhow. that’s when I informed them that they can come in if they can get pass Duke. I have never in my life with this dog seen him get so mean and so vicious. The growl and the teeth were enough to scare the hell out of me. Needless to say, the party crasher didn’t have the fortitude to come through the door. Like I said, Duke loved the water. When it came time to take the cover off the pool, Duke knew what was coming. Too bad he didn’t have the patience for it. Our pool was an above ground pool so in order for Duke to get in the pool my father would put a picnic bench next to the ladder and Duke would jump onto the picnic bench and then onto the ladder and into the pool. So my Dad, brother and I would start to pull the cover off the pool and no sooner did it hit the ground Duke would come running and jump right over the four foot wall and into the pool. He loved the pool. My parents were divorced and I was living with my Dad so when the time came to lay Duke down to rest, my Mom and brother really didn’t have the time to inform us. It came on so quickly and my Father and I never got the chance to goodbye to Duke. I don’t begrudge my brother one bit. He did what he had to do and took on a task I never want.

Amber, my little Amber girl.
Amber was our first Golden. The vets tell us she was a mix, but to me she was a tiny Golden. This was Momma’s little girl. My Mom had rescued her from a shelter and was in her house a couple of years before I moved back home for a while. After Duke was gone my Mom wanted another dog in the house but wasn’t sure she was ready. Mom went to the local shelter and was looking at all the hounds there and if I know my mom, she would have taken them all home. As she is walking up and down looking at all the dogs, she sees Amber. This timid, frightened dog all the way in the back of her kennel. My mom asks the worker to see if anything is wrong with Amber and the worker tells her no. Amber is just frightened because it was her first day in the shelter. So mom not sure if she wants to bring another dog home because the heartache from losing Duke is still too raw, walks out of the shelter. Needless to say mom didn’t get too far. She didn’t make it back to her car and she turned around and brought Amber home. The only problem was Amber was car sick and mom had a mess to clean up when she got her home. Amber was a little lady and could be very prissy, kind of like John Edwards. She didn’t like the snow and the rain because she didn’t like to get her feet wet. So when it came time to let her out for her pee’s and poops it was a chore. But she could be a tough little one when she wanted to be. She didn’t mind rough housing and didn’t back down from a good tug of war. As I said, she was mom’s little girl. She was my mom’s shadow. If mom wanted to relax in a hot bath, Amber had to be lying right next to the tub. And when mom was coming home from work Amber’s ears would perk up when mom’s car was around the corner. I would swear this dog could talk. I would asker if Amber wants a cookie and she would responded wit ha “WOO WOO’ it almost sounded like she was saying cookie. In the end Amber was diagnosed with pancreatic Cancer. I don’t know what it is with Labs and Goldens but cancer seems to effect them a lot. Ambers vet did what he could and removed her pancreas and she was back home with us. But not for long. As time wore on so did the cancer. My mom made reservations, so to speak to have Amber put down. I knew this was the last time I would ever spend with her so I decided to tell my boss I needed the day off. He asked me why and I told him tomorrow I have to put my dog sown and I want to spend as much time as I could. He wasn’t very understanding but I really didn’t give a rats ass. Me and Amber spent the whole day cuddling on the couch. My mom got home from work and informed me that the vet couldn’t put Amber down because he had an emergency operation he had to perform. I couldn’t believe it. Here I am holding, kissing this dog and now it has to be prolonged a little while. Might seems a little selfish, but how do you prepare yourself for something you know is going to happen only to have it wait another day? Well the next day came and I told my boss I wont be in again because I wanted to be with my mom. My brother has a bigger set that I do and he has always been the one to do the deed when the time came. I will never forget home upset my mother was. Amber was cremated and her ashes are with my mom to this day.

Toby, Tubber Wubber
Toby was another dog mom rescued. She got her from the Town of Oyster Bay animal shelter and Toby came into the shelter without a name, so hence the name TOBY. So mom brought her home to Amber. Toby was a Chocolate Lab and she was big. Not big like Duke because Toby wasn’t all that muscular. She was built like an aircraft carrier. Wide body and a flat back. That’s not to say she couldn’t move. She could have her “crazy hours” as Mom would call them and they always seemed to happen right after she ate. This dog would run up and down the hallway of Moms house and she would be able to get to the end of the hall and be able to lift herself off the ground and head in the other direction at full steam and never slow down. She could run full speed and get in between the couch and coffee table and not knock a damn thing over. Even though she was very agile, Toby hated the water and this is so uncommon for Labs. She would actually panic when we would put her in the pool. Toby was the biggest bed hog next to my wife and it never bothered me one bit. What got me was her snoring. Toby’s, not my wife’s. I couldn’t believe that something so loud could come out of a dog. It was so comical to hear. But I will tell you what, she sure did keep you warm on cold winters night. She had to be so close to you she damn near was on the other side of you. Well Toby got sick and cancer claimed another dog and this time again I wasn’t living with Mom when it happened.

Champ, a noble beast
Champ was my brother’s dog. The two of them were inseparable. My mom got Champ from a friend of mine, actually his sister. This family had gotten Champ as a pup but it didn’t last long for them. The mother and father of this family decided to get a puppy for their kids because the kids wanted one. Sad to say the father passed away when Champ was less than two years old and the Mother of 3 young kids didn’t have time for Champ. So my friend asked me if my Mom would like to take him in. So I took mom to this ladies house and I think it took all of 12 seconds for Mom to say yes. Champ still had a lot of puppy in him and wasn’t about to let go of it. He was a home wrecker. But mom being the disciplinarian she was want about to let a dog run all over her. Champ learned fast who the boss was and Toby made sure Champ followed her lead. I never saw two dogs be such buddies. The two of them had such a special bond together. When Toby was put to sleep, you could just see it in Champs eyes that he lost his best friend. Champ was a magnificent looking Golden and he knew it. His chest was always stuck right out there for all the world to see. I didn’t live with Champ but I loved him none the less. This dog had no idea how big he was. I would say he was about 90 pound and Champ would say he was a lap dog. Because that is where he wanted to be. A 90 pound Golden right in your lap. Humans would say it ain’t going to work. Champ would make it work. He was getting in your lap come hell or high water and there ain’t a damn thing you could do about it. And to tell you, I loved every minute of it. The day Champ passed my brother called me up and said Champ is dead. I remember time standing still. I raced over to Moms house and there was Champ. Sprawled out in the living room with no life in him. This part is tough because this is the last memory I have of him. My brother and I wrapped Champ up in a blanket and carried him to the car. It all happened so fast and I don’t know how it happened but Champ slipped out of the blanket and crashed onto the concrete. The sickening thud as he hit the ground will be with me forever and I just hope that Champ knows I didn’t mean it to happen.

My wife’s daughter wanted a dog and she wanted a toy Yorkie. I for one was never a “little” dog fan. I always loved big dogs, but it didn’t take long to fall in love with this little squirt. I remember when she was just a couple of months old I would sit on the couch with her and she would be on my chest. She would stick her nose in my beard and poke around and scratch. I guess she was looking for a place to feed. Tiffany isn’t you run of the mill little prissy dog. Our friend Suzio at MarkLevinFan.com calls her tough Tiffany and she does have a little fight in her for such a small dog. She isn’t intimidated by much bigger dogs and hates squirrels in out yard. She loves going in the pool and isn’t shy for a good tug of war with my slippers. When I come into the house after work, Tiffany is always at the door with bone in mouth saying hello. Little butt shaking so much that the entire body is moving. She could probably dust the furniture in less than a minute. Last year at this time my Aunt passed away. Tiffany must have sensed something was wrong because for a couple of days she didn’t greet me at the door in her usual fashion. I would get home and she would just walk up to me very calmly and look at me with the same sad eyes I had due to the loss of my beloved Aunt. When I sat on the couch she would jump up into my lap and give me the same sad look. By God I would swear if she could have talked she would have been saying, “I’m sorry for your loss.”

I didn’t mean to go on so much, but each and every dog in my life have been a true blessing and the ones that aren’t with me anymore I missed all too much to this day. The only fault a dog has is their life it too short.


Pete from NY


One Response

  1. Diane from California Says:

    Pete, you have a heck of a way with words. You got me laughing through the tears. Thanks for sharing your great stories. Sounds like your mom is a wonderful woman, and a great judge of dogs. I’m gonna steal your line about taking the libs off the Government breast and putting them in the mush. That’s exactly what we need to do with them, my friend. You made my week with that line! God bless!