Friday, August 26, 2016


One of the best ways to wake up.
Full disclosure: I've never really owned a dog.

That's largely true. My mom briefly owned one after my dad died. My niece, Laura, brought two dogs when she moved in with me for a stretch in 2009-10. She brought Grim (fairly bratty little thing that still freaks out Sean at the mention of his name) and Roxy.

Roxy. In my lifetime, I can think of two dogs who have ever had such an impact. Not to say there aren't other dogs I adore (cousin Kris and wife Lori have Bailey, who is super cool, for instance), but Roxy and my dearly-departed friend Scrappy (he of the Harold/Tracy/Cameron/Katie household) are the two.

I wrote about Scrappy once. We (and I'm not part of their family, but I feel comfortable saying "we" when it comes to Scrappitydoo) lost the sweetest corgi in 2011. Hard to explain, since I was just a visitor, but man we had a friendship. That dog was always thrilled to see me, and vice versa. I'd think "nah, just a coincidence," but I realized I had to give myself a little credit. He always had to show me the toys and then play with me, and god forbid if I didn't. The barking would commence. He'd flop right down on his side for me to pet him every time.

Roxy, as she lived with me, is a whole different story. Sean and I have a running gag, that when we go to Fayetteville to visit her (oh yeah, and our human family also), she'll bark furiously at us, the realize who she's barking at.

"Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Oh, it's you."
"America's Dog," Roxy
Roxy has visited us for sleepovers and hogged the bed and faithfully snuggled, and laid on my feet as I worked, and walked and peed and pooped and barked and played and done a whole lot of dog activities.

We once made up a breed for her when someone asked: A Red Heeler Hippadooda. OK, Red Heeler's are real. Hippadooda's aren't.

Then there's Harry The Wonder Dog (The Wonder Dog part is mine, trademark circa 2014) who died (we're journalists, so passed away is a short story in our world) late last year. He's still very much missed by his family.

I only knew him by his bark, but he was a faithful, adorable dog.

So whether it's Mason, Max, Diggy, Daisy, Elmo, Gracie, or some other four-legged canine pal, Happy National Dog Day. A little extra Chuck Wagon is yours tonight.

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