Sparkplug is the first dog that I remember having. He was the first pet that I remember at all. I was less than five years old when I had him. He was a little thing, maybe a Chihuahua, something small like that. He had short hair and was the color of the dirt in our driveway. He blended in really well. This was his undoing. He liked to sleep on the dirt driveway. One day my daddy came home in his big, old truck and barreled into the driveway like he always did. I don't know if he was tired from working, or was drunk, or just plain didn't see Sparkplug asleep there in the driveway, but he ran over him. I don't have any pictures of him.
Abby & Precious were dogs that David shared with me when we were dating. Abby was his dog and she had puppies. He let me have one of them. I couldn't keep her at my house, so she lived with him and her mommy. Abby was a lot like I was when I was a little girl; no matter how much she was fed, she was willing to take food whenever it was offered. Mrs. Divine was David's neighbor and she gave food to Abby even though David was feeding her 100 pounds of food a week. He says she still acted like she was starving. He kept telling Mrs. Divine that he really was feeding her. For every really sweet person like Mrs. Divine, there is an evil person, and this evil person found our sweet Abby and Precious and gave them poisoned food. Our hearts were broken. I don't have pictures of Abby or Precious either.
Once we got him home and fed him, he threw up something about as big as he was. We thought it was his guts or something else that he might need later, so we took him to the vet. He spent his first night as our puppy at the vet's office. They decided that he must have just eaten something that didn't agree with him. They also told us that he would never get over twenty pounds. Puppy feet don't lie. By the time that we lost Gus, he was over eighty pounds of love and loyalty.
Shep was a very loyal dog, just like Gus. If she thought someone was hurting any of the children, she would have torn them to pieces. David's step-father was tickling one of the girls and made her squeak. Shep went into protective mode and bit the back of his leg. She wasn't going to let anyone hurt the kids.
Overall, Shep was an extremely loving and gentle dog. The only time that she was snippy was when she was pregnant. We warned people not to mess with her then, but not everyone listened and she nipped at them. They left her alone after that.
We had Shep until 2008. During her last few months with us, she got rather stubborn. She wouldn't come inside when she was called. She wanted to stay outside in the sun. She was too old to be an outside dog in the Texas heat, so we had to keep her inside. On her last day, she had an apparent heart attack. It was so very hard to let her go. We were determined to absolutely get no more dogs. It is too hard to take the loss. Whatever our plans were, Heavenly Father had others...
Batly and Petra are the little yappers that we have now. They are both cute as can be, but, boy, do they have mouths on them! They are Jack Russell Terriers mixed with Chihuahua, otherwise known as "Jack Cheese". Batly is an affectionate dog and wants to be loved on. She makes a good lap dog. Petra, however, is very hyper and has usurped Batly as the Alpha dog (Batly is older). Petra doesn't want to let me love on them. Whereas Batly will gladly let me pet her, Petra hates me and snaps at me. A few days ago, she bit me for trying to pet Batly. I don't know how to fix this problem. I've never done anything mean to either one of them, but now I hesitate to try to pet either one because Petra is so aggressive towards me. In reality, they are our oldest daughter's dogs and when she sets up her own home, they will go with her. It would be really nice to be able to pet them while they're here without getting bitten. Hopefully, Petra will grow out of it before Batly decides that she doesn't want me to love on her.
It is our intention that once these puppies go with our daughter to her new home, there will be no more for me and David. We are getting too old for this much heartache and can't be sure that we'd be able to take care of them the way they should be taken care of due to our own health issues. But, Heavenly Father may have other plans for us still. We'll see how it goes.