There was Mike–smartest dog they every had. He was a stray they found on the 99, driving home from the bay area. He looked left; as in he was left behind. Mom opened her door and he flew right in, careful to not get her dirty. 70 years later, she will still talk about what a smart dog Mike was. Mike was a border collie, bred with an Australian shepherd . He’d obviously be trained some, since he would herd up all kinds of things that looked untidy.
They I had Poppy, a black Cocker we has before I could say Puppy. We had her for a longest time until one of the farmers brought her out to dad in the field wrapped up in his leather jacket. He’d found her a mile or so from home. Probably was just nipped round chasing a car. He knew that Jimmy wouldn’t want Inez or the girls to see her like that.
After Mike was Ted. Huge wheat colored Australian Shepherd followed by our hobo Buster who just showed up. Buster was one of that really large, UGLY pit bull looking dogs who could leap over the 10 foot fence and be on top of a door to door salesman before he even opened his door. Hew was the bouncer for our farm: if you knew him, you could get in, If you didn’t….So there for a while, we didn’t get any surprises. We got the pastry man, the milk man reliably, but unknown salesmen didn’t always make the cut. And I know first had, that Buster could squioosh himself, as huge as he was and launch himself out of the opened wing window.
And yes, Buster was just as happy to be the big dolly for two little farm girls. We could ride on him and then all collapse in the shade and nap all afternoon. We could dress him up in our old clothes and hats and play tea party with him.
Then we had Pee Wee, a long haired Pekinese. He couldn’t live in the house and he couldn’t comfortably live out in the 120 heat of the summer….so Mom kept him shaved to the bone and he had a little doghouse, covered with burlap sacks and a little drip of a faucet on his little space. Pee Wee was just too fancy for us! I don;t remember him doing anything but laying in the dirt, panting.
We had mom’s dog Penny that one of the farmers brought home as a present for her. Penny must have had some Pomeranian and chihuahua in her…..she was high strung and did not much like children. Or Jimmy. (He threw a hat at her once and she never forgot. She was afraid of thunder and once she ran way out into the field for him to save her. He brought her back home and we found her inside the house. When Mam asked Daddy about it, he said “She was scared enough to come out and get me.”
Penny had two litters—Brad Nicols got one of the pups and named it Brown. The next time she had pups, we kept the only one that lived and name her Onie. Onie looked just like a gopher. All she wanted to do was get fed and get into the house.