Friday, February 12, 2010


When I say “Father”, I am not referring to my dad nor a priest but to a stray dog that came to our house in November, 1995. Where Father came from or who his previous owners were, we do not know. We gave him his name out of simplicity or possibly laziness.

We do know why Father started hanging around our house. It was about the same time that a neighbor’s Dalmatian, Princess, moved into the shed in our yard along with her puppy, a raven, long-haired fur ball. (The puppy never had a name.) Father had a majestic mane of long black hair and was a chow/lab mix with a black tongue characteristic of a chow along with a curly tail. Father was the father of the little puppy. Princess was most likely going into heat, and Father was lured by the call of Nature to Princess and subsequently our home.

Princess, in an attempt to save her puppy after her owner had given away the rest of her puppies in the litter, moved to the shed. I told the owners several times the first week that Princess was in the shed where Princess was, but the neighbor’s seemed unconcerned and gave me the ‘yeah , yeah’ treatment. They finally took their dog back home well over 3 months after Princess came to our house.

Princess was nice to us, as was the puppy. Father, on the other hand, hated me and the rest of the family, and I have to admit, I didn’t like him much either at the time. Every time I went outside, he would growl and bark at me and would then run into the woods. He had a high-pitched, shrill bark that penetrated my ears. I can still remember it to this day. At first, whenever we referred to Father, we would say ‘the father dog’. Later, it became simply ‘Father’. And that is how Father got his name.

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