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Thankful “Thursday” XXVIII – Allie Dog

This Thankful Thursday… err, Saturday in reality – I’m thankful for Allie Dog. Long gone, sadly, but remembered fondly as the only dog I’ve ever had. A bit of backstory.

I love animals, but have allergies. We never had pets when I was a kid, save for a fishtank for a bit. This saddened me a bit, but was just a fact of life. I particularly like cats, and most of them seem to take readily to me, so if not for allergies, it’s likely I’d have been surrounded by kitties over the years. As my dad grew older, he turned into a Cat Person, taking in a couple of tiny black kittens and putting food out for neighborhood strays.

Dogs however, were a bit of a different story. Not only do they seem a bit messy, they can be frightening. While I’ve always been OK with little dogs, big ones tend to scare me. I’ve had too many run-ins with boxers, German shepherds and other similar ones running loose to take fondly to them. And as luck would have it, despite being chased through a city street by a doberman (which had gotten loose from an auto shop) once, the only time I actually ever got bitten was by a Black lab, of all dogs. Supposedly the friendliest of pups, I seemed to come leg to face with the one and only mean-spirited representative of his kind. I was a teen and hiking through an urban woodlot when one rushed me, took a chomp out of my thigh and barked ferociously. Besides ruining a good pair of new jeans, it also necessitated a trip to the ER, a tetanus shot, and a call to police, who found the dog, just as aggressive as advertised, and took it in. Luckily it wasn’t rabid. Since then, I was particularly disinclined to like big black dogs.

Of course, God or fate or karma, whichever you prefer, has its sense of humor. Fast forward about thirty years, and my sweetie (also with fur allergies) are living a nice domestic life in happy, dog-free house when one of her distant relatives had to move and couldn’t find anyone to look after his dog while he got settled in to his new digs. She volunteered to look after the dog while he did that. A week, two tops, we figured. I was not amused and the dog and I seemed to view each other with suspicion when it came. She was set up with a food dish and water and an old doghouse in the backyard and seemed dejected when her owner took off, leaving her behind.

You can probably guess the rest. The one or two weeks became well over a year. The dog, Allie, seemed glum the first few days in a new home without her familiar person. We had a leash; eventually I apprehensively put it on her and tried to see if she’d walk. She did. It didn’t take long for her to decide I was the best human around, and me to notice Allie was the best dog in the world. She was a quiet dog, a definite plus to me. Her bark would scare off the most hardened burglar, I’m sure, but it would almost take someone trying to break in to coax her to show that. I’d spend time with her out in the backyard, and rain or shine, we’d go for a walk to the park down the road every day. Although by “walk”, I tend to mean “jog”…Allie was always energetic and ready to examine the next smell along the way. It was a daily highlight for us both.

Inevitably, over a year later, her original owner returned and took her back. It was a sad day in our household. However, the already aging pup (we figure she was about 12 at the time) lived a few more happy years and I got to see pictures of her frollicking in the Gulf of Mexico, quite enjoying it before she took off to the Happy Butt-sniffing Grounds of the doggie great beyond.

So here’s to pets. They add so much to our lives and ask so little in return for their friendship. And to the unexpected circumstances. Allie showed me again that life’s detours don’t always lead us into unwanted areas.

10 Replies to “Thankful “Thursday” XXVIII – Allie Dog”

  1. How did you control your allergies with Allie? That is sad that they took her away…I get it but that did have to be sad. I’m sad for you all to have to go through that. I’m happy that Allie and you bonded and you got in touch with your dog side lol. Geez Dave I’m sorry in advance for writing a novel on your post!

    Oh, how I love dogs…I mean love. I like cats and have never had a problem with them…I just connect better with dogs. As a kid, my mom would not allow a dog or any animal in the house…we lived in the country so I would have “outside” dogs like a collie, beagle, and an Irish Setter…they were my pals while out…then I looked in our 1967 encyclopedias at the dogs…and feel in love with Saint Bernards just by sight.

    No way would mom get me one (we couldn’t have afforded one anyway) so I just dreamed of having one…one day. That day came in 1999…traveled to Illinois to get her….it was love at first sight for both of us. She was mine from then on…if Jen raised her voice at me the dog would bark at her…not mean …just to tell her to stop getting on dad. She ended up saving Jen…a full-blooded German Shepard came out of nowhere running at Jen in the yard…Snoops (we didn’t name her) busted the gate down and body-slammed that dog into the ground. It left whining and never came back.

    My mom had Alzheimer’s and she visited us when Snoops lived with us inside (they have to live inside here). I thought she would say something but she just smiled and Snoops would sit…literally sit on the couch beside her (with her butt on the couch and paws on the floor) and look after mom….she never left her side…she knew something was wrong with mom. So…us having those dogs was partly my rebellion against my mom’s earlier wishes but I don’t regret one day of it.

    I apologize Dave if I told you this before but I could talk about dogs for days. When Snoops died…I was devastated and had to explain to Bailey who was 8 at the time what happened. Then Molly came and the same thing…and now we are blessed with Martha. They were/are part of our family. Yes, they are messy and every spring and fall for a week…get the tape out to get the hair off of you while getting ready to go to Church or where ever…but for us, our house is not a home without one. In short, I love all dogs…I don’t like mean ones but usually or almost always they are raised by someone who makes them that way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. First, no prob Max…thank you for the comment. I appreciate thoughtful responses.
      With the allergies…we set up a bed for her with water & food in garage, she only had to walk thru kitchen to get there, and I’d let her out come morning. But, on infrequent real cold nights or ultrahot days, we’d throw old sheets on the sofa & let her in the living room & let her sleep or lie down. Wasn’t great for our allergies but garage was not completely climate controlled & sure couldn’t let her stay out if it was 10 degrees, or 110.
      Good on Snoops for protecting his human! How’s the new-ish pup doing?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m glad you all made a nice home for her. I’m “thankful” I don’t have allergies like that! I feel for you.
        You were smart Dave…many people are not smart and will leave pets to burn or freeze.

        She did protect…and she was huge…175 lbs…Martha is a lightweight…around 135 right now…she is doing great. Much more active than any we have had.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. oh yeah, I always feel terrible for dogs I see tied up in yards here in summer in this heat. Not fair at all.
        175 pounds – man,that’s one BIG dog. More than I weigh, even after the “pandemic lack of exercise”! Is Martha still growing?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes she still has another year and a half to grow. People who mistreat pets like that…don’t ask me what should happen.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. yeah…it’s like one of those circular arguments where really both sides are right. I, and many others really really dislike pit bulls because of their tendencies to be aggressive and unpredictable. But some of their fans say if they are raised well, they’re sweet. Which might be true… but the problem is, it’s the absolute wrong types who mistreat dogs and want a-hole pets who gravitate towards getting pit bulls.


  2. I like hearing you and Max talk about the furbabies in your life. We always had big dogs as I was growing up and they were always banished to the outside. When I moved out on my own and got together with my now-ex husband, we got the cutest puppy, a shepherd-lab that we named Gonzo. He was the best dog EVER. He only bit one person, and that was my uncle, who had come over when we weren’t home and tried to come in the house. He did growl once at a real creepy kid that came near him, but other than that he was a prince among dogs. He lived to be around 9 years old, and I was heartbroken when he had to be euthanized. That was around 1989. I didn’t get another dog until my older son moved out and my younger son went off to college. I got Chauncey in 2004 and he was a Boston Terrier, smarter than all get-out and a personality that could charm a snake out of its skin. There were many happy days with Chauncey and he lived a full and happy life. He was my ex-bf’s best friend and they went everywhere together. It broke both of our hearts when the vet said it was time as he was suffering terribly. That was in 2016. I don’t see any more dogs on the horizon. My cats, Mlady and Dotty, are great companions. Dave, have you considered getting another dog? They do have hairless dogs and some dogs are better for allergies than others I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like they’ve added a lot to your life too! Boston Terrier – I think if I’m not mistaken the loudmouthed Canadian hockey personality Don cherry had one which he loved and talked about frequently.
      Naw, not looking to get another dog, they are a lot of commitment and also, not sure where we’ll end up in next few years – right now we share a large house with a large backyard, but I think we might move into a smaller place of our own down the road, which might not be suitable for a pup. A cat would be more likely, but that also is unlikely- my sweetie’s allergies really act up quickly with them, and mine can… funny thing is, it varies with the cat. Some don’t effect me much, others I will start to have asthma with after only a few minutes in the room with me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Boston Terriers are quite charismatic (if you don’t have a wimpy one!)

        Cats have such difference in their fur. Mlady has long, thick fur that looks and feels like cotton, which might do a good job of keeping the dander close to their skin. Dotty has short, thin fur that is not soft that seems to shed a lot, and that is probably the kind that gets your asthma going. They do have hairless cats (Sphinx Cats) also!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. that seems counter-intuitive but I think it is roughly right for me, the fluffier ones seem less prone to set off my allergies than short-hairs, though it’s not a 100% fixed equation.

        Liked by 1 person

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