You have heard some of the story of George and Gracie.
I have mentioned Mohawk, LadyBug and Zelda.
These three came to us in Bakersfield. Mohawk and LadyBug were first. They were born 10 days apart in different kennels with completely different lineages. Neither were barkers or diggers. But Mohawk LOVED his vegetables and a garden was in mortal peril from his raids. He did avoid the onions but homegrown tomatoes, radishes, and (above all) carrots were never to see their way to human consumption.
So we grew roses. He didn’t like those.
He loved to run. Our yard was rather small so we would take him to an empty softball diamond or a school yard and turn him loose. LadyBug stayed up with him for the first couple of laps. Then she would just walk with us. Mohawk would go until he was exhausted. Round and round and round.
Next to food, it was his favorite thing.
We took them to a dog park once. Let’s just say that the behavior exhibited by dog owners was less than stellar. We never went back.
LadyBug was a snuggler. She was the runt of her litter and the smallest 8 week old Cocker I had ever seen. She disappeared in the pocket of a robe. She was predisposed to being close to her humans.
She was also an instigator. She showed Mohawk how to get into the garden. She taught him the way out of the front gate. She was alpha.
The day that she came home to us for good she put Mohawk in his place. He approached her food bowl. He got to about 5 feet away when, not even interrupting her eating, she let out a growl that was not to be ignored. Mohawk just walked away. She was the one that was to be obeyed. Period.
Mohawk never needed a second lesson. From that day forward they were never separated for more than a few hours.
Zelda joined three years later. We found her in deplorable conditions but she was bright eyed and friendly. I just couldn’t leave her there. So home she came.
She became the pack watchdog. She was the barker.
Zelda trained very well. Except for one command—COME.
She was a Houdini dog. She could get out of any fence we had. We were often in the adjoining fields trying to get her to come. She would just keep walking away.
Unless we said “SIT”. From 50 yards away. She would sit, we would walk to her and take her home. It was the funniest thing we ever saw her do.
They were George and Gracie’s predecessors.
I have had 10 pedigreed Cocker Spaniels. I started with Igor. Then came Thor. Then there were Maccabee and Oscar. One didn’t make it past puppyhood. That was Happy Gilmore.
No two have been the same. Each gave more love than I ever knew an animal could convey. Each was and is loved immeasurably. The pedigree didn’t matter.