Well, this post came about due to a recent (sad) Facebook memory of saying goodbye to our boxers Shiloh and Scout in 2018 and 2019. I still miss them, and it got me thinking about the dogs I’ve had in my life.
We are dog people. Well, I always have been one, and Travis has grown to be one. I grew up with dogs, and Travis didn’t. After we’d been married a year, we brought home our first Boxer, Shiloh.
Today, I’m sharing the dogs who have been a part of my family through the years.
My first dog was Maggie. My parents got Maggie before I was born. She was a German Shepherd, and I believe my uncle got her for my parents either as a wedding gift or as an anniversary gift. I don’t have a ton of memories of her, but I do remember her and we have a few photos. She was a good dog, but she passed away when I was in the second grade.
Between Maggie and our next dog, I got a cat. I begged and begged for a cat, and finally got one. I named her Foggy because she was gray with white paws. She was an indoor cat and lived for many years. Crazy enough…after leaving for college, when I would come home, I would have itchy eyes and sneeze. Through the years, when I’ve been around other cats, I have the same reaction. A few years ago I actually had allergy testing done because of my seasonal allergies, and I am also allergic to cats…horses and dogs too. Obviously, the dog allergy is mild whereas the others I had a more severe reaction. Anyway, she passed away after I graduated from college.
I remember in school during my 4th grade year, we had to make a book that told a Christmas story. I wrote about a little girl who wanted a dog and woke up Christmas morning with a puppy from Santa. Well, let’s just say fiction didn’t turn into reality. 😆
That being said, the spring of that same year, my brother and I came home from school and were surprised by a Doberman puppy. My dad named him Jake. My dad was a policeman and at the time he was working nights. I think he wanted to make sure we felt protected at night when he was gone. Jake was a great dog and was very well trained. We only had him for eight years as he got sick quickly and died right after I graduated high school. My dad loved him so much that he has a tattoo of Jake on this arm! The loss of Jake was a difficult one for our family.
After Travis and I had been married a year, I told him I wanted to get a dog. That summer after our anniversary, we started talking about it. On a plane ride home from vacation, we saw a Boxer puppy on the plane. The man said how great they were with kids, and that pup was so cute that I thought it might be the best type of dog for us. And…I was planning ahead for when we had kids. Later that summer of 2006, we looked in the newspaper (yes, newspaper) and drove out into the country to look at a litter of Boxer puppies. There were three left, and Travis picked Shiloh. I had my eye on the runt of the litter, but Travis played with Shiloh and thought she was the best one. Of course, I agree now. 😉 We chose the name Shiloh after a bar (#keepingitclassy) in Columbia, Missouri where Travis and I first started talking. She was the sweetest pup and a good addition to our family.
After having Shiloh for a year and a half, I thought she needed a friend. Travis didn’t agree, but of course I got my way. We looked in the paper again, drove out to the country to look at Scout. He was the only pup left and I could tell we were “saving” him from his situation. It didn’t seem like the best circumstances. We named him Scout because of my love of To Kill a Mockingbird.
Kind of like when people say their first child is perfect and the second is more of a handful…that was Scout. As soon as we got him home and to the vet, we realized he had mange and he had some digestive issues too. After a few months, all of that passed. Shiloh tolerated him at first, but they did become two besties.
Where I joked Shiloh was known for her RBF (rested b$%^& face), Scout was happy go lucky. He was loyal and would follow you anywhere. His underbite was too cute, and was a goofball. One time, he got his head stuck in the fence!
Travis doesn’t usually like this photo of him, but I joke that Shiloh and I look young and fresh, so that’s all that matters!
Once we had the kids, both pups tolerated them so well. The kids loved on them, followed them around, laid on them, and they were so good with them.
Scout passed away suddenly in 2018. He was only ten and had never had any real health issues. While he had slowed down a bit, we didn’t realize he had cancer until it was too late. It was a very sad time and our kids first time dealing with a loss. Thankfully, we still had Shiloh.
Through the years, she had cancer twice, once in her leg and once in her jaw. She had to have part of her jaw removed which made her tongue hang out. She did recover from those health issues, but for the last year of her life, she had neurotological problems in her back legs. She held on for about a year after Scout died. Honestly, I held on too long. It was a difficult decision to make. Finally, in the spring of 2019, I realized it was time. While it was sad to make that decision, I was grateful to be able to buy her one more ice cream from Dairy Queen and be with her as we told her goodbye.
I remember being so sad, and Travis said when the time was right we’d get another dog. I told him I wasn’t sure if I could do that, and he said, “We are dog people.” I reminded him that I “made” him a dog person, and he agreed. ❤️
I missed having a four-legged friend, and to be honest, I was used to having a dog bark when the door bell rang, and feeling at least a sense of protection. Plus, we felt like we were missing a part of our family. I had a few friends tell me about the Petfinder app, so a couple months after Shiloh passed, I started looking for a puppy. Travis was on board with getting a dog, but he wasn’t sure about a puppy. At the time, the kids were in the 3rd grade. I wanted them to have that memory of getting a puppy just like I did when I was their age.
On my Petfinder search, I filtered it for a lab mix. I just couldn’t bring myself to get another Boxer knowing they are prone to cancer. There were a couple of dogs I kept my eye on and showed Travis. They typically were adopted quickly. Then, I found Homer. He was at a rescue near Cincinnati called Tails of Hope. He was one of three who were found on the side of the road. His adoption name was Glorious and his brothers were Notorious and Victorious. In his adoption photo, his little leg is shaved where he needed fluids and medicine.
We were approved for his adoption, and we surprised the kids that morning. In the car, we went back and forth on what to name him. Hayden eventually suggested Homer (due to his love of baseball…not Homer Simpson), and we all agreed. Obviously, I like an “H” name To this day, if Homer gets in “trouble,” the kids say, “Homer Glorious White!”
I joke that I didn’t read the “fine print” on Homer as he definitely sheds more than I prefer. After having two Boxers who never shed, I’ve given up wearing dark clothing while near Homer.
My brother told me that there are DNA tests for dogs, and we did one for Homer. He’s 25% lab, so there’s that! When we first took him to the vet as a puppy, the vet thought he had Husky in him, and he does. I’d never heard of Great Pyrenees, but I can definitely see that in Homer for sure.
He’s been a great addition to our family, and we all love him very much. He’s spoiled rotten. He’s our first rescue and his demeanor is different than Shiloh and Scout’s. I do feel like he knows that we rescued him. He’s a people pup and wants to be near one of us at all times.
The kids occasionally mention wanting a puppy, and I remind them that we have Homer.
These past couple of years have been the first time I’ve realized what people mean when they say they are too busy to have a pet. Thankfully, Homer is at a great age where he doesn’t need a kennel or let out often. We can finally trust him. We’ll see. I have thought about getting Homer a friend in the next couple of years because I’ve realized Homer’s age along with the timing of an empty nest might make me sad. I’m not sure if we’d get a puppy again. We are home more than I think, but it’s not the best time right now.
Dogs (pets) love us unconditionally, are there for us when we need it, teach responsibility, and really are a part of the family…at least in our family that’s how it is anyway.
I didn’t intend for this post to be so long, but now I have all my favorite fur family in one post.
What about you…are you a dog person or a cat person?