Family Pages

Wagging dog Here we have some reminiscences of my dogs, including a few pictures. Hey, this is a personal web page. Having pictures of one's dogs is appropriate for that.

A List of my various dogs

I have had something like six dogs in my life if you don't count the two we had when I was little, Muffin and Smokey. I only have electronic pictures the two most recent ones. Perhaps some day I'll scan pictures of some of the others.

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Jeanne  --  ca. 1955-57

We got Jeanne when I was about 10 or 11, i.e. around 1955. She was a Shetland Sheepdog, or shelty (for details on the breed, check out the shelty FAQ). She was very pretty, but barky, and was hit by a truck a couple of years later. Back in those days, we didn't seem to know about things such as keeping dogs in a fenced back yard. I liked Jeanne, but in retrospect, I don't think I ever got all that much attached to her for some reason. Perhaps puberty held my mind hostage elsewhere.

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Bridget  --   b. 20 April 1960; d. November 1974

When I turned 15 in Denver, I was told I could have another dog for my birthday. I thought an Irish Setter would be nice. So we went to look at one. It was a bit on the nippy side, and I think it was probably a blessing that someone showed up shortly after us to take the dog. He had called before we had, so had precedence.

Ch. Wahoo Satellite

Then I called a number I found in the paper. Oops, it was an Irish Terrier, not Irish Setter. No matter, I wanted a damn dog. Maybe an Irish Terrier would be just fine. So we got Bridget (technically, Bridget O'Rarry, CD), a grand daughter of the famed Ch. Wahoo Sattelite. Satellite, shown to the right (sorry, no scanned pics of Bridget yet), was one of the few Irish Terriers ever to win a Best in Show.

Bridget lacked the looks of a show dog, but she was spectacular in other ways. She was very smart and was my best friend for years. Bridget was probably the best dog I ever had. When she was 3, I took her to dog obedience school and she eventually did well enough in some dog shows to earn her novice obedience degree. This was not trivial. Bridget was one fiesty bitch so needed a fair bit of coaching not to put other dogs in their places. Once we settled that problem, she did fine. She was a bit pokey, but very reliable in her training. The novice obedience degree is called CD for companion dog. She surely was that.

We had to stop at the CD. No way Bridget was going to put up with retrieving dumbells. I tried lots of things to get her to take a dumbell in her mouth, even slathering it with peanutbutter. One of her favorite things in all the world was ginger snaps. Perhaps if I could have spread ginger-snap essence on the dumbell, Bridget would have taken to it.

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Colleen  --   b. 5 February 1963; d. Summer 1978

Bridget had a daughter by Ch. Ahtram Legacy (the top Irish Terrier of the early 60s). Her name was Colleen (actually, Colleen O'Rarry, CD). Colleen was with me for about 16 years, from high school until I settled in Reading, MA with a family of my own. We also did training together and she won a couple of blue ribbons in novice obedience. She was almost perfect one day. Between Bridget and Colleen, we dominated the Irish Terrier Club of America obedience awards for a couple of years (I was the only one foolish enough to do obedience with Irish Terriers. Sure they're smart. So smart, in fact, that they continually question why they are expected to do stupid tricks.)

I took Colleen off to graduate school with me with the expectation that I would train her to do the Open obedience things. We got most of it down, even the retrieving. We just never got the jumping down. That's not her fault. I never got her any jumps. She was a worthy daughter for Bridget, a good companion, smart and fun.

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Scotty  --  b. ca. 1977; joined us November 1985; d. June 1987

After Colleen died around 1978, we went dogless for a number of years. [We already had little kids, we didn't need additional headaches.] Then around 1985, we "inherited" a dog from the widowed mother of one of our friends. He was Scotty, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (note, it's duck tolling retriever, not duck trolling retriever. Tolling essentially means to lure or call the ducks over. Check out the Toller FAQ.) He was about 8 at the time and lived with us for about two years. When I walked Scotty every night, I rediscovered the night sky. Without nightly dog walks, I had forgotten how much I loved seeing the stars on a regular basis and noting their movements.

Scotty and I got heart disease about the same time, early 1987. I survived and he didn't. Scotty was one of the sweetest dogs you could imagine. He had a stentorian bark which scared the crap out of any would-be intruders. That's good, because had they ever come in, Scotty would have fussed all over them and made them feel very welcome. Other than that, he was lazy and dumber than dirt. We loved him dearly.

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Cider Anne  --   b. 25 December 1986; joined us November, 1987; d. 11 September 1999

Cider Anne 1

We decided fairly quickly that we needed a replacement for Scotty, so started casting around. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers aren't exactly common, so we started looking into Golden Retrievers (also check out the Golden FAQ). A breader turned us on to the Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue. Through them we adopted Cider Anne, YGRR #267. Cider Anne came with papers. Her father was a famous model (Belleville Zachary Taylor, CD). We would see his face gracing boxes of dog biscuits. When we showed her the boxes, she didn't seem to care much about what was on the outside, only the inside. So much for the "blood is thicker..." thing.

Cider Anne 6

We got Cider Anne shortly after my second angioplasty, in November 1987. At the end of December, I was cleared to start jogging again, and Cider Anne subsequently dragged me everywhere for years. We did quite a bit of training, and she got quite good (retrieving was a piece of cake for a change). Unfortunately, I never got myself in gear to enter her in obedience trials (nor to build jumps). I'm sure she would have scored just below Colleen's exalted levels (the woman who ran our "disobedience" class called her a "chippy bitch", another sobriquet that demonstrates she was a worthy successor to Colleen). Bad hips and cancer finally caught up with her and she died in September, 1999.

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Brewster  --   b. ca. 1 April 1999; joined us 5 May 2000


After Cider Anne died, we lasted about 3 months without thinking seriously about getting a new dog, but then at the end of the year contacted the YGRR once again. It took them a while, but in May, 2000 they set us up with Brewster, YGRR #3118. Brewster will jog along with me, but prefers to stop and sniff. His greatest area of expertise is supervising food preparation. He's a sweetie, and the kids (all allegedly adults now) love to try to egg him into acts of naughtiness.

He's a big boy, so his head is at table height. His long tongue can flick snacks off the table at the speed of lightning. Kim has lost whole lunches off the counter when she turned her back for just a second to get something extra from the fridge or the kitchen table. Boy do we have to watch him. So far the only food he won't eat is parsnips. Personally, I think this shows great merit on his part. On the other hand, he relishes cat-box crunchies, something I find distinctly lacking in merit.


Brewster has been on a strict diet for three years now, but it doesn't seem to be helping much. He still has well larded flanks.

Other than eating, his favorite thing is taking over one of the lounge chairs out on the deck and watching the world go by. I am pretty sure he is Hazel's favorite of all our dogs. Perhaps Jessica's as well.

Brewster has now set up his own web site. His new site has more space for pictures and also provides descriptions of Brewster's adventures, including descriptions of the many water games he has invented on vacation. He planned to do this for quite some time, but it took a while for him to get someone to type for him. His paws are just too large to hit individual keys. Brewster thinks it was worth the wait. He thinks his site isn't nearly so lame as this one. If you have questions or want to offer encouragement, you can e-mail Brewster at, or just visit his site and leave a comment in his guest book.

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Last update: Wednesday, July 11, 2007