Dog Lovers, there should be at least one in every family. In our family it is more like the 101 Dalmatians -- except the 101 run the gamut from AKC to mutt, but always loved. My personal family tree of dogs begins with Skipper, who slept beside my bed in his own little doll bed;then came Rusty, the Irish setter, with her long red feathers flowing behind her. She was followed by two more setters, Luella and Splinty. At WSU, our family (really I) acquired Gwendolyn, a golden shepherd-cross of some kind. She sat beside me in trees while I read books, and could spot every Arctic Circle between Pullman, Washington and our southern Oregon home.After twelve faithful years, Gwendolyn passed from this world, but in her footsteps arrived another shepherd cross, Maggie, my love. It was said by many that Maggie had an old soul --- and she left this world too soon. Then came my Germans (shepherds, of course); Katie, a charming black and tan; Jake, a rangy, long-haired black shepherd; and now Colldubh, my old-style long-haired black shepherd. These are, and have been, my friends, and each in their turn my ever constant companion --- never far from my side.
In my family of origin, it might well be said, "love me, love my dog." Setters, Samoyeds, Mastiffs, Shepherds, Border Collies, Shih Tzus, Silky Terriers, Heelers,and just Dogs have graced our lives and kept us in tune with that bit of wonderment that gives you unconditional love and trust --- just to teach us how to give that back to the world in which we live.