It’s a good day to be a dog


Well, it’s about time.

It has come to my attention that Sunday, Aug. 26 is National Dog Day. This isn’t to suggest that finally – finally – someone figured out it was time to honor dogs.

Nope, it’s about time that I realized there was such a day.

Begun in 2004 by the National Dog Day Foundation, the purpose of the “day’’ is to “encourage dog ownership of all breeds and embrace the opportunity for all dogs to live a happy, safe and abuse-free life.

Amen to that.

Our family wouldn’t be complete without our dogs. Currently, two longhaired dachshunds rule our home and we are quite happy with that arrangement, thank you.

But we haven’t always had purebred pups. In fact, two of our best canine buddies had so many breeds inside their fur it would have been impossible to sort them all out.

Martini, kind of “liberated’’ from my college town’s dog pound many years ago, was part terrier, small part retriever and many parts of everything else. Her major fault was she liked to chase cars, which unfortunately was her undoing.

But before she passed on to doggie heaven, she delivered a pup named Radar, who, if truth be told, was my favorite dog of them all.

He had an under bite, large pointed ears (hence the name), spindly legs and black splotches mixed in with his mostly brown fur.

But he was super friendly and never met a stranger. He walked with me to work downtown each day, waited outside the door until my shift ended after midnight and walked me home again.

The dog catcher was so fond of him he never “arrested’’ him. Everyone and I mean everyone, in that town knew and loved Radar.

We acquired him after giving him away to (unbeknownst to us) a louse that lived a few doors away. She neglected him to the point he was nearly starved to death. He became our closest companion and we loved him dearly. When we moved and had to give him away, we made sure he went to a great home, where he lived a long and healthy life.

From there, we had Woody, Hilde, Heidi, Daisy, Scout and now Jake and Abbey. All of those – except for Daisy – were and are dachshunds. (“Crazy’’ Daisy was a beagle and came by her moniker honestly. There isn’t enough time in the day to cover all she laid waste to in our home.)

Admittedly, those little sausage dogs have quite a few quirks. They love to dig (they were bred that way), they love to bark and they are very protective of their home.

They are an acquired taste, to be sure, but there’s something irresistible about a long-bodied pooch supported by stubby legs.

So if you’ve got a pet pup, remember to give them an extra scratch behind the ear on Sunday. It’s the least you can do for your best friend.


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