“A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family, or a sad dog in a happy one? Snarling people have snarling dogs, dangerous people have dangerous ones.” – Arthur Conan Doyle

“If you don’t own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.” – Roger A. Caras

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” – Groucho Marx



My dad has recently moved to town and is, hopefully, feeling comfortable in our east Tupelo home.

Dad is not the only newcomer. His dog has joined our trio of canine companions.

Jake’s mostly golden retriever mixed with a little bit of who-knows-what. Truth be told, his size makes me wonder if his family tree contains a Great Dane or two, but we’ll never know for sure.

Jake’s a big boy. Not fat, just tall and lanky. But he believes he’s small like the other dogs at our house, and so getting into a lap – any lap that will let him – is one of Jake’s favorite things. Because he’s such a sweetheart, it’s hard to push him off a lap, so most of the time, I just let him stay a while.

Since Jake had visited Tupelo with Dad often, Thom, George and Presley the pug seemed to have few, if any, problems with the new pack member.

Thom the Chihuahua and George the Jack Russell mix are the two old guys and if they took issue with Jake’s moving in, they have taken it in stride.

Oh, there’ve been a few growls and showing of teeth from time to time. But when that happens there’s usually food involved.

Presley, the baby of the group who can give the best vacuum on the market a run for its money with her crumb devouring capabilities, adores Jake. And the adoration seems to be reciprocated.

Sometimes when the two are playing together, Presley will pause for a moment and glance at her older brothers as if to say, “This is how you two boys should treat me – like the pug princess that I am.”

Thom and George look at each other as if to say, “Maybe having that big golden dog around is not so bad after all, as long as he keeps that girl occupied.”

Still, there are times when Presley proudly pesters Thom and George, and I think they secretly like that she has not completely dropped them from her dance card.

When I toss tennis balls in the back yard for George, Presley gets some much-needed exercise by running after him as he retrieves the ball and returns it to me. George will go after the ball all day long if I’d let him; a panting Presley, who could stand to lose a few pounds, abandons the game after a couple of times.

Growing up, I felt lucky if we had one family pet. As an adult, I allowed myself two. And later three.

Now Dad has joined us, with sweet, handsome Jake.

And then there were four.


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