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Growing Up American: Small-Town Dog
American Thinker, by Susan D. Harris

Original Article

Posted By:ScarletPimpernel, 7/27/2014 9:00:28 AM

Before dog licenses and leash laws; before doggie mohawks, colored hair and painted toenails; before $100 teeth cleaning, $800 vet bills, and humiliating Halloween costumes, there existed – in almost every sleepy town with a red brick school and a white church steeple – an extinct breed of canine I like to call the American dog. He (or she) went by names like Old Shep, Old Dog Tray, or Spot. This is the story of an American dog.

Comments:
We need a brief break from the news. This story, a vignette of "Americana", will take you back in time.

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: secondtimelucky, 7/27/2014 9:35:53 AM     (No. 9941862)

I loved this. thank you...

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Reply 2 - Posted by: lil dotty, 7/27/2014 10:03:42 AM     (No. 9941906)

Spots were very special family members and across America, every family wanted a Spot under their roof. Family was not complete until Spot was in the snapshot of family photos.

Thank you for posting; off to search for old family photos.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: mc squared, 7/27/2014 11:16:18 AM     (No. 9941999)

Wonderful. Made my morning.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: StormCnter, 7/27/2014 11:26:52 AM     (No. 9942011)

Anyone else remember Miles Kimball catalogs? For years I ordered our Christmas cards from there because they were unique and humorous. One year, our card had little stick figures of each of our family members and a stick-figured dog. My grandmother, whose eyesight wasn´t very good, wrote immediately to ask when we had another baby.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: ramona, 7/27/2014 12:01:54 PM     (No. 9942040)

#4, that is a very funny story!

Thanks, OP! for this charming piece. Seems that free range dogs and kids are a thing of the past.

OP (my sis) and I remember our black & white terrier mix, Fritzy (named by our German grandma). He was a ranger that loved to chase cars. He was also fiercely devoted to and protective of our family. Once we left him at an uncle´s farm when we went away on vacation. As soon as Fritzi was let loose he took off down the highway in the direction of our car. Uncle found him miles away.

Next time we went away for a weekend we left Fritz at home; a very responsible neighbor boy who spent a lot of time at our house came over to feed and water him and take him out. Except that Fritz wouldn´t even let him in the door. When we pulled in the driveway we could see Fritz standing on the kitchen table, looking out the window at us. His bowl was full of food. He hadn´t eaten the whole time we were gone.

Dad was the voice of authority for us 7 kids and the dog. When Dad got down on the floor to wrestle with our brothers, Fritz would go after the boys. But on a rare occasion when Dad raised his voice to one of the girls, Fritz went after Dad as if he were an intruder.

I wonder if there are any small towns left today that accommodate dogs in this way - probably not because license fees and fines for off-leash dogs are money makers for them. Grateful for the memories!
Ramona (the Pest)

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Reply 6 - Posted by: sabrajet, 7/27/2014 12:05:12 PM     (No. 9942042)

Until the 1970´s most folks who had a family dog could tell this story, a dog who was free to walk around the town or neighborhood and follow their special kid. My family had German Shepard´s and no one seemed to mind if they followed my brothers or ran off to play in the nearby creek. One because they too had a dog, and in our case because no one robs a home, or anyone home nearby it-if there is a large dog who is free to protect his space!

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Reply 7 - Posted by: tank, 7/27/2014 12:48:45 PM     (No. 9942083)

Wasn´t but about ten years ago or so such a dog was made Mayor of Rabbit Hash, Ky.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: Carolina Kat, 7/27/2014 1:07:19 PM     (No. 9942104)

Thank you for posting this - should be a must read for the therapeutic value alone! We´ve known ´Spot´, all of us, and the truly lucky ones have owned him, at least once.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: corndoggies, 7/27/2014 2:55:23 PM     (No. 9942191)

This right here is why we live in the country. Eight dogs roam the fields and waterways, they stay pretty close to home but have the freedom that city dogs don´t.



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Reply 10 - Posted by: lil dotty, 7/27/2014 3:07:15 PM     (No. 9942198)

#4 Miles Kimball remembered. We received catalogs from them from time to time. Can´t remember what merchandise was offered but do remember there was another catalog that offered the same LOL funny story. and the cards, were they a hit?

When one remembers the ´town´s dog´ who had his/her friends all over town...the movie To Kill a Mockingbird always comes to mind. Though we did not know the dog, the outcome well be remembered. On the lighter side, there is Pete in ´Our Gang-Little Rascals´ series. Talk about adventures!

#7 are you telling us that politics has gone to the dogs?




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Reply 11 - Posted by: lil dotty, 7/27/2014 3:11:24 PM     (No. 9942204)

Remembered the second catalog. The name of Lillian Vernon. Thank u google!

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Reply 12 - Posted by: Iraengneer, 7/27/2014 5:55:07 PM     (No. 9942361)

as thee wish. but I´ve lived in rural areas where the free-running dogs, someone´s "Spot", would pack up and pull down young calves or lambs. Kill ´em and eat on them too. Then go home and have owners pet them and say "good doggie".
I´ve also, in years past, been a semi-long distance bicycle rider, out in rural areas away from congestion and traffic. And I have been attacked by people´s unleashed free-running "Spot". Most people who I know who have done the same activity report similar stories, or worse.
So please forgive me for being somewhat less approving of unleashed dogs. In truth, I think that people who let their dogs run loose ANYWHERE are lower than whale dung on the bottom of the ocean. Or worse.

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