Pemmie’s an old dog.  I don’t think there’s going to be any new tricks.  The hair on her nose is turning white.  She doesn’t run as fast as she did last year.

Pemmie’s not my dog.  She belongs to my son.  He rescued her from the pound.  She was a puppy.  My son thought she was a Lab.  Later, we all realized Pemmie was just a large black dog, maybe even a hound dog.

At one time or another, we have all hated Peemie.  She made it so easy for us to love her one minute and hate her with a passion the next.

When we loved her, she would lean up against our knees,  she would put her head in our lap, look up with those sorrowful puppy dog eyes and wag her tail, wanting all of our attention.   If you sat on the floor, she would come over and sit down beside you, asking nothing more than just to be petted.

Dogs are supposed to do that.


If you turned your back on Peemie, she ate everything she could get in her mouth.  At least 100 soccer balls, baseballs, tennis balls, all gone!  She’s the one who took a ham off the Thanksgiving table one year,  didn’t even leave us the bone.  She’s the one who ate a cantaloupe and an avocado.  No dog eats cantaloupes and avocados.   A pecan pie, gone while the cook made a trip to the bathroom.  Nothing on a countertop was safe.  Still isn’t.

To this day, we don’t feed her table scraps.

Then there’s the toys.  If they were made of wood, they lasted five minutes before Peemie was licking her lips, looking for more.

We went to the pet store, searching for something she would not or could not destroy.  We bought her a half dozen or more of those “indestructible dog chews”, you know, the kind made of heavy plastic you can’t cut with a skillsaw.  They last a day, maybe a day and a half.  We’re still finding pieces of red or orange plastic in the backyard.

Peemie has another redeeming quality.  She can retrieve.  You can hit a little blue racquet ball deep into the woods, then say  “Peemie, find the ball!”  It may take her an hour, but she will bring you the ball and beg you to hit it again.  Hours of retrieving and she’s still smiling, asking for more.

She got to go quail hunting for the first time in her life this year.  My son, Ben, just wanted to see what she would do.

There were three, sure enough, well-trained bird dogs in the field, running back and forth, looking for quail.  They would stop, point and wait for us shooters to flush the bird.  We would shoot. The bird dogs would retrieve.  We all smiled.

Peemie  roamed back and forth with the hunting dogs and watched for about a half hour.  The next bird that went down, Peemie was first one to find it.  She brought the bird back to Ben.

Maybe she did learn a new trick or two.

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