Dogs We Have Loved!

We have always had dogs around here. I grew up with dogs, my first being a collie. This breed is very special to me. When I was five, Santa brought my first collie and I was terrified of him! Can you imagine?! He was only five weeks old but I had never been around dogs, only adored them from afar. I had lived, breathed and dreamed "Lassie"!!!! Well, it didn't take long to fall madly in love with this little pup! His name was Champ and I thought he was Superdog!! We quickly became inseparable partners and shared everything, including peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and suckers...he would sit beside me and patiently wait his turn to have a bite! ;-) We had many grand adventures together until one terrible day we had to move. It was a 10 hour trip and he did NOT ride! My parents gave him to a neighbor and I can still recall vividly, the sad scene on the day we left. Champ stared in disbelief as we rolled out of the driveway with every posession. He jumped, barked, cried, pleaded with us - "hey, you forgot me...don't leave without me!" I must have cried a river as I watched him through the back window of the car...until I could see him no more. All these years later, tears well up as I remember the scene. He was one special dog!

We went several years with no dog and then my mom was given 2 English Shepherd puppies! A lady she worked with gave them to her. So we met in a parking lot and picked up our precious new family members! They were adorable and we were delighted to have doggies again. I was about eleven when we got them, and Kelly, the female lived until after I was married and had a baby! Chris went to live with a sweet neighbor, Johnny, when we made another move. Kelly was a GREAT dog - smart, protective, very loyal and devoted. She saw us through some very difficult times. As a single mom, my mom depended upon her for protection. No one got past Kelly unless my mom said it was "OK"!! Yes, she was a great dog!

Well, I would not have another collie until I was grown. I was 22 years old when I saw the ad in the paper for "Lassie collies". They were over two hours away but I got in my little car and headed out to see them. That night I arrived back at home with an adorable 6 week old sable and white female collie. I named her Courtney. She would be a joy and delight to me for the next 14 years. She saw me take on a husband and three of my five babies! She welcomed every one! Courtney had a heart of gold and was an exceptional girl! She loved the babies and kept up with them, not letting them out of her sight as they began toddling. When Nathan and Gretchen were just 2 and 1 year olds, they played out under the fruit trees. They gathered plums and put them in milk cartons. Courtney would lay under the tree beside them and EAT plums! If they got up and wandered off, she followed and then herded them back if they strayed too far. My mom, who just loved Courtney, died in September 1990, and the following May Courtney had stroke type symtoms one day.She died shortly after and it just broke our hearts to see her go.

During several of the years we had Courtney, we had another collie named Captain. He was a sweet boy but had severe allergies and then developed other problems complicated by the allergy meds. His life was cut short by his illness.

After Courtney died, we went the next six years without a collie. We had a husky (didn't work out with the baby).


Then we rescued a beagle from the shelter that had been terribly mistreated by his previous owner. It took a lot of love and patience to convince this sweet little fella that we would not do him harm. About the time he felt totally at home and had fallen in love with us, another dog dug under our fence and he walked out of our lives. A week later he was found, run over. Evidence suggested that someone chained him against his will...a new collar was all frayed on the inside. He was thin, going without food all that week. It appeared he had gotten away from his captors and was making his way back home when he was hit. But through Rusty's coming to live with us, we discovered that beagles were good little dogs!!

So, we purchased another beagle within the week. Her name is Casey and she just turned four years old on May 25th. She is a typical beagle too, if you know about beagles! : )

Beagles are fun but the longing for a collie to grow up with my younger children returned. I was looking at beautiful collies on the web when someone instant messaged me to chat about collies. That IM began a chain of events that would bring Rebel into our family! He flew from California to Alabama to live with us! He was a brave boy on a new adventure!! (Thanks Susan, at Wildwood Collies!) He's a beautiful sable and white collie boy with typical collie nature and spirit. He's a full fleged member of the family! Little Casey still sits on the throne but accepts Rebel goodheartedly. : )

You can see all these dogs on our "Dogs We Have Loved" photo pages.

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Lynn Campbell

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