I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Bio Good Memories of Growing Up with Dogs

When we moved to Wyoming, Skipper, a large yellow dog, was already waiting for us. He refused to leave with the last pastor’s family. Though he scared those feeding him, he took right to our family and was our companion until he died.

Topper was a small, short-haired lovable mutt. Together, we explored the creeks, valleys and tunnels behind the parsonage in Wyoming. I had a freedom to wonder we can seldom afford kids today. I had to carry my pocket knife and be home by dusk when the night creatures, like bobcats, started hunting. Topper had a litter of puppies. One survived. Cutie was a long, curly-haired, black and white puppy—rather like a dusty mop.

We took Topper and Cutie with us when we moved to northern Kansas for the Lund Covenant Church. Six months later Topper died in trying to have another litter of puppies. I mourned my dog. Then we only had Cutie. He would have been but a mouthful for the ever-present coyotes. But somehow, he identified with them and his coyote howl would send chills down the back. Cutie loved wondering as far as thirty miles away. Eventually, everyone got to know him and would bring him back, letting him off in the driveway. He loved the car rides and loved getting home. Strangely enough, the coyotes never bothered our little dust mop.

After I got sick, Cutie would leap on my bed and snuggle with me. He lifted my spirits. Cutie was my brother’s dog until Paul got a “real”—a larger black dog. Cutie was too much a wanderer to take with us to the church in Iowa. We left him with a farm family who let him wonder. 

In Iowa, we had an adult cat who thought she was all that. When Paul got a Golden Retriever puppy, the cat baited him, jumped on him, and made his life miserable. Then the dog grew up.

Usually, we made sure our dogs and cats got along. This was a whole other situation. The dog knew he wasn’t supposed to hurt the cat. Instead, he’d wait until no one was looking, grab the cat at the neck, and shake until, at times, he broke the skin. He never tried to kill the cat,, just bully her as though getting revenge. We had to be vigilant.

When Keith and I raised our kids, each of them chose a pet when they were seven years old and proved they would handle caring for a pet. Our older son chose a Black Lab. Our daughter, two years later, chose a feisty black cat with a white snip across her nose. They were part of our family until they died of old age—the cat at 19 years old.

Since then, we spoil the pets of our friends and family, leaving us free to visit our kids and grandkids in Lincoln and Omaha. Once on her own, Cassie took in a rescued dog who was a sweet little dog. Melvin dog accepted into their home Kurt when he married Cassie and then their two children. It was hard when he died since he’d been so much a part of the family.  

More recently our son added to his family of three almost-grown kids. With his daughter leading the charge, they added a beautiful Husky named Bear and then, as a companion, a white dog nicknamed Candy.

Dogs are wonderful companions. They give unconditional love, listen when you share secrets, and simply want to be loved in return. I’m thankful for my memories and glad our kids and grandkids can make memories with loving pets as well.

Many of our dogs were rescued animals. They make wonderful companions. Looking for a dog (or cat)? Check out the nearest shelter. You’ll be glad you did.

(c) 2022 Carolyn R Scheidies
Hub Column published 05/02/2022
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