Things My Parents Taught Me.... And I'M Very Thankful They Did - Put the Kettle on.... Blog at - 205181

Put the Kettle on....

Things my Parents Taught Me.... and I'm Very Thankful They Did 
Nov. 13, 2010 6:52 am 
Updated: Nov. 14, 2010 4:32 am
Things my parents taught me....... They taught me many things.  Things like proper table manners, to say "Please", "Thank You", "Excuse Me".... to respect my elders, have a good work ethic, honesty is ALWAYS the best policy, the Golden Rule.....  I could go on and on.  But, I think the things they taught me best, and what really matters is Compassion and Responsibility. 

How did they teach those to me?  Through having pets and learning to take care of them.  When I was a kid we had a whole menagerie of pets.  The only pet I wanted and didn't get was a snake, so I was content to go out in the backyard and catch the snakes there and play with them.  I'll never forget my 6th Birthday present - a Siamese cat.  I named her Samantha and we called her 'Mammy Cat' for 14 years.  It was my complete responsibility to feed her and take care of her.  I have never been without a cat since that time.  I have also always had at least one dog.   Dogs are my favorite animals.  They are a major part of our lives and families.

When I was born, there was already a cocker spaniel living at my home.  Topper he was called and he lived for 13 years.  Topper really wasn't a very kid-friendly dog, but I still made him "play" games with me and he grudgingly complied with my wishes.  Next was Rebel, a Keeshonden; then Thor and Duke, mutts but loved all the same.  Then Butch, a beautiful Springer Spaniel. 

At that point I got married and my husband and I got our first family dog - a Golden Retriever, Goldilocks Belle aka Goldie.  She was our first "child" and we had her for 13-1/2 too short years.  Then came Royal Princess Buffy aka Buffy another Golden.  She only made it 12 years.  We also had Daisy - a mutt we rescued and had planned to merely fatten up and find her a good home.  Twelve years later she was still a part of our family - having found her good home with us. 

Once my youngest sister moved from home my parents got a black lab. They named him Dakota Chief RoJo, and he became a Champion of the show ring rather quickly.  His name came from my dad having grown up in South Dakota and the RoJo part comes from my parents' names (Robert & Joanne).  Once Chief became a champion they began a stud service with him.  I loved telling my friends and co-workers that my dad was a Pimp for Labs.  After Chief had sired several litters my family decided it was time to add a puppy to our camp.  A litter of labs was born  on January 6, 1999, that had chocolate females - just what we wanted.   We picked out a beautiful chocolate female and named her RoJo's Klassy Chocolate Artemis aka "Missy". Artemis is the Greek Goddess of hunting and she was going to be trained for hunting.   My parents picked out a chocolate male from the bunch (Prince) and our two chocolate babies grew up together.   We have since added Suzy to our family - though she is no relation to the RoJo Labs, she is still a fantastic dog and we love her dearly.

Another litter of puppies was born 6 weeks later that Chief had sired and my mom fell in love with a yellow lab.  So, my dad bought that yellow lab for her.  He became known as RoJo's Dakota Hi-Plains King.  King soon became such a gentle, loving dog that my parents decided to take Prince and King and have them complete the requirements to become therapy dogs.   They passed with flying colors and my parents have spent the past 10 years visiting nursing homes and hospitals with their dogs.  The residents of the nursing homes may not remember my parents' names but they are always looking forward to the weekly visits from Prince and King. 

Ten days ago, King became ill.  He was lethargic and quit eating.  His tail wasn't wagging the same wag where his entire back side would wiggle to and fro.  His eyes and face were no longer "smiling".  My parents took him to the vet where they did bloodwork and determined that he had some sort of blood disease.  He had apparently had it for some time, but didn't let anyone see him suffering in any way; my parents had no idea.  He was too ill for medication to do any good; the vet told them it was less than a 50% chance she could pull him out of it and if she did he would have to take medications forever that were quite expensive.  With a heavy heart my parents had him put down.   They are still grieving the loss of their King and it will be some time before they can talk of him without tears.  They still have Prince, and another black lab (Dream), but there is an empty spot next to my mother's chair where King would sit with his head in her lap while she watched TV.

Since I didn't really mean for this to be such a sad entry - I'm going to finish up with a story that has a good ending.   About two weeks ago at work a chocolate lab turned up at the front of the school.  I went out to see it, since I love dogs so much, and I was shocked - this dog looked exactly like my parents' dog, Prince!  So much so, I called out his name.  The dog ignored me until I whistled. Then he came trotting up to me; Yup! Same smiling eyes as Prince, he was definitely Prince's twin.  It was amazing how much he looked and acted like Prince, and really my Missy, too.  Our school's D.A.R.E. officer was there and he said the owner was on her way to pick up the dog and it's name was Tom.  She had called the police station and reported her dog missing the evening prior.  I volunteered to stay on the school porch with Tom until his owner got there.  To keep Tom with me, I shared a poptart with him.  Soon a car pulled up and a woman got out.  Another shocker - I had gone to school with this woman (Cathy).  She said Tom was really her sister's dog, but since she was at work, Cathy had agreed to come get him for her.  I told her how much Tom resembled my parent's dog, Prince.  She turned to me and said "Well, he ought to resemble him, your dad's dog was the father to Tom!"  I called my dad to tell him the story and he checked his records - Tom's father was Chief, so Prince and Tom are half-brothers.    How about that for a coincidence??!!
Nov. 13, 2010 7:11 am
AWWWWW such a cute story. I love dogs too!
Nov. 13, 2010 7:45 am
This story brought tears to my eyes Mother Ann. What a terrific way to remember such beloved animals! Pimp for labs, that Cracked me up! LOL What a great dog King was to be so perceptive, to try and spare your folks of seeing his pain. It Really is incredable to think about an animal doing such a thing. This is a Human quality that I am not sure if animals possess but obviously do on some level. RIP King:) How wonderful bout Tom! and a renewed freindship in the process. Win Win! Great story MA! Thank you for telling it soo well.
Nov. 13, 2010 8:06 am
I love how dogs connect people to one another. The dogs in your life have most definately done that. From your parents to you; to you and your hubby to your children; to a women you had known in school. People connectors they are! I love your story Mother Ann.
Nov. 13, 2010 8:40 am
Great story! And you are right, in the most unassuming ways, animals can teach compassion and responsibility. Great life lessons for all that get that opportunity early on. Sorry for King's passing but wonderful memories of how many lives he touched.
Nov. 13, 2010 9:22 am
I do feel sorry for anyone that has never known the unconditional love a dog (or any pet for that matter) has for his/her master. And, yes Avon, King touched many lives by being a therapy dog.
Nov. 13, 2010 9:28 am
Wonderful dog blog Mother Ann! I am a dog lover also and they do bring out the best in you. I loved the "pimp for labs" comment! So funny!
Nov. 13, 2010 2:12 pm
i loved your blog...i'm a sucker for dogs too. the wife has a housefull of of siamese cats...4. i want a germen shepherd, maybe one day i can get one. but after 28 years of marriage, i may have to worship from afar.
Nov. 13, 2010 2:34 pm
gderr, I'll bet those siamese cats would love a german shepherd friend! ;-)
Nov. 13, 2010 6:04 pm
Great blog, Mother Ann! I will not be able to have a dog but I do have four grand-dogs that come to visit. Each of them quickly learned that I was the easy touch for anything they wanted. The oldest and most dignified is a Chow. She will come straight to me and stare me down until I head toward the direction of the snack shelf. The next is a Black Lab that expresses hurt feelings because I gave the Chow a snack. She will lay down, head between her paws and roll her eyes at me in a pathetic manner. The third is a Shephard/Boxer mix that has the grace and manners of a mad elephant on steroids. Finally a Beagle. Too young to show any personality but smart enough to realize I am the one with the snacks.
Nov. 13, 2010 9:17 pm
Golly darn it Ann! I made it all the way to the last paragraph before the eyes began to blur. And now, my own baby, (all black, 60 lbs, lab/border collie mix) Boo Bear the Wonder Dog, aka Boo, is at my feet with head cocked and ears perked. He'll probably get an extra snack out of that look on his face. I am so sorry you lost your wonderful King. I'd love to have the chance to train Boo as a therapy dog. He has the personality and demeanor. When my grandfather was in a nursing center, we'd take Boo to see him and he was a hit with everyone. He even went to work with me every day when I owned a mattress store; great icebreaker with customers! I just love hearing how people love their "kids" so! Finally, how wonderful for you to come together with your old friend AND an old member of the family in such a wonderful way! Thanks so much for sharing!
Nov. 14, 2010 4:30 am
Mike, isn't it amazing how these animals know who the softies are? Our young black lab loves our son and gets so excited when he comes home from college - I'm not even sure why because he makes her listen and refuses to toss her treats from the table like she wants him to. When my grandpuppy Maggie comes to visit she races thru the house at 100 mph before she stops to say "Hi" to anyone. Then, she goes to the "cookie" jar and waits patiently; and my daughter claims she NEVER begs!
Nov. 14, 2010 4:32 am
Mimosa - I love going into shops where there are dogs. While we were on vacation last year we went into an artist's shop. He had the cutest little dog. My son-in-law fell in love with the dog and wanted to stop in and visit every day.
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Mother Ann

Home Town
Streetsboro, Ohio, USA
Living In
Ravenna, Ohio, USA

Member Since
Oct. 2009

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Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Dessert

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About Me
I've been married for 33 years, and live in Ohio. We have a daughter who is married and lives nearby. Our son graduated from college and moved to South Dakota. He has his own place but still goes to visit my sister and brother-in-law and have dinner with them occasionally. We have two black labs that get to go duck hunting with dad and two cats. We own a Mexican restaurant and are learning alot about the food industry. I love to eat, go camping, read, spend time with family and friends, watch movies, and drink wine; not necessarily in that order.
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake - anything chocolate is fine with me. Seafood, chicken dishes and slow-cooker fare.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My husband and I enjoy cooking together with wine. We pop open a bottle of wine and get cooking. :-)
My cooking triumphs
Whenever I can put together a meal that gets many compliments and leaves the diners satisfied is a triumph in my book! I love to cook meals for family and friends.
My cooking tragedies
When I was first married we had my grandparent's-in-law over for a pot roast dinner. The meat came out great, but the potatoes and carrots were still half raw. My husband's grandfather went to cut his fork into a carrot and it flew off his plate. He looked at me, winked, and said he loved his carrots that way!
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