When I was a very little girl, many, many years ago my family had a border collie named Friskie. She was a great dog. She loved peanut butter sandwiches and made funny faces as she tried to lick the peanut butter from the roof of her mouth. Friskie was a great companion and listened intently as I confided in her all the things a wee one can confide while sitting on the front stoop. She guarded me as I played in the front yard and stood by me when others would pass by. I loved her so very much.
I do not know what happened to her. I suppose she went to doggy heaven, but children were not kept up to breast of things such as that, at least not in my family.
We then had a little black dog with white feet called Boots. Boots was a sweet little pup and I can not honestly say if Boots was a he or a she, but a great friend none-the-less. Boots was so little I could hold 'him' on my lap and frazzle 'his' fur and then comb it back down with my hands. Then one day after Dad went fishing he brought in this huge stray dog that he found down by the river, a boxer. Dad said the dog had fish hooks stuck in his lips and look so hungry. Mother said the dog was so big and did not follow commands. So Dad fed the dog and made arrangements to take him to obedient school, but I think the dog was like me and had trouble learning things.
Duke was so big that we could ride him. My brother would go to the back door and I would get on Duke by the front door. My brother would call Duke to go out the back and then just as we got close, my brother shut the door. Then I would run to the front door and by brother would sit on Duke for the ride back. I would open the front door and call for Duke to go out and off the dog would galumph through the house. We rode from the front door, through the entry way, through the open kitchen door, and to the back alcove. It was a grand ride. At least until Mother would yell at us asking "what on earth are you two doing?" We promptly stopped our shenanigans and answered, "nothing".
Boots was Duke's little pal. Then one day Boots was no more and we only had Duke. He was strictly an outside dog and played in the fenced back yard until the neighborhood kids started running sticks along the fence and yelling at him. Duke jumped the fence a few times and chased the kids. Then there was no more Duke.
It wasn't until I was married and lived in Middlebury that I got the next dog. It was a puppy and my oldest daughter said "pop-eye" meaning to say puppy. So Pop-Eye lived with us for a while. The children would play outside on the swing set and Pop-Eye would be their protector, just as Friskie was to me. Pop-Eye barked and barked one day alerting us to the snake that came into the yard and had bitten the thing in half to protect the children.
I believe Pop-Eye's life ended with us when he ran down the road and got hit by a car.
When we moved to Bristol we had a dog named Half-pint that was a German Shepard-Collie mix. She had a litter of pups and was such a great watch dog. No one came near the children, or the house for that matter, that wasn't announced by barking, growling, and showing of teeth.
I would have loved to have kept Half-pint but we were moving to a rental house that did not allow pets. So she was given to a woman in a wheel chair that needed a good watch dog.
Once we bought the rental house I got care of a Shitzsu. His "parents" were in the service over-seas. He was my protector and my friend. Puppy Chow followed me everywhere. He slept at my feet on top of the covers. He was even a surrogate mother for an orphaned kitten we inherited from the neighbor lady. Puppy Chow would lick and groom the kitten, and even let the kitten snuggle up with him to sleep. I do not know if that made him more protective and aggressive, but his end of living with us was when my husband came near me to give me a greeting kiss and got bit on the ankle by the dog. The owners could not take him back and hence Puppy Chow was given to another to care for.
Since that time we have had grand-dogs that have come into our lives. One grand-dog, Otis, even stayed with us for a while when his family was transitioning into our area and stayed with us for a bit.
The only puppy now that I have in my home is a little mechanical pup that sleeps all the time in his bed. It is a little Lab pup. If I put batteries in him it looks like he is breathing as his chest rises and falls . No mess, no fuss, but furry and can be held (which one little grand daughter especially likes to do) and brushed.
I won't say I will never have a dog again. It will probably be a little furry lap dog, and I will feed him and love him and take care of him and he will be the best dog ever.