My dad wasn’t much of an animal lover.  Growing up as he did, hunting and fishing to supplement his family’s meals, I get that they didn’t have time or money to feed an unwanted mouth.  Unless it had purpose in the family household.  Like the chickens and rabbits they raised for food.  When he came home with a beagle puppy, us kids were so excited.  A Puppy!  A Puppy!

Of course we got the usual lecture about feeding and taking care of him.  And, of course, that all fell to mom, anyway.  I don’t remember who named him, but Rex he became and he was our beloved pet.

The reason we ended up with Rex is that he was gun shy.  He was supposed to be a hunting dog but fled each time a rifle or shotgun was fired.  So we ended up with him and our neighbors across the street ended up with his brother, Snoopy.  They both suffered from the same fear of that gunshot.

Our family summer vacation was spending two weeks fishing and camping.  That year, we took Rex with us to South Dakota.  Poor Rex.  All he did was bark at the cows next to our camp site.  My dad threatened to shoot him several times, so us kids were terrified of what he would do to our new puppy.  Needless to say, he survived the wrath of our dad and Rex never went on vacation with us again. 😂🤣

The irony of having Rex and his fear of gunshots was that we had a pistol range in the basement.  My dad had been given special permission to have the range as he was an excellent marksman after coming back from the Korean War as a Marine Sniper.  He helped do firearms training for some of the police force.  So many times, Rex spent the day hiding upstairs in the attic.  Poor thing.  I also felt sorry for him.  At least us kids could escape the noise and go play outside.

Rex outlived us kids growing up and leaving home.  It was up to mom to have him put down once he got to that stage.  By that time, Rex wasn’t as close to my heart as he had been as a child.  And it would be years before I ended up with my own dog, Barney.  And a handful of cats.

Where would we be without our beloved pets?

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