Dog Blog

I really have been enjoying  the chance to be at home more lately with my dogs and my kids and cooking in my own kitchen. There’s an ever shifting revolving group of kids, some bringing their own dogs, plus gals and pals around here.

Dogs are some of the best people in the world. They were not put here to criticize control or judge you. They were put here to rescue us from our own ridiculous human condition and teach us about humor, loyalty, love, and forgiveness.

All my life I have grown up with, played ball and tug of war with, slept in beds with, swam in pools with, driven around with, and had many conversations with a gang of some really great dogs.

At one point two of my Springer Spaniels had 12 puppies so I was the keeper of 14 dogs for two and a half months on my farm. Good training for motherhood.

They went from a playpen to the kitchen pen to the garage pen to the larger outdoor puppy proofed pen.

There were horse corrals and puppy corrals separated by yards and yards of strategically placed hog wire. Every day of raising and socializing those puppies became one never ending hysterical situation after another.

I would make large vats of rice cereal mixed with Costco sized quantities of goats milk.
And the first day some canned red meat dog food was introduced into their diet there was suddenly a new sound of growls and their play became a little more aggressive.

Containing them all and maintaining the system of feeding cleaning loving and caring for them got to be some serious hard work. But still l wanted to keep them all and I had a rough time giving each one them up when the time came.

All 12 puppies went to good homes and a few even stayed within my family plus a few others went to some close friends homes as well and I was luckily able to see many of them grow up and thrive in their new families.

Dogs were my kids when I didn’t know if I was destined or not to have any human kids of my own.

A black lab named Zooey I adopted in Vancouver rescued my small fluffy terrier mix Womby when she followed some trick or treaters (and their candy) out into a dark and stormy Halloween night. Hours later Zooey brought her home bedraggled with her fur full of stickers and branches.

Dogs do amazingly heroic things all over the world every day. They work to save people’s lives and instill love into the hearts of those who have been emotionally frozen. Dogs are just naturally good therapy for all us humans.

The laws against dog and animal abusers should be enforced everywhere with the same heavy penalties as child abusers.

Possibly and arguably the holder of the title of the worlds best dog was my Charlie. He knew a lot of you guys because he started touring with me when he was fairly young in 2002. He was a large Springer with the disposition of a working therapy dog. Always helping. How else would he have survived the road so well? We devised a system of sharing a bus bunk in which we would spoon each other with his legs sticking straight out into the isle.

There was no body of water that didn’t call out to Charlie. Such a true water dog to his core that even a large muddy puddle would do. There were many baths in hotel rooms and wow the poor maids after that!

Leaving hotels required an extra 30 minutes just to navigate all the petting and adulation along the way to the bus… everyone loved Charlie and Charlie loved everybody. Needless to say any thief breaking and entering in the night would most likely be greeted with a warm heartfelt welcome!

People have told me they’d like to be reincarnated as one of my dogs. Actually sometimes so would I !!!

For one of the best dog stories in the world listen to Bruno the Fishing Dog as told by Garrison Keillor .You can also hear me read a great dog story called Karl the Grateful Dog (a story of rescue) by my guitar tech JeffO and his writer friend (Click here). My friend Karl has been on some rock stages with me like Charlie.

This is my favorite picture of Karl


There are 6 comments on Dog Blog

  • HI, Nancy – Somehow I knew you must have been a dog-lover. Something about the openness of your spirit. (We’ve actually briefly three times.) I’ve also had quite a series of dogs. Actually, right now our Sinjin kind of ‘has us.’ He was a rescue, 1/2 Golden, 1/4 Husky, and 1/4 ‘mystery.’ This 14 year-old boy has never met a stranger. So many people who have been afraid of dogs, have been ‘cured’ by him.

    Sinjin doesn’t move like he used to. Arthritis happens to the best of us, right? But once in a while, on our nightly walk, he’ll spot a bunny. And for just a split second, he’ll forget his age, and make a lunge at the leash. We always praise him for ‘protecting us’ in this way, from the evil bunnies. (Recalling Monty Python just now…)

    I’m so excited to see you with RR in October in Kansas City. Hopefully, I’ll get my buddy (your drummer) Ben to join me again for some barbecue.

    I wish you and the band great success with this venture. Sounds like you’re all having a blast. I absolutely identify with your need to keep pushing the edge of that creative envelope. Having been a writer, photographer, and videographer since… well, just about when you joined Heart, in the last 12 years, I’ve been painting, in acrylic, oils, epoxy, and encaustic. I find the crossover stretches me and makes me better at my original strengths. At least Sinjin thinks so. So good to have a forgiving audience like him.

    Long may you rawk. Be well, at peace, and by all means… receive and revel in the love that surrounds you.

    • My dog Bentley is my kid. I have met Charlie several times back stage when we visited with my friend Debbie. He was beautiful

  • Great story, Nancy! I share your love of dogs and how they are wonderful companions, healers, and protectors to us. We always had dogs growing up, too. Right now I have three! They are my kids! Like your guitar tech, I wrote a children’s book with a puppy as the main character. I’m still working with a company on the illustrations. I also recently decided to learn how to be a dog trainer and enrolled in a training program. Not sure exactly how this will blend with my current career as a Social Worker, but considering using dogs to help trauma survivors. It’s amazing how a wiggly and loving dog can help bring people to the present and out of the past. They are just amazing that way.

    Warmest wags!

  • Glad you got some quality time at home with the pups. Like you I love dogs. They love you so unconditionally. Really special animals. So love mine too. By the way, looking forward to seeing Roadcase Royale by the way…bring the group to Portland 😉

  • I love dogs too. I have Charlie Boy now but I have had other dogs before him. They really add soul to your life. Looking forward to the day that you will perform in Reno. I am going through weight loss surgery so who knows maybe a RR concert will be my reward for hitting one of my goals. I love your sound and spirit.

  • I absolutely admire your love for dogs and I thank both you and Julia for allowing me to share my puggles with you. Lexie loves to dress up and send you all pics 🙂 Hello to the Frenchies!!!!

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