Me, the family and the dogs

I have the most supportive family on the planet. Always have. So, it’s fun to look back at pictures of us through the years. Mom, Sue (a retired computer programmer who went to UNC-Greensboro and later UT-Austin); dad, Jim (a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and Motorola engineer who went to Texas A&M and the University of Montana); sister, Kristi (a school counselor who went to Texas A&M and Texas State), and me. And the dogs.

Me with dog, November 1967

Me with dog in 1967



And, as far back as I can remember, in all seven states that we’ve lived in, we’ve had dogs. I sort of remember the schnauzers Smokey and Scruggs but my first real dog was Dingo. Dingo lived with us in three states. And he was the best mutt ever. After Dingo began the reign of the dachshund.

Dingo walks daddy

Daddy walks Dingo on a rope leash in South Dakota



Let’s see, first we got Prissy. She made several trips to the emergency vet within her first few days. She was a handful. My dad stepped on her when she ran under him as he was stepping down off a ladder changing a lightbulb. She stuck her face in a fire ant nest. She tried to eat out of Dingo’s food bowl and got bit. But she was a great dog, a small, loyal, feisty pup.

She was a purebred so for some reason we thought it was a good idea for her to be a mommy. In retrospect, maybe not the best idea. But she had three puppies, including Dudley. He was not the brightest light on the Christmas tree, but he was fun.


Prissy puppy


Dudley bites daddy, 1996

Rollie steals squirrel, December 2006

Rollie steals squirrel, 2006

Kristi and Rollie

Kristi and Rollie, 2008

Then my sister got Skeeter, easily the smartest dog we’ve ever had. He could almost talk. After a while, she got Mali, a long-haired. She had a genetic disorder and died when she was only about 5 years old. Very sad. Rollie came along too and was a peaceful pup and kept Skeeter young.

Skeeter, 2005

Skeeter, 2005

Mali, December 2016

Mali, December 2016

Linus and Lucy, well, mom and dad adopted them as an older couple. Both the dogs and my parents. They were perfect for each other. When Lucy died, mom swore she’d never have another dog. Then came Rufus. Not a dachshund but a rescue from the dachshund rescue group. He’s perfect for her now and never far from her side.

mom and dad

Mom and dad with Linus and Lucy in Cary, North Carolina

Lucy May 2013

Lucy, 2013

family with dogs

Mali and the family, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

The family in Wichita Falls, 2012

Rufus, December 2016

Rufus, 2016

Same with Thumper and Lollie, my sister’s next generation of dogs. Lucy moves faster than any dog. Dang. Thumper, well, he’s a “whatever” dog. “Whatever.” But his tail keeps a beat better than a lot of percussionists I’ve known.

Thumper, May 2016

Thumper, 2016


Lollie, 2018

But, by far, the best dog ever is my puppy, Koda. As best we can tell, Koda was born around the end of August in 2018 and found by Central Texas Dachshund Rescue in Austin.


Koda adoption image

I knew I wanted him when I saw him. Who could resist? “I wanted a puppy.”

His website read, “Are you ready for some cuteness overload? Then meet Dodger, our newest and youngest arrival at CTDR. This 7-week-old baby was found as a stray on the streets of Austin and taken to a local shelter. He has received his first set of puppy shots and has been microchipped but can still be adopted with the understanding he has a few more sets of shots and will need to be neutered as well. If you are interested in giving this cute little boy a home, please complete an application at”

So, given the timing, we’re saying his birthday was Aug. 31, 2018.

My sister fostered him and wrote on the adoption contract, “He is definitely playful and gets along really well with Lollipop (female) – they play all the time. Rufus and Thumper are not a fan of his youthfulness and boisterous high energy. Thumper lets him sleep on and curl up with him but doesn’t like to be pounced on. He is not shy or afraid…follows the big dogs around the yard, and does whatever they do. Puppy has been sleeping on bed with me curled up under my chin…last night, he curled up on the blankets in the middle of the bed with the other dogs. Great with potty. Goes outside almost always, even in the rain (good boy) and uses the paper in the house when I am gone during the day. He loves chew toys. And he loves to eat.”

And his day of adoption was Nov. 18, 2018. The vets said he would max out at about 15 pounds. Perfect. Just a bit bigger than Thumper.

Thanksgiving 2018

Me, mom, Koda and Rufus, 2018

By his second birthday, I had already uploaded 1,784 images of Koda to Flickr. He’s perfect and perfectly happy being photographed. He has but one flaw. He barks. I’m sure my neighbors love that. Actually, they don’t. Actually, I’m simply convinced he barks because he wants to get to the other side of the fence to play with the neighbors.

He loves to romp at the dog park and sleep under the covers curled up with me. He loves to eat toys and sometimes he plays with them. But he’s just as happy eating a milk jug or stick. He doesn’t like snakeskins or plastic bags blowing in the wind. The evil lawn mowers need to stop making noise.

But, other than that, he’s perfect. I’m glad I got a puppy. A 40-pound puppy.