• Cheryl Rae Johnson

Dog's Are People Too!

Nadine Pearce and I met at Lamar University, where we were both hired as adjuncts in the fall of 2003, and then as full time members of the English Department faculty in the fall of 2006. We officially met in January 2004 two days before the start of the semester when we were told we would be teaching a senior level class neither of us ever taught before. The textbooks, a shell of a syllabus, and the general goals of what needed to be accomplished guided us as we dug into that course together and became fast friends.

Being Nadine's friend meant being a friend to her dogs. I didn't mind. Dogs are people to her. Our friendship developed into more than a work friendship. We have had too many lunches together to count, discussed too many things together to count. She

helped me through some difficult times when no one else could. She is probably the reason we have Bentley today! She is retired now, but our friendship will never retire. She is my guest blogger today as she gives us insight into why dogs are people to her and why they are such a necessary part of our lives. Thank you Nadine for sharing today and for your years of friendship!

If only people could be like dogs, the world would be a far better place. If so, people would know the pecking order, be wary of unkind people, be watchful over their clan, be faithful to their caregivers, would self-protect against people intending to do harm, and would greet kind people with a swish of the tail and a lick on the face.

I am partial or fulltime caretaker of five dogs: a cocker spaniel, a white boxer, a Jack Russell terrier, a pit bull and lab mix, and a terrier mix. Each one has his/her own distinct personality: The cocker, Ollie, is the obedient one, the rule follower, running to tell me

whenever one of the others is doing something he thinks is unacceptable. Cooper, a white boxer and the largest of the five, just

loves everybody and every dog; we affectionately call him “Mr. Wigglibutt” because he wiggles all over to tell you how happy he is to see you. Sam, a Jack Russell Terrier, is the youngest of the clan and the one who is most high energy. He loves to run; he loves to play with all the toys even if it is just throwing them in the air and then chasing them. Sam was rescued from a couple who kept him tied to the front porch. A Jack Russell terrier is a high energy dog and loves to run, so why would anyone tie him to a porch? Chloe is the oldest of the group, and the smallest, but who would know that by listening to her bark. She likes to nap/rest on the dog bed in front of my glass front door so she can

see and bark at anyone coming to the door. She thinks she is as big as any one of the other dogs, but she also knows to get out their way when they barrel through the house playing. And then there is Betty, a pit bull mix; she was scared of everyone when she came to live with us; she had been badly abused. But after living with our clan for some ten years now, she knows she’s safe and loved. A year ago, I fell and broke my leg; Betty was inside and saw me fall. After a stint in the hospital and then the rehab center, I came home to find that Betty had become the

Protector-In-Chief. If I went to the bedroom to lie down, she came in with me and jumped right up on the bed to lie with me. If I went to the bathroom, she came in with me. Wherever I went, Betty went.

Now, with this self isolation because of the COVID virus, I have an increased admiration for my dogs. They provide me with companionship and love. Each plays a distinctive role in this

family which I’ll share with you in future posts. Nadine Pearce

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