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My husband Bud and I picked blackberries Saturday at the old Pearman place on Leafdale Road (that’s the LaRue County Environmental Education and Research Center for non-natives).
I asked him if he wanted us to pick in different locations – or if he wanted me to pick beside him so we could chat. He said it was up to me – which is Bud lingo for “can’t pick no blackberries if a woman is yakking at me.” So, he went his way and I went mine.
That gave me lots of time to think about stuff.
While picking those berries, I grew nostalgic for my Mom’s blackberry cobbler, which I can never replicate. Mostly I just missed her.
When I was a kid, I would help her pick berries – and she would tell stories. One of her favorites was about how she and her brothers would go blackberry picking and they had to fight the briars and critters for them.
She was always concerned that she would come across a snake lurking in the weeds and briars – but she had a secret weapon. They had a little dog that hated snakes with a passion. They always took the dog with them and would send it into the deepest part of the briar patch.
She always finished the story: “If there was a snake in there, he’d bring it out – and we knew we’d be OK.”
Then I thought about the dog we had when I was growing up. His name was Major and he was 99 percent my brother’s dog but I loved him too. He was mostly German shepherd and had the best qualities of that breed. He was loyal and protective. Once I left a doll outside overnight and Major slept by it (I didn’t know he liked dolls). He nipped one person – the boy from down the road who was playing catch with my brother. We theorized that Major thought Hank was throwing things at my brother.
That old dog had one weakness. He was terrified of thunderstorms. He was an outdoors dog and was insulted if someone tried to make him go in the house – except during storms. If you were standing in front of him when the thunder rolled, you had better step back because he would knock you down on his way to the house.
And I also thought about my little brown dog, Monroe, who I miss terribly. He hated groundhogs as much as Mom’s little dog hated snakes.
So while I was picking berries and thinking about dogs – I thought there were probably other people who had good dog stories. They may have a few bad dog stories too.
If you would like to share a story about your dog – or one you had – with our readers, email it to me, with your name and phone number, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a photo if you have one.
We’ll call the section – if we get enough participation – the “Dog Days of Summer.” If we don’t get enough participation, we’ll run the stories as space allows in upcoming weeks.
Deadline is Aug. 1.