We had several dogs during the years that we lived in Venezuela. Spottie #1 was with us when we lived in our second house across from the vacant lot in Tia Juana. That was our first house not on stilts. He was a short-haired, long-legged, floppy eared hound which the Venezuelans used to hunt deer and was pre-Cris. He was totally dedicated to my brother and I and though we promised Mom and Dad we would take care of him, Mom ended up doing it.

One day, Dad put him in the jeep and took him out back of Tia Juana to put an end to him with the shotgun as Mom had had it with him. Instead of completing the job, Dad brought him back home with him and he told us later that when he looked down the barrels of the shotgun and looked into the eyes of the dog, he just could not pull the triggers. I don't remember what happened to him.

Then there was Spottie #2 - also a deer hound - and we ended up giving him to Ramon Guerra (a welder on one of Dad’s work crews and good friend as well) who had a small farm out Avenida C behind Tia Juana. We used to see the Spottie #2 when Dad and Mom stopped by Ramon's house to visit.

When we moved to our third house adjacent to the Staff School, I acquired another dog, Tippy, and she was a small mixed black terrier and he was “my” dog. Unfortunately, one day at school while I was teasing one of the girls after she had completed tap dance and I had the dog in my arms, the girl threw a tap shoe at me striking Tippy in the head causing her to have convulsions. She recovered but never was the same. My parents would try to out-run the dog in the jeep when we wanted to go for an afternoon ride and the dog would run itself into the ground attempting to follow us. We always ended up taking Tippy with us. Again, don't know what ultimately happened to her.

I don't remember a Spottie #3 but I think we had another dog that was a German Shepard that Cris had when I was off to high school in the States. And she also had a mongrel Dachshund when we lived near the dike in Tia Juana when I was in my senior year of high school. That dog was a champion iguana chaser.

Every dog we had was either an iguana hunter or lizard hunter. If they caught a lizard they would hold it in their front teeth and nibble the darn thing to death.

I do recall that the hounds learned to ride in the jeep and could brace themselves with their feet as we drove over rough terrain. It was fun to watch them as they totally enjoyed the ride.

Shortly after Dad retired to Baltimore in 1963, we got two spotted male coon hounds as pups from a farm and we named them Pepsi and Cola. They were very smart and loved to hunt with us in a huge park behind our house. I taught them both to climb a ladder which we had leaning against and old horse shed behind the house and when I drove home from the University in my VW I would find them both standing on the roof of the shed howling as I approached. They couldn't climb down so I would climb up and bring them down. My brother and I would give them a cup of our Cuba Libres when we sat and watched TV and they would both become intoxicated and stumble around the room eventually falling asleep in our laps on the couch.

I have many fond memories of those hounds. I loved our dogs.

 

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