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
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
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
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
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.