Pat with Fletcher Dogs, Thia, Jo JO and Radar Jan's dog, Thilde and Lady Di in Maine
Haskell Dogs & My Dog-Park Pals
Pat and I have owned lots of different dogs over the years. She loves dogs and most of our dogs have been Pat’s idea. I remember one day Pat said, “We’re going to get a dog.” I objected and the matter rested for a few weeks. Later, one Saturday morning, Pat said, “We’re going to pick our new dog up today.” Our friend, Bess, in Pickens, SC had made a dog to Pat’s specifications—yes, when Pat told Bess she loved her dog, Bess said, “I can make one for you as I know where this dog came from.” Sure enough, we headed to Bess’s house.
Pat picked up this truly adorable tiny little black cutie and handed her to me. I looked down at her and said, “I love her and think we should call her Baba—she looks like a little baba-black sheep and I love my twin-sister Mercy’s dog, also named Baba.
Our Baba turned out being a super dog. We bred her to my aunt’s Margaret’s pure-bred schnauzer and Baba had four pups—two of which we kept, Winnie and Sessie. Mother and daughters lived long lives (average 18 years) and we adored them.
We now have a Jack Russell dog, Lady Di, who we adopted from the Brunswick, Maine Humane Society. Lady joined our other Jack Russell, Lily, who died at the young age of six.
Lady Di has always been very friendly with people but used to growl and snap at other dogs. I’ve walked her for years and about a year ago I decided to take her to the dog-park we have on Hilton Head Island. I was fearful how Lady might act and was pleasantly surprised to find out she seemed to love being there—and immediately got along with the other dogs.
This park is clean and well taken care of. There are comfortable benches and poop-bag stations there .Some days Lady Di and are the only ones there and other days I’ve counted 30 or more dogs and their care-takers. Lady Di runs with other dogs and really enjoys chewing tennis-balls—the grubbier the better. I keep a leather glove in my car to take these balls away from her before she gets in my car.
I have met some fascinating dog-lovers at this park, who qualify as “regulars.” There’s something about one’s having a dog that brings people together.
Art and Sammie and their dog, Twoie, are a couple that are particularly interesting. Art was a foster-child who was a self-described ‘juvenile delinquent’ when he arrived in the USA from Germany. He gradually found himself as he moved from one family to another and eventually earned his college degree in Art. He has shown me lots of his work and what talent he has. After a varied career that included being a ski instructor in West Virginia, Art met his wife, Sammie, who enticed him to move to Hilton Head Island. Art told me, “When I first saw this beautiful woman [Sammie] I knew she was the one for me.’ I’ve gotten to know both Art and Sammie—both bringing lots of laughter and interesting conversation as our dogs, Twoie and Lady Di romp in the park.
Another couple that I’ve enjoyed meeting are Rob and Cathy and their two dogs, Carlie and Lucas. Cathy is a personal-assistant for a well-known woman and Rob is a psycho-therapist. Rob is a real dog-lover and goes out of his way to get to know everyone and their dogs. He also walks on the beach with Cathy and their dogs—that Pat and I used to do when we, too, lived in a house near the beautiful beach on our island.
Joyce and her dog, Pebbles, come often to the dog-park. Pebbles is also a Jack Russell and has become one of Lady Di’s favorites. Joyce lost her husband and lives alone. Her daughter has visited the park and is a peach of a woman. Joyce grew up on a farm in Michigan and has told me lots about her interesting life and things that she’s seen happen in the dog-park—such as the woman who was knocked over by a large dog—and died!
James and his wife, Betty (?) visit the dog-park once in a while with their large black dog (can’t remember their dog’s name). Jim plays guitar and sings at various restaurants on the island and Betty has been the bar-tender at the Hilton/Omni hotel for more than 20 years. Jim is a story-teller who plans to take off in their RV with his wife and dog in the spring.
Dr. Larry, his wife Betty, and their dog, Blossom were the first people I met when I visited the park spring of 2018. Larry is a Dartmouth graduate and practiced urology in Indiana before moving here. We’ve had lots of discussions about medical-matters and Dr. Larry is a big Trump fan but I avoid political discussions with them.
Being on an island with lots of tourists, I meet people that I see one time and never again. Their love of dogs brings them to our park and I’ve found most are usually pleasant to talk with.
In Maine we just let Lady Di out the front door as we have a fence around our yard. In this gated community on Hilton Head fences are rare and our dog-park is a blessing—for both our dogs and for those of us who enjoy it.