Dr Marm never without my Nikon!

Found! Old Pictures of Shiner, my first dog

You know that moment…when you open a box you don’t remember packing and find beloved old and tattered images?  Or, in the year 2013—find an old Memory stick you have and open it to find lost images.  Well, my moment was the later and I found a file of images I put together for my parents 45th anniversary digital picture frame.  I organized the images around the early 90’s and they go back for a couple of decades.

My first dog was Shiner P. Midnight.  I got her when I was in college.  One of my friends got a puppy and it was adorable, we got one from the same litter, so–enter Shiner.  The breeder told us she was a purebred Cocker Spaniel and I had naive thoughts of breeding her and making money.  One of my professors had a REAL Cocker Spaniel, and he did not believe she was really a cocker…

Ears Flopping

Ears Flopping

I attended Washington State University, in Pullman, Washington.  Shiner was the first dog that was mine and not a family dog.  She traveled well in the car, on planes, camp bus, you name it!  After graduation, I moved to Indiana to direct an Outdoor Education School and Shiner came along.  My Mother sent her a dog sweater, since it was so cold and she spent time outside–wherever I went, she went.  If she got miles for her plane trips, she certainly would have earned a nice trip!

One time, I returned to Indianapolis after spending the holidays in California–and went to the special baggage claim and there was no Shiner!  I must admit to going from 0 to hysterical in a matter of seconds…the flight we were on was continuing on to Boston, Massachusetts, which is where she ended up.  Then, she was flown back to Indianapolis and put in an Airline Van and delivered to me in Bloomington, Indiana.  After that adventure, I didn’t fly again with her.  Also, if I knew then what I know–would not have shipped her so many times!

On for the moment

On for the moment

Shiner didn’t like wearing her sweater.  I would let her outside and she would return a few minutes later–usually without her sweater.  She figured out that going into the briar patch caught her sweater on the branches and she could get it off!

My job in Indiana was seasonal, so we would return to California for summers and I would direct a summer camp–then, she became the “Camp Dog”.  She loved to play fetch with rocks or a ball, not really particular.  When she was a puppy at camp, the kitchen staff would take their breaks and try to hit the camp bell with a rock.  This is where Shiner got her fetish.  They would throw it and she would bring it back…

This image was taken by a photographer that would come up once a week to take pictures.  I decided I wanted to get one taken with Shiner.  Apologies to the original photographer…have no information…or, would give proper acknowledgement.

Not going anywhere

Not going anywhere

What is not visible in this picture were the moments preceding the shot.  As soon as I got Shiner on the swing, she leapt off my lap and took off for the lake…I caught her before she went swimming and hiked back up to get our picture taken.  You may note how much my fingers are holding her–no more leaps!!



There were a few occasions when I went somewhere and couldn’t bring her.  She was properly spoiled…under a blanket with my Mother.

She even made her own doggy door by shredding the screen on their sliding glass door…so she could go in and out as she pleased…

One thing my parents and I never got along with was politics.  I canceled one of their votes and have continued to do so.  Decided I couldn’t resist this plastic dog toy of President Bush…and then, made sure to pack it for visiting her “grandparents”.  My Dad thought it was entertaining, Shiner was happy, and got quite a few laughs.

Democrat Dog

Democrat Dog

Bay Window View

Bay Window View

This picture was from Christmas in Northern California.  The San Francisco Bay was visible from the Bay Window in my kitchen, loved this little one room house on the hills of San Leandro.  Good times and memories.

One morning, I was getting ready to go out to visit camps–my real job as a Professional Girl Scout.  Normally, Shiner would wait at the door to ensure she was going.  I noticed she wasn’t as excited and her urine wasn’t the right color, so I dropped her off at the vet and went to visit the closest camp.  I talked with the vet, only to find out what she had was life threatening.  Autoimmune Hemoletic Anemia, it took 21 days for her to get better, including 4 days on life support at UC Davis and a splenectomy.  My parents helped a little with her bills and we had 6 more years together.  As Shiner aged, her eating waned, so I started making her Doggy Meatloaf.  She loved it.  I fed her on a towel, as her legs could go out from under her on the vinyl flooring.  My cat, Tucker also enjoyed the meatloaf and would happily help Shiner with her meal.  Included ground turkey, chicken hot dogs, frozen veggies, bread crumbs and eggs.  Although it was all food I would eat, I chose to not taste the dog food!

Homemade Dog Meatloaf

Homemade Dog Meatloaf

It has almost been 20 years since she went over the Rainbow Bridge.  I still have her collar hanging from my rear view mirror and have to smile when her tags jingle when I hit a bump or a sharp curve:)

One of my favorite memories is driving to camp with the top off my Suzuki Sidekick and her ears flapping in the breeze as she sat in the passenger seat!  She would even stay in the car when the top was off and I went into the market.  Many more stories and beautiful memories!


One response

  1. Trudy Helmlinger

    Love it!! Great job of sharing Shinner stories but you forgot the Bailey’s story and the ice cream bribes!

    November 21, 2013 at 8:18 pm

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