Mom's Former Owners

by Valerie Barker


I thought I’d take this time to talk about the dogs that have owned my mom before we owned her. There have been three major dogs in her life before we came along and started ruling it.

The first dog was a German Shepherd named Nip. Nip was kind of a rescue in that he showed up on my grandpa and grandma’s farm one day. They tried to find his owners, but they never had any success with that, so they just adopted him. My grandpa says that Nip was the smartest dog he’s ever had. He lived with my grandpa and grandma before my mom was born and then he adopted my mom when she was a baby. My grandma says that Nip was protective of my mom and they got along great. Another cool thing about Nip is that sometimes my grandparents would take him to McDonalds and he liked hamburgers, but he always took the pickle off. Here’s a picture of Nip, my mom and my grandma.

The second dog that owned my mom was also a German Shepherd named Nip. (I know, you’re thinking that there already was a Nip. They weren’t very creative with names. This was actually Nip the Third since my mom’s grandparents had also had a Nip.) This Nip came to live with my mom when she was in elementary school. Then on the first day of her 7th grade year, he was stolen from her yard. She rode her bike around every day after school trying to find him but never did. Then one day, six weeks later, my grandpa found Nip chained up about 40 miles from where they lived. Nip was very skinny, but recognized my grandpa right away. So my grandpa went to the door and someone was in the house, but wouldn’t open the door, but my grandpa said he was going to take his dog home and they said okay through the door. That was a very happy day in my mom’s life because Nip came home. A unique thing about Nip is that he liked to eat sour cream and onion potato chips. Those are probably not on the approved dog food list. Here’s a picture of my mom and her sister with Nip. Look at those ears! Here’s another picture of my mom, Aunt Kari and my Missouri grandparents with Nip. They loved him so much he got to be in the family picture. (My mom wants it said that she did not pick out that shirt.)

Finally, the other important dog in my mom’s life was Ruger, another German Shepherd. (Wow, they finally thought of a new name!) My Missouri grandparents like German Shepherd Dogs. Ruger started owning my mom when she was in high school. His claim to fame is that he could run like a cheetah. My aunt Kari used to ride her 4-wheeler in the pasture and Ruger could totally keep up, even when Aunt Kari was driving as fast as she could! My mom and my aunt also used to take Ruger fishing, but he would always scare all of the fish in the pond away because he would swim around. Here’s a picture of my mom with Ruger when Ruger was still a puppy.

So those are the dogs that trained my mom for having Steve and me. I think they did a great job!

Steve