Before I was Nana to the Vance Family Rescue Dogs, my husband John and I raised three dogs of our own. Two Saint Bernards named Bridget and Oliver, and a Golden Retriever named Barney whom you’ve met in the “Rescue Dogs” book. We got our first dog, Bridget, while we were living in upstate New York when Mary was a year old. In those days there were no store bought dog crates so John made one out of plywood, and we put it in our downstairs heated garage. Bridget was an adorable rambunctious puppy and Mary’s great playmate. She was also a CHEWER.
I remember one day in particular, and it started out pleasantly enough. John got up early to walk Bridget, and when he came back he decided to leave her in the family room with the baby gate up. About an hour later he went to check on her and I heard the first loud roar of the day. I leaped out of bed and ran down stairs to what was once the family room. Chairs were pushed all about and chewed couch cushions were everywhere. What once was an oval braided rug now resembled a red, gold and brown boa constrictor snaking ominously around the room. Toilet paper and tissues from the bathroom were everywhere, and a large hole had been chewed in the corner wall. We stared at one another in stunned surprise, our family room now looked like a war zone.
Much later after spending the whole day cleaning up, I decided to take a shower. I left John in the living room with Mary and Bridget watching a football game. I just had time to remove all of my clothes when I heard the second loud roar of the day. I opened the door to a wild-eyed St Bernard who proceeded to pee all over my feet and the bathroom floor; followed by baby Mary calling “Boogie, Boogie” who promptly slipped and landed in the pee; followed by my equally wild-eyed husband hollering that she had just chewed a hole in the living room wall. With superhuman strength he did not know he possessed, he lifted our now 60 lb. dog up and carried her out the door. I decided my best course of action was to clean up and Mary and I would have a shower.
Later after dinner and fortified by a couple of glasses of wine, we felt up to taking on Bridget once again and we headed downstairs. We opened the door to find the crate empty, and Bridget laying on the garage floor happily chewing on the left rear tire of our car.
Flash Forward. Well we did manage to survive those early puppy months, and we had Bridget for ten years. John was born in 1970 and she helped us raise two babies. Our children adored her as did the neighborhood kids who often came to play at our house. You’d always find Bridget in the middle of the action with Matchbox cars lined up on her back, and dolls propped up against her side wearing a funny hat. Now that’s a Nana for you, don’t you think.