We had several family dogs when we were growing up, but we all knew they were really Karen’s dogs. She was the dog lover of the family and the one who convinced our parents that we needed a family pet. From the age of 12 forward, Karen always had a dog to love.
By the time Karen and I were in our early thirties, Karen was living in Atlanta, GA, and I was living in the Orlando, FL, area. She was busy with her career as well as dog shows and springer spaniels by then. I was newly married and busy with my career. Then, one day the phone rang, and it was Karen telling me that it was time for me to have a dog of my own. “You need a dog,” she told me, “and I happen to have one that needs a new home. You will LOVE having a dog!”
I wasn’t as convinced as Karen that I “needed” a pet, but I told her I would think about it. I can honestly say I had not even considered having a dog! What did I know about taking care of one?? NOTHING!!! But fortunately for Karen, my husband loves dogs and he jumped at the chance to have one! Besides, how do you say NO to your older and wiser sister? She was VERY persuasive! Before we knew it, we had a 3-year-old black and white Springer Spaniel named Cricket.
I had tons to learn about basic dog care. Karen then became not just my sister, but my dog consultant extraordinaire!!! She taught me EVERYTHING I needed to know and then some!! We spent many hours on the phone discussing dog care and the best way to love our new family member. It also brought Karen and I closer together. Who knew sister “bonding” could come through the love of a dog named Cricket? And today, I am so thankful for that memory, a gift that Karen gave me, because of her great love for dogs.