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The Madison Record

A canine lesson

By By Thomas Tingle
Record Managing Editor
Our son Austin has been asking his mother and me if we could get a dog.
He's asked this question more than once, so I've been trying to figure out where he's gotten the idea in his little mind that we need a dog. He's never shown us that he's scared of dogs, so it's not a bad idea.
Granted, a true American family isn't complete unless they have a dog, which means our backyard needs to be fenced in. I told Austin that we don't need a dog at this time, but I haven't ruled out the idea of getting one eventually. I think it would be good if we had a dog and Austin and our daughter Carlie could help in taking care of its needs.
I told Austin that a dog is a tremendous responsibility and when he was old enough to understand those responsibilities, which will be sooner than I think, we can seriously look into getting a dog.
I remember having three dogs in my family while growing up. The first, Prince, was a Doberman Pinscher. He was a beautiful dog and smart. My parents had a German Shepherd, Rebel, before they got Prince and he grew to take on the responsibility of watching over me while I was a baby. Unfortunately while we were on a vacation, Rebel got sick and died. Shortly after that, Prince came into the scene.
We kept Prince up until the time we moved from Tucker, Ga., to Huntsville. We heard that Prince grew to be quite an old dog before his death.
Upon moving to Huntsville, we didn't immediately get a new dog, but a couple of years later, our neighbor's dog had a litter of puppies and we got one from that. He was a mutt named Von Brown – after Werner Von Braun. Von Braun's name is legend in Huntsville and they had just built the Von Braun Civic Center in downtown Huntsville when we got Von Brown. My sister named him, so I guess she thought the name was actually Von Brown instead of Von Braun and liked it.
Unfortunately Von Brown wasn't a smart dog and he got hit by a car and killed in front of our house.
Several years later, Mozart was added to the family. He was our shorthaired red Dachshund. He was hyper as all get out and that hiperness led to his untimely death when he injured his back and became paralyzed. He was a good little dog and loved everyone, but when he died, my parents decided we didn't need another four-legged family member. By then, I was married and out of the house, so it didn't matter to me one way or another.
Now that Austin is asking us for a dog, it brings back a lot of fond memories of our four-legged friends during my youth. My sister and I had to take on the responsibility of maintaining the dogs, so that is what I want to instill in Austin before we take on a new family member in the household.

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