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A biography about our family dog Spike.
[1,440 words]
Greg J Brey
[January 2007]
Greg J Brey

“Spike, get out of the way,” he yelled. Spike thought he owned the whole world. And so the tractor and Spike were playing chicken, again.
“Move Spike,” he yelled again with a little more urgency, but Spike stood his ground “Thump!” and his life was fatally ended in triumph; and so the legend of Spike grew!
Spike was the type of dog that was one in a million. This dog really stole some hearts of the people who knew him. For one thing, the way that he first got picked out is something that you don’t see every day. Spike got picked out of the bunch because all of the other puppies came up and greeted my uncle. He noticed that this one puppy had gotten stuck under a barrel, and he couldn’t get out from under it to greet the person. My Uncle went over to get Spike from under the barrel, and that’s when he knew that this was the dog. That’s how the legend began.
Like I said earlier, Spike thought he owned the whole world, even though he was a small Daschound Terrier Black Lab mix. Spike thought that he could beat up anybody. To him, he compared himself to the meanest Pitbull in the world. Though he acted tough, Spike never bit anyone, but he constantly snarled at people whenever the opportunity had arisen. The one thing you had to remember is to not act scared. If you acted scared, he knew it and he snarled and barked louder.
 My Grandma Ruth, Grandpa Keith, Aunt Karen, Mom Deby, Uncle Ron, Uncle Scott, and my Uncle Derald all lived on the farm. Each one of them knew Spike closely, and they all tell stories about this dog that makes up the legend of Spike.
Since my family lived on a farm, they dealt with the typical farming activities. For one thing, they were always going down to the feed mill, and they always took Spike. Spike loved to go on rides. He tried to be all tough and mean and he always snarled and barked in the back of the vehicle. The people at the mill all knew Spike very well, and they would just say, “Come on Spike, knock it off,” and Spike, acting all tough at the time always quit his act and started to wag his tail.
Many times, Spike would be in the back of the vehicle supervising the situation at the mill, and he would fall in-between the bags that were stacked in the back. Many times Spike would fall through the cracks of the bags, he clawed like mad to try and get up. He always had this problem because he had such short legs; he couldn’t get out of jams such as this. Luckily, he was saved by my grandpa (who was driving the truck and picking up the seed at the time). Spike was always thankful for people to help him out with his height deficiency. Spike would wag his tiny tail out of satisfaction that someone would be kind enough to help him out a little.
Spike only had one known enemy, the gas man. Spike was a dog that was always snarling at people that were in his “territory.” One typical day, the gasman came down to fill up the tank at the farm.
“Get out of the way, Spike.” The gas man saw that the dog was right in the way to perform his duties, so he gave Spike a kick (because Spike would never move otherwise he thought he owned the place). Spike snarled, and ever since that day, he never forgot about that man. Whenever he and the gasman encountered each other, he would snarl and growl at him like no other.
Spike never liked to be clean, so he always rolled around in the mud to make himself one of the ugliest dogs that my relatives had ever seen. My Grandma always gave Spike a bath, and Spike always ran right to the nearest mud hole and rolled around, making my Grandma very enraged. Spike was consistent at everything he did, and whenever he had a bath, he always went to roll in the mud. Spike purposely lied on the gravel road just to make my Grandma mad. He had great opportunity to lie in the grass, but he had decided that he was going to lay right in the gravel road in the way of everything that was going on the farm.
Like I said before, Spike was very consistent in things that he did. On a typical day, My Grandpa laid on the stretch out chair. Spike always wanted to be with people, so he would stretch himself out between his legs and they both lay together for a part of the day. Spike loved to lounge and browse on the farm.
One day my uncle Scott had an idea to throw Spike into the water, and to have him swim for the first time. Spike would also get cleaned off from all of the dirt that he rolls around in.
My uncle rolled up to the parking area. “Okay Spike, today’s your first day to swim.”
So my Uncle Scott and Spike walked up to the dock, and in an unorthodox sort of a way, he threw Spike in the water. This wasn’t the best way to do things, but he did it anyways. A couple seconds went by. A couple more went by; and still no sign of Spike. Some air bubbles were visible to my uncle, but no Spike.
“Spike,” Scott yelled sweating bullets in fear that the family dog had drowned. He was getting ready to jump in. Spike’s head emerged from the water with his legs kicking like mad. Since his legs were so short, he had to double kick in order to stay afloat.
“Yeah Spike,” he yelled. Spike had been under the water for a mere thirty seconds, but he made it out alive.
Every kindergarten class has a show and tell day during at least one class period, and Spike had the opportunity to participate in the show and tell event. Spike wanted to be known as the best dog there, so he picked a fight with the biggest dog that there was at the show and tell. Spike took off across the lunchroom and attacked the big hound. My grandma worked in the lunch line, and she was so embarrassed by what happened.
“Spike, get back here,” but Spike was on a mission, to be the best. “Spike get back here,” and a big yank on the leash and Spike started to behave realizing how mad my grandma looked. Spike was quite the character at the show and tell that day.
Spike had a mind of his own; he chose what he wanted to do. It wasn’t like he was an untrained dog, but he just wanted to do the “tough” thing. Spike would never play fetch. He never understood the meaning of playing fetch, because he would go get it but he would not understand why people would keep on throwing it out there. He would get it once, but after that, you were out of luck.
Spike loved the farm. He always followed my Grandpa out there and helped him check out the crops for the day. Many times, Spike got stuck up on a big dirt clump. Since Spike had such very short legs, he wasn’t the stereotypical farm dog. My grandpa knew that Spike always got caught up on these clumps, so he looked back just in case he had to give Spike another little nudge to get him going once again. He really resembled the Energizer Bunny that just hit a wall and couldn’t go anywhere without a little change of direction. Spike definitely liked the whole farming business.
Spike always picked his own food from the crops. He got hungry often, so he would go into the corn, beans, or whatever satisfied his craving for food and he would eat it. This never really went over too well with my grandma, but they hadn’t invented a shock collar yet, so she just had to live with it.
Yes, Spike was quite the character to meet. He is known by everyone in our family very well, and to people who haven’t even seen him, it seems like they had known him. Spike will never be forgotten by anyone who met him. There are many stories for his twelve year life. I guess his death can really recap the way his life was led, a dog that was really nice under the skin; you just had to get to know him.



"Great story. reminds me of my in laws dog who was just like spike and couldn't wait to roll in something smelly as soon as she had had a bath. really made me smile and laugh out loud. " -- kate kerrison.


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© 2006 Greg J Brey
January 2007

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