In the Carolinas, as with much of the world, we love our dogs. For many, including myself, they are thought of as family with as many diverse personalities as our two-legged family members.
I have been very fortunate in my travels to meet many great dogs. Over the years, I have come to think of them as “canine folk.”
I enjoy watching canine folk when they take their human folk for a walk. I have talked with many people who tell me that this is the best exercise they get and a great way to meet new people and make friends.
In a conversation with Charlotte friend and publisher John Galles, he shared with me that he and his wife Maryl adopted a Lab/Poodle mix named Shiloh and Keeley a Golden Retriever that was born on St. Patrick’s Day.
Shiloh and Keeley are our kids, John said. They go on vacation with us; they go with us to the National White Water Center. He said, “We are more physically active with them in our lives,” with at least two walks a day, it keeps the energy flowing.”
Glenn Gulledge of Chesterfield has an American Bull Dog, a Boxer and a Mix of happiness. He said the love that they share would be missed if they were not in his life. “They are not like family; they are family,” he said.
Glenn is a volunteer at the Chesterfield animal shelter where they now save over a thousand dogs annually. He writes about a different dog every week in hopes of helping find a new forever home.
Ken and Laura Welborn of North Wilkesboro share their home with a white Boxer mix that goes by the name of Powder and a Beagle named Buster.
Weighing in at around 80 pounds, Powder is full of personality and still likes the idea of being a lap dog. Ken says, “Powder would not bite a biscuit unless it were properly buttered.”
Some years ago I met Bob Plott; it was his family member, Johannes “George” Plott that in 1750 brought five boar hunting dogs (Hanoverian Hounds) from Germany to the new English colony of North Carolina. Those dogs were the start of the Plot Hound bread. While not that well known in America, the Plot Hound is now the official dog for the state of North Carolina.
In South Carolina, the official state dog is the Boykin Spaniel, as the story goes this excellent hunting dog got its start after a chance meeting around 1905 between Alexander L. White in Spartanburg, and a stray spaniel. Alexander took his new friend home with him.
He gave him the name of Dumpy and over time he noticed that retrieving was in his nature. Alexander contacted his friend Lemuel Whitaker “Whit” Boykin from the Camden area.
Whit had a talent for crossbreeding different breeds. It did not take long for Dumpy to turn into a great turkey dog and waterfowl retriever.
The little dog that made a new friend in Spartanburg now has a prominent place in Canine history.
I have shared space with many dogs, and currently, I enjoy the company of a delightful Feist by the name of Spot. He was my Dad’s dog; I was visiting when he arrived in a paint bucket. He could fit in the palm of your hand.
I ask what his name should be. My Dad looked at him and put his finger on his head and said he is already named.
His is Spot, he said, and so it was and still is.
I love Spot; he’s a good friend; he provides good company and lots of love. I understand the emotions tied up in the idea that a man’s best friend is his dog.
Before I forget, we also have the Carolina Dog, also known as The Native American Dog, The American Dingo, The Indian’s Dog and the Southern Aboriginal Dog.
So I join with my many friends who love the canine folk in their lives.
Without them, we would likely be far less balanced and who would take us on our walks?
Carl White is the executive producer and host of the award winning syndicated TV show “Carl White’s Life In the Carolinas.” The weekly show is in its seventh year of syndication and can be seen in the Greenville, Spartanburg viewing market on WLOS ABC 5 a.m. Saturdays and 1:30 p.m. Sundays at WMYA My 40. Visit www.lifeinthecarolinas.com, email White at Carl@lifeinthecarolinas.com.