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Magnificent Seven Canines, The
by Betty Jo Tucker

National Dog Day was celebrated a few days ago, so I began to reminisce about the wonderful dogs I lived with during days of yore. They enriched my life, and I loved each one of them. Meet these magnificent seven in chronological order below.  .

Teddy – a patient mongrel who let me dress him like my favorite Shirley Temple doll

Tippy – a beautiful cocker spaniel who loved spaghetti even more than the rest of the family

Hilda – a no-nonsense Great Dane who enjoyed chasing boys out of our yard.

Spot – an intelligent terrier who came with the house and woke me up every morning so I wouldn’t be late for school (even on weekends).

Eddie – a mysterious but fun bulldog who looked like Edward G. Robinson and moved in with us.

Gypsy – a lovely small collie who won us over with her boundless energy.

Dolly – Gypsy’s sister who rolled over whenever she wanted a special treat. 

While we’re talking about canines, below are four of my favorite movies about dogs.

BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA (2008). I’m a sucker for films about dogs, whether they talk or not. But who could resist the adventures of a pampered Chihuahua as she tries to find her way back to Beverly Hills after becoming lost in Mexico? Drew Barrymore provides a darling voice for Chloe, who’s used to being dressed in fashionable outfits, eating gourmet meals, and sharing play dates with snobbish canines like herself.

BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE (2005). Never being without a dog or two while growing up, I found it easy to empathize with the 10-year-old girl who adopts a homeless canine in Because of Winn-Dixie. When I was a child, we shared our home with dogs of various breeds and sizes, but I can’t recall any of our pets smiling like Winn-Dixie, the mischievous sheepdog responsible for stealing this heartwarming movie from its human actors.

HOTEL FOR DOGS (2009). Dogs of many breeds, shapes and sizes appear in this entertaining comedy -- and even the scruffiest ones look adorable. Not surprisingly, they perform impeccably. Called upon for such stunts as sitting quietly at a dinner table, fetching objects tossed by a strange invention, running frantically through the streets, howling and barking on cue, and so forth, these canny canines bring excitement and humor to their scenes.

BENJI (2018). When an orphaned dog and a fatherless schoolboy make eye contact on a busy street, both realize they were meant for each other. This remarkable early scene sets the tone for Benji, Brandon Camp’s charming remake of his father’s (Joe Camp) popular 1974 film.  

It’s no surprise to me that dog is god spelled backwards

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