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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Raising Jed

Jethro, the 16-year-old black Labrador retriever who joined our family on our oldest son’s first birthday, died in September. Accustomed to having a dog in the city, we planned to adopt again as soon as it seemed right for our family.

My husband made the first visit to the Vanderburgh Humane Society, and right away he became attached to a portly female black Lab. During lunch, we visited VHS together and played with the sweet dog he liked, and others, and left with plans to return with our boys.

Thanks to our caring community, numerous shelters are addressing the problem of unwanted pets. I wanted to thoroughly explore available dogs for adoption in our area. Researching adoptable pets online with my youngest son, I found “Piglet,” a 6-month-old mountain cur mix on It Takes a Village Canine Rescue’s website. (See our related story.) I emailed the organization for information on Piglet; a friendly reply informed me of the yellow dog’s circumstances: he was rescued in July, living in a pigpen along with his mother and litter mates in Winslow, Ind. Piglet was malnourished and flea-covered; he already had accumulated an impressive medical file.

We were invited to see Piglet a few days later on a Sunday at PetSmart. Our family made an immediate connection with the yellow hound dog. An adoption was transacted, and we left with a dog, a bed, food, chew toys, treats, a collar, and a leash. We think he looks like Old Yeller. Of course, the name Piglet would not stick — he no longer responds to it. We named him Jed — an appropriate name, we thought, for a mountain cur mix. The breed claims its roots in Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee (after being brought from Europe). The name Jed also extends our family tradition of naming pets for “The Beverly Hillbillies” characters; we’ve had a cat named Jethrine, a dog named Pearl Bodine, and of course, Jethro.

Jed is keeping us very well entertained. Our two cats, a scrappy female tabby and a very large gray male, are demonstrating their dominance with impressive boxing jabs to Jed’s nose. The puppy keeps coming back for more.

I have not raised a puppy since I was a child and though he is now 7 months old, there is no denying Jed certainly is a puppy. He had lived with us for only a few days when we discovered the stash of shoes, socks, and stuffed animals under a bed. A few old shoes and belts have been chewed up — it is remarkable that he’s been tempted by shoes well past their prime — and a half-dozen stuffed animals that somehow survived donations to the summer social and Beanies for Baghdad have been shredded. Today, I found the corners chewed off the Neil Young and Crazy Horse “Live at Fillmore East” album cover. (Just the cover, not the 180-gram vinyl, thank heavens! It was on the turntable.)

Other than a few issues with chewing, Jed is adjusting quite well to life outside the pigpen and inside our home. We’re very glad we adopted him — and that he is growing up every day.

Where has the year gone? Though it’s not yet over — there remains plenty to be enjoyed in 2012 — this issue of Evansville Living marks the last issue of the year that began with the redesign of the magazine. I’m very happy with the stories our editors, writers, photographers, and art directors have told on these pages this year. Thank you for the opportunity to learn and share these stories of Evansville.

I wish you a happy holiday season. As always, I look forward to hearing from you.

Kristen K Tucker 
Kristen K. Tucker
Publisher & Editor

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