This week’s column is the first in a series of occasional introductions to the pets that grace the lives of some of our area’s best-known residents.
To say that Denny and Susan Crum are dog people is an understatement. The 70-acre farm they share has been home to as many as nine dogs at once. Currently, their furry brood is down to a meager five pups of varying ages and breeds. They include Gibby, the 10-year-old yellow Labrador retriever; Buddy, the 8-year-old Italian sheepdog (you might mistake him for a great Pyrenees; Ace, a 6-year-old black Labrador retriever ; and his sidekick, Luke, a nearly 2-year-old chocolate Labrador. Finally, there is Molly, the Crum’s recently-adopted Australian cattle dog, who was last on the scene, but appears to be working her way around the pack order.
I recently had a chance to ask Susan a few questions about sharing their home and lives with dogs.
Why are you and Denny dog people?
We love dogs because they are such great companions and loving family members and so totally devoted and appreciative of everything they have. Not only that, they’re great for security at the house!
Do you pick your pets or have they picked you?
With my first dog, Sable, we picked each other. A friend had the mother, and I decided to give one of her puppies a home. Some of Denny’s dogs over the years probably sort of picked him because they were strays that wandered onto the farm. The ones we have now, I guess, we mostly chose. The Labradors came from breeders, but the Italian sheepdog came from a friend who had the mother and puppies. And the newest addition belonged to a friend, but needed a home with more space to run.
Are your dogs named for specific things in your lives or for their personalities?
We actually named Gibby after Mel Gibson; we got him not too long after the movie “Braveheart” came out. He was such a fearless little puppy, but “Braveheart” seemed like a bit much. Buddy got his name sort of by default. Denny kept calling him our “little buddy,” so eventually that just stuck. Ace was named in part after a friend of Denny’s and because of Denny’s interest in poker. And Luke is short for “Cool Hand Luke.” Molly came with her name.
What’s the best part about having an entire pack?
Every day is an adventure, and each dog has such an interesting personality. There’s a definite pecking order that is interesting to watch. Buddy is pretty much in charge, although Molly is shaking things up a bit. They do keep each other company, even if they are also usually competing for attention from us.
What’s your favorite thing to do as a furry family?
We’ve actually never tried to do much at one time with everyone. That’s a little too much. But I do enjoy taking them for walks on a neighbor’s nearby farm, a couple of them at a time, and watching them run and explore. They absolutely love it, even though for Buddy and Gibby, it’s starting to take a bit of a toll. Ace and “Lukie” are just getting introduced to the big “walkies” on the farm behind us. They all seem to know that Saturdays and Sundays are special days and potential “walkie” days, and they prance around the car every time I walk outside in hopes of a big adventure!
David Loignon is the owner of Home Buddies Premier In-home Pet Care. You can reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.myhomebuddies.com/louisvilleeast.
Editor’s note: Susan and Denny’s dog Buddy passed away this week, after this interview had been completed. They requested The Voice-Tribune still run this piece as a tribute to Buddy, who will be dearly missed by the Crum family.
Category: The Pet Buddy
About the Author (Author Profile)
After 25 years as a journalist and television production executive I turned
my career 180 degrees and opened a pet care business; Home Buddies
Louisville. I couldn’t abandon journalism altogether though, so now I write
The Pet Buddy, a weekly column to help you improve the lives of your
four-legged family members. When I’m not hanging out with my wife Julie and
our rescued fur-kids you will find me on a bicycle racing for The
TwinSpires.com Cycling Team.