Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cast of Characters

Over the last month, I've posted a number of stories about dogs and cats of mine, past and present, and I intend to continue such postings. While any individual piece is meant to be able to be enjoyed in isolation from the stories as a whole, it occurs to me that there are recurring "characters" in a larger narrative. Since I'm not telling these stories in any particular sequence, I have created this handy summary of who's who in the den for the reader who might become confused. 

As other dogs, or relevant people, appear, I'll update this page, so it can serve as an orientation to those attempting to understand the stories in their proper context. Some characters mentioned have not appeared yet, but certainly will. If you are new to this site, or even if you're not, press any link in a character's description to go to a story featuring that character.

Rich Sands, the dogman: The writer, originally from Park Forest, IL, then Chicago, Albuquerque, San Diego, Mexico and points in between.

Karen Sands, nee Frerichs, of Kankakee, IL: Rich's late wife. Karen passed away from breast cancer in 2002. She and Rich were college sweethearts. Karen was blind since childhood, and became a Seeing Eye dog user after she graduated from college. Karen was an attorney, specializing in criminal defense, in Albuquerque, NM, where Rich worked with her as her assistant, driver, reader, etc.

Arthur: Karen's third Seeing Eye dog. German Shepherd. Lived with Erica, raised Levi and Esmé. *

Chelsea: Mixed breed German/Australian shepherd. Member of original pack. *

Chibu: Polydactyl cat from the pack in the 90s.*

Chi-Chi: Rich's mother's present dog. 13 years old. Chihuahua.

Erica: Rich's present cat, 13 years old. Was a kitten in final days of original pack, has seen them all!

Esmé: Levi's sister, mixed-breed shepherd.*

Freddy: Rich's childhood dog, a collie-sized sheltie.*

Holden: Mixed breed, beagle, type. Small, but thick as a fireplug, physically and metaphorically. Member of original pack.*

Levi: Rich's present dog. 8 years old, mixed-breed, shepherd. 70 pounds. The best dog in the world.

Lolita: Levi's aunt, Rich and Karen's dog in the late 90s. Beautiful, black, mixed-breed shepherd. Contemporary of Vinnie, Erica, Otis and Arthur. *

Lyric: Karen's first Seeing Eye dog, leader of the original pack. German shepherd. *

Maechen: Black Chow mix. Contemporary of original pack in their old age, Erica and Vinnie.*

Mogwai: Jet black, long-haired male cat. Member of original pack.*

Otis: Rich and Karen's dog in the late 90s. Shar-Pei/lab mix. Contemporary of Lolita, Erica, Vinnie and Arthur.*

Rocky: Rich's mother's present dog (Rich's brother). 8 years old. 20 pound mixed breed.

Ruby: Spaniel-mix, contemporary of Maechen, Vinnie, contemporary of original pack in their old age. *

Vinnie: Karen's second Seeing Eye dog, black lab.*

* indicates deceased.

A Note on Photographs: I don't have any.  Literally. I believe I've posted almost all the pictures I have of any dogs mentioned. When your wife is blind, and you're a guy who doesn't think of the value of pictures, not many get taken, and those that were taken have been, by and large, lost. Except for the living dogs and cats, any pictures posted are meant to serve only as illustration, not as an actual representation of the dogs or cats in the text.

Back tomorrow with a brand new story! In the meantime, if you missed it, why not read more about Erica Kane?

© 2009, All Rights Reserved, Rich Sands




Jennifer said...

Thank you for posting this cast of characters. When I was reading your recent post on Arthur, I found that I wanted to know more about the pack, both human and dog. This is helpful and makes me think I should do the same for my blog, though my cast of characters is a motley crew (and they come up less and less).

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