December 1974

Francine and I got married in December 1974. Exactly, this is a long time ago. We ended up living in an apartment in the city of Turnhout in the north of Belgium where I did my studies. A few months later we got our first dog, a Pekinese dog named Puckie.

Around mid 1975 we moved to a small house in a small village next to the town of Hasselt where I got my first job. Francine got pregnant and our first child (Jurgen) was born in May 1977. Now the house we were renting soon became too small so during the summer of 1977 we rented a bigger house located in the center of Zolder.

In 1982 Vanessa, our daughter and second child, was born. Somewhat later we also got our second dog, a Boxer dog. His name was Tarras. For us and the kids, Tarras was a lovely dog, but for other dogs or for strangers he was very aggressive.

In the mean time we had started building our own house in the same village, but a few streets away from the center. However both Puckie and Tarras died before we moved into our new house. This was summer 1985. In 1986 we bought a brown Newfoundlander which we named Ashley. Ashley grow soon out to a 65 kg, 4 wheel drive, very strong dog but unfortunately died much too early, he was only 3 years old.

In 1987, Niels was born as our 3th (and last) child. So it looked like that each time we moved to another house, Francine got pregnant.

Anyway, with 3 children to take care of and a new built house which was far from finished, we had things enough to do and to worry about so we remained without any dog for a long time.

July 1998 - Crete Island

In fact, I thought the dog-age was over until we went on vacation on the island of Crete in 1998. During one of the trips we made, we stopped for a drink in a local tavern. On the terrace there was this ugly small bastard dog belonging to the owners of the tavern. But my wife has something like, the uglier the creature the more she feels for it, the dog-virus attacked her again and since that moment she asked for having again a dog of our own.

I didn't budge for almost 3 years, but at the end, I had to give up. The remaining of that story can be read here.


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