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  1. It was 1993 and I was getting the 6-month service done on my new home in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D. C. A large fellow was there to do the work. I told him I was getting my first dog soon and tears filled his eyes. He told me: I'll never get another dog. His dog had recently died and his remembering him brought tears to his eyes. As I had planned, I picked up my first dog that year. I named him Ambrose for Major General Ambrose Everett Burnside of Civil War fame. The General had some successes and some failures. His failures were at Fredericksburg, Virginia and Antietam, Maryland. I had one rule for our home with Ambrose and that was we would never mention those two battles. Ambrose was a wonderful dog, loved everyone, played hard, and lived until January 2010 when he died in my new home in the Pennsylvania countryside. Like the fellow that did the work in my new home in 1993, I promised myself that: I'll never get another dog. Within three weeks, I was searching the internet for black poodles. I just wanted to look, of course. Then I found this little angel of a dog in Maryland. I decided to drive out to where he was just for a look, of course. There I found 4 black, baby poodles. The one I drove out to see was as cute as a dog could be. However, his sister climbed up my sweater and licked my nose. She just kept doing that. Oh my! I put a deposit down on both of them and picked them up two weeks later. The breeder's Mother named them Blue Jay (male) and Lily (female). After thinking about it, I kept their names. Lily was the 4th born in her litter and Blue Jay was the 7th. Brother and Sister from the same litter. I was happy about that because I wanted them to have each other when I was not here. I put them in the crate in the back seat of my car for the ride home. Lily began to whimper but Blue Jay was there for her. Within a few minutes, Lily was calm. It took me some time to accept Blue Jay and Lily as Ambrose's rightful successor, but I did. They will be 10 years old in January of 2020. Lily is the alpha dog and loves her walks. Blue Jay loves his toys and wants to play all the time. I buy 2 toys whenever I buy toys, one for each of them. However, Blue Jay always ends up with both. However, he isn't that interested in walks. They have nearly opposite personalities but eat out of the same bowl together and are very close. At this moment, they are both sitting in the loft, looking up he street, and barking at anything they see moving. Lily has a shrill voice and Blue Jay has a deeper voice. Lily barks first and Blue Jay backs her up. In a moment, I'm going to get Blue Jay for his walk. Lily had her walk an hour earlier but Blue Jay would rather sit in the loft with Lily and patrol the street from there. Both dogs love their me but love each other more. And that's just the way I want it.
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