Saturday, May 2, 2009

Flashback Friday: Going to the dogs

Above is a picture of me with my first dog, Smoky, a little Cocker Spaniel. Smoky came about because of my affection for my cousin's terrier, Jerry, shown with me below while I was taking a thumb break. Jerry was actually a girl, but apparently nobody knew it for awhile. No. Don't ask...

And please don't ask about the red suspenders. Surely there was a story there, but since there is no one left to ask, that story will be forever unknown - but they do go nicely, don't you think, with the red nail polish that my mother apparently let me wear for this special photo op.

"Going to the dogs" doesn't refer to the fact that it is already Saturday morning and I am just now doing my "Flashback Friday" post. Although that DOES seem to be happening more frequently. Say it with me now, "LET'S GET ORGANIZED!!" Well, that may never happen, so instead I will get to the flashback sequence for this week.

There is a romantic ballad (Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson both sang it, I think) about "All the Girls I have Known." On a less romantic note but just as poignant (to my way of thinking) are All the DOGS I have known...

This recollection was prompted by having a pack of dogs here at Casa Hammond for the past week. Well, OK, not a "pack" literally, but going from one blind dog and one blind dog plus a live wire dog was certainly an energetic experience. We enjoyed watching Rob and Alyssa's Buddy while they were in Mexico. Mr. H. and I are most definitely of the "dog people" persuasion.

So now on to the flashback. One reason I loved visiting my aunt and uncle when I was a little girl back in Colorado was their dog Jerry. As you can see by the picture, we were pals. I liked to lay on the floor next to Jerry and feel her warm little sausage body pressed up next to me. Back in those days people had rugs (no wall-to-wall carpeting yet) that were large and flower-filled. I pretended I was laying in a garden with Jerry - especially on cold, snow-bound Colorado days. I begged and begged and begged my parents to get me a dog of my own. And then one Christmas...

I wish I could lay my hands on the picture of Smoky in my Christmas stocking, but it is temporarily hiding. Yes, my wish came true and suddenly I had a dog of my very own. A little black Cocker Spaniel puppy that we named Smoky.

The significance of this is that my mother didn't like dogs. Couldn't stand them. And nobody knows why, but that was the deal. Unfortunately, I wasn't quite old enough to take care of a dog other than to give it lots of hugs, so my mother was forced to deal with the day-to-day maintenance. Given the clean-up detail and the fact that Smoky - when he grew bigger - would run and jump on me and knock me flat, one day Smoky just was no more.

Something told me not to ask what had happened to Smoky. It was one of those things you didn't get into with my mother. I didn't ask and nobody was talking. So I lost my beloved dog when he was still quite young. And so was I. I just hope he found a good family and had a nice life. But that was the end of dogs for me - until I was 25 and Mr. H. gave me for Christmas a teeny little pup (a miniature"wiener dog") that I named Sam.

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