Today I am remembering my handsome brother and his darling wife’s wedding day. Happy Anniversary! What a great family you’ve become. I am so proud of all of you!
And today, I’m remembering my dad. I love you.
Our family has always had pets.
When my dad taught 7th grade science, we were graced with a Myna bird (to my mother’s disgust and dismay) and a pair of skunks, Flower and Thumper. My dad taught the Myna bird to talk – of course. The skunks had babies, but they didn’t live even though Dad tried everything to save them. We had tropical fish for a long time. Did you know male guppies eat their offspring? We didn’t either until there was a huge hatch and then, no little fish!
Our first dog was a dachshund, Ingrid, Ingie for short. Then we had (I think) Scooter, then Maverick, and then Katie, an Irish Setter. Katie was from a litter of 12 and I remember the day we went to pick her out. Such beautiful pups! Katie was Ms. Personality! Not only was she a loving and playful dog, she was quite mischievous. For some reason, she delighted in “borrowing” things from other people’s yards. She brought home crockery (don’t ask me how she carried that crockery bowl . . .), dog dishes, a boot, the list was endless. We had a pile of stuff she’d brought home, and just waited until one of the neighbors stopped by to claim their belongings.
Katie loved fireworks! Can you believe it? Most dogs are petrified of the explosions. My dad would light the pyrotechnics and Katie would stand OVER them, shaking in anticipation, waiting for them to go off! Of course we would drag her to the safety of the porch with us. That wasn’t always the safest place to be though, as a firecracker aptly named “Red Rat” once came racing unexpectedly up the porch stairs before it took off in another direction and then exploded.
In the fall, we would toast marshmallows outside. Katie loved marshmallows, BUT they HAD to be TOASTED. She especially liked the burned parts. 🙂
After Katie, my dad became a Lab guy. We got Blu and Zap, Black Lab sibs. Blu was a big, stout, impressive boy. Smart as a whip. Dad taught each of them their own verbal commands and hand signals. It was so fun to watch him work with them in the front yard. One on each side, he would throw the dummy and then give the fetch command to one or the other. Zap was a little bit slow and a little dense, but we loved her just the same.
Then came Beauregard. (I christened him.) He was so sweet and handsome. Every Christmas, Dad gave him a huge rawhide chew bone. But Beau wouldn’t even start to chew on it until he had made the rounds of all the company, showing off his gift.
And finally, Molly, a chocolate Lab. After Beau died, Dad vowed to have no more dogs. BUT, his co-workers couldn’t pass up an opportunity to show their appreciation for my father, so they bought him a purebred chocolate lab puppy. Well. Who could turn that down?
Molly was a dear and she was ferociously protective of house and home. She could be well-acquainted with Dad’s buddies, but when they got close to Dad’s truck, she would go ballistic! She went everywhere with him. She had her own special chair in the den. Sure, she got in trouble every so often, like the time she ate a bowlful of chocolate Easter eggs. Left the foil wrappers in the dish. I think Mom looked first to my brother as the culprit . . . And when Dad was upset with her, Molly knew it. She would not go in the den, but peek around the corner at Dad until he told her it was okay to come in.
Dad delighted in showing off Molly’s smarts. He would tell her to bring him his hat. She would. His shoes. She would. But once he asked her to bring him his socks or something, and she couldn’t for the life of her figure out what he wanted. So she just kept bringing things to him and he kept telling her, “No, go get . . .” After she had been gone for a while, here she came with an 8-pack of toilet paper! That wasn’t it either, but I think her perseverance ended the game with gales of laughter!
Be good to your pets. Love your family. Celebrate your own wonderful memories. C