Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The great dogs of my past

What a beautiful day today! I walked down by the river.

It is fun to walk by the river when it is a little bit chilly. There are not too many people and so you hear the birds and not boom cars. I heard the birds and the water lapping up on shore. Summer sounds!

Next weekend is daylight savings time which, I hate losing that hour. But my mother is gladdened by the idea that  when it stays light later we can sit on the back porch and have our coffee after dinner. We sit out there and sip our coffee and admire the landscape and I share stories of Leonard Pennario.

And we can welcome Annie and Spike.

Spike is the white cat that visits my mother. He is a guard and he guards the perimeter. Spike will walk around making sure there is no evil afoot. He is a force for good! He is nice to me but it is my mother he really cares about. There was one day when Spike walked right past me and up to my mother. He said a kind of "Meow?" as if making sure she was all right, then proceeded on his rounds.

Annie is the dog next door.

My mother might be yelling at me about something and then suddenly her face will soften and get all mushy and that is when I know that Annie is behind me, walking up the walk.

This harks back to the days when I was a kid. When dogs could roam free! I got to write about this on Facebook the other day because a dog chewed through his leash and was found unattended in Delaware Park and everyone was going crazy.

I was thinking: Come on!

This dog chewed through his leash and headed for the park. So what?

Dogs used to go where they pleased all the darn time and nobody said a thing.

We used to have Stacy from up the block. This was when I was a kid. Stacy was an ancient black Lab, so old she was walking sideways. She could hardly stand up! She would kind of amble from yard to yard and everyone fed her and loved her. It takes a village to raise a dog!

There was another dog we only knew as Big White Dog and it used to terrorize my sister. She would dread running into Big White Dog on her way to school.

That was the breaks, back then. No one thought to contact Big White Dog's owner, whoever that may be. Instead my parents counseled my sister on how to deal with dogs.

Then we had Baron next door. Baron was a big German shepherd and had a big long fenced-in run in the hard. Now and then Baron would escape. No one knew how he did it! Until once I saw him do it. What he did was, he climbed up one side of the chain-link fence, and then down the other side. It was that easy!

Once my dad opened the door and Baron was outside. As if in a dream we heard my father say, "Oh, Baron! Come on in." Baron loped into the house and looped all around, running from bedroom to bedroom. We were all laughing and screaming. We could not believe our luck, that this big dog was running all over our house.

Growing up my mother had German shepherds in the family. They had Rex I and Rex II. And Pepper. If the dog was a girl it was Pepper. Boy dogs were Rex. My mom's parents got the dogs when they were puppies. I never knew until recently what a German shepherd looks like as a puppy. Adorable! See above.

The great dogs of my past!

I feel their presence, on beautiful days like this.

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