Dogs have always been in my life up to about five years ago.  When I lived at home with my parents we always had a pet.  And I remember them quite vividly.  Each one had its own personality. My favourite had to be our first dog, Lassie.  She was a  Heinz 57 .  No particularly distinctive features.  Just a mishmash of every dog you have ever seen.  She was a mild tempered, quiet dog even when she was young.  That is probably why she attracted every male dog in the community.  They recognized  an “easy” female when they saw one.  And our garage became a brothel with dogs going in and out all day long.

But despite her reputation, I loved Lassie.  She seemed to understand all my ten year old problems.  She’d look at me with her big brown eyes as if to say I love you and then she’d lick my hand  to comfort me.  There was no better friend.

Unfortunately her shenanigans in the garage could not be overlooked .  So my parents took it upon themselves to get rid of her.  But not before she had a litter of puppies.

One of the litter was a little brown one that looked exactly like his mother and though he wasn’t Lassie we bonded right away.  Unfortunately his stay with us was to be very short.

One summer’s day the family went for a drive to Mint Brook out near Gambo.  While we picnicked  the little puppy got out of the car perhaps through a partially opened door.  He sought shade underneath near one of the rear tires.  My dad totally unaware of the whereabouts of the puppy started the car  and as it rolled forward he felt a bump.  Without a word he stopped, turned around to look in the back seat where I was sitting with my sister and asked, “Where is the puppy? “

We looked around and realized he wasn’t in the car.  But we didn’t have the awareness that my father had and were puzzled but not alarmed.

Dad opened his door and got out cautioning us to stay in the car .  We couldn’t see what was happening.  But the look on his face when he returned was unmistakeably pained. My dad was a sensitive  man who loved animals and children.   He told us as gently as he could that the puppy had gone under the wheels of the car and was dead.

To say we were broken hearted is an understatement.  I have had my heart broken many times in my life but the pain of a fresh young unscarred heart has to be the worse.  We continued our trip but there were many tears. It took us months to get over the loss of those two dogs.

In time,however, we recovered and were ready for our next dog, Percy.

I doubt there has ever been a dog as disagreeable as Percy.  He was a small collie that my parents had ordered from Montreal.  He came with papers and all and must have been a valuable dog if those papers meant anything.  He had his registration number- a dog’s license plate.  And like a car it was on his rear.  A letter that came with him stated so.

Well do you think we could find that registration number?  We checked under his tail, on his tail, over the hind quarters, even the anus. We poked and prodded parted his fur and finally gave up in frustration. The poor dog must have thought he’d ended up with a crowd of perverts.  No wonder he barked and growled.  He bared his teeth and snapped at anyone who approached .  I suppose I would too if a bunch of strangers had the fascination for my derriere that we had for his.

It was about a year after he’d come with us and we had backed off checking his hind quarters that I had a brainwave.  I rushed into the house to find the letter.  Sure enough I had solved the mystery.  The number was stamped on the dog’s rear.  Too bad the author hadn’t left a space between the first and second letter _ r  ear .  We’d been examining the wrong end.

So Percy stayed with us for a while but one morning he too disappeared.  And this time we believed he had been stolen.

There was another dog that followed Percy.  Queenie was the longest tenant but I was away at university by then so she became my younger brother’s pet.

The last two dogs I owned were as different as any two could be.  One was mostly  a Labrador  whom we named Portia and the last was another Heinz 57 name Bou.  Bou lived with me for 17 years and is a pet that I could devote a book too.  One day I may write a post on her alone.



7 responses »

  1. Love the rear part of the story! You have some sad memories about your dogs. I had a dog in Kitwancool and gave it to a student whose father backed his large truck over it. So I empathize with you! It is sad to lose a puppy, especially when you were so young.

  2. Lassie was the most precious of the dogs we had. Her loving personality and they way she understood our feelings was outstanding. Unfortunately, we never had a chance to find out if her puppy would be like its mother. As for Percy, I was told by a friend that he used to sing along (bark, that is) with the members of the Roman Catholic church when they were attending services. As the priest announed that the mass was finished, Percy would still be outside and howl his joy! He wasn’t the nicest of dogs but he was still loved. I didn’t know Queenie very well as she became a member of the family after I’d left home. I did meet her years later and she was also a lovely dog with a pleasant personality.

    • So Percy had a talent for singing! I didn’t know that. The interest runs through the family. Remember when you and I sang duet in church. I think it was Come home, come home , it’s supper time.

  3. Such sad stories. I had a dog once. He died when i was 8. His name was Teddy. I was so heart broken I couldn’t bear to get another dog. Maybe one day I will. I enjoyed reading your post!

    • Thank you for your comment Melissa. I am finding quite a few coincidences since I started writing and that your dog’s name was Teddy is one. My ex-husband was Teddy, my son’s name was Teddy, and the cat I will be sitting in February is Teddy.
      I am sorry about your pet.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Of course Queenie was my favorite. I was too young to be part of your experience with the others. Queenie just ran and ran and ran. And she was the gentlest of creatures. Once I got settled in my older life I actually got another Gordon Setter that was much like Queenie that I had as a young man. Of course the only fitting name for my new pet – Queenie or as I referred to her, the Queen E II

    Now why not write about that old cat. Now there is a story!


    • Yes that cat was something. A stray I looked after for a friend in residence at MUN. She was going back to England for the holidays and needed someone to take over her charity work with the cat. Poor thing went blind and disappeared. We found its body years later under the deck that Dad was replacing.

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