Fun Monday - Meet The Pets
Lisa (Lisa's Chaos) is the host of Today's Fun. She has invited us to share pictures or stories of our pets. Over the past twenty months I have shared several of these which you can rerun by clicking on my PETS label in the lower right of my Blog page.
For this assignment I have chosen to share the story and a few pictures of my very first dog. I truly loved that old mongrel.
I wasn’t much more than a toddler when Bobby came into our lives.
A neighbor and friend, Nelda, crawled under an abandoned house on the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation to rescue him and his litter mates. She’d seen a dog lying dead on the highway and was certain it was the mother.
I don’t recall his arrival at our house – it is lost in the mist and mystery of childhood memories. In my mind and heart, he was just always part of my life.
Bobby’s tail was docked and his fur was brilliant shades of brown, darker around the ears and neck. The fur around his throat was thick and soft. I could grab it with my fingers or burrow my face into the warmth. It was especially comforting to a little girls tear.
Bobby was the great protector and the great pretender. He barked at every car that drove up the hill to our house. His ferocious demeanor kept strangers inside their cars. They didn’t know he never attacked or that his teeth were just for show.
Even Nelda, the one who saved him, was subject to his snarl and his puffed up mane and bristled back. She would laugh at his angry last stand on the porch. But, she would be wary enough to wait by her car until one of us came out to lead him aside.
His favorite job was guarding us all night when we slept outside under the stars. In the summer we loved throwing our sleeping backs up on the hill behind the lilac bushes. That dog would bark and growl at everything - including the wind rustling through the leaves. I don’t know how we got any sleep. If one of us had the misfortune of a midnight toilet run, there was 100% chance that Bobby would threaten us on our return. We, of course, knew that once we spoke the password (“Shut up you mangy mutt, it’s just me!”) he would stand down. He took pride in his mission.
He tagged along when I played in the pastures or the woods. Sometimes he would disappear into the bushes with his nose to the ground. But the chase was generally short when he knew that he was supposed to be on his self-imposed watch.
Bobby ignored the cats, except to sniff their behinds when they used him for a rubbing post.
He loved to chase the Shetland ponies that my Uncle kept in a neighboring field. One finally nailed him with a well-placed kick to his hip that sent him yelping and rolling through the marshy grass.
There was hardly money for sick kids, so a veterinarian visit was never considered. Usually my dad would put an injured animal out of his misery rather than let one suffer. Perhaps my dad had a soft spot for Bobby, or my mom interceded. Whatever the case, the dog was allowed to convalesce. He put up with our nursing efforts for several weeks and eventually was up on three legs. Sadly, the kicked leg remained pulled up and useless the remainder of his life.
Yet, he was soon back in the fields on three legs chasing and catching cottontail rabbits.
Bobby must have been a nuisance to one of our neighbors. The first time I was aware of this was when he came home one morning with a bullet in his nub of a tail. It wasn’t life threatening.
When I was about 8, he came home with a serious neck wound. The bullet must have grazed an artery and cause profuse bleeding. I’m sure my inconsolable tears convinced my mom to finally take the animal to the veterinarian.
He wasn’t the kind of dog to jump all over you and kiss your face with his tongue. He saved his passion for barking and growling and showing his prowess.
But, when school was in session, he watched me leave the yard each morning and came out in the afternoon to note my return and sniff my lunch pail for any leftovers.
He failed to come home one morning. I was the one who went searching and found him dead in the drainage ditch. It appeared that he’d been struck by a car. It was my earliest lesson in grief.
Bobby was a wonderful dog and my first dog, As such, he is the one pet against which every once since has been measured.Bobby with Pam (center) sister Trish and brother Mike
Bobby with Pam(right) sisters Trish, Sandra, brother Nick
Click HERE to find out who else is showing off their pets today.