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.

Bobby survived.

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 waiting on the hill





Bobby with Pam(right) sisters Trish, Sandra, brother Nick


Bobby being harassed by heifer

Click HERE to find out who else is showing off their pets today.


Comments

Sandy said…
Oh my gosh, Pam, what lovely memories. I never got to have a dog as a child. I have tried ever since I grew up to make sure that my kids and grandkids have the kind of memories that you do.

It sounds as though Bobby loved you as much as you loved him. It doesn't get any better than that.
Fianna said…
What a beautiful post. Tears. The memories of a beloved pet from childhood are so moving. I think all children should be raised around pets. They teach us so much.
Peter said…
What a wonderful story Pamela, thanks for sharing.
BTW most of Streaky's trophy snakes were poisonous as are a majority of Australian snakes.
kitten said…
You forgot to hand out the tissues! What a lovely post and beautiful memories!
Ps.I have tagged you for a meme on my blog. You are not obligated to play if you don't want to.
lisa's chaos said…
I'm glad you showed us pictures - that you could still find photos - of your first Bobby! Great trip down memory lane. :)
Cynthia said…
Oh, no pictures want to load for me. I am dying to see Bobby! It is such a great story.

Thank you so much for the help with my post and my picture on my sidebar. I as able to fix both in under a minute. If I had one of those Blog awards I would give you one.

Maybe I will work on that tomorrow. While I should be cleaning. **wink wink**
Simply Jenn said…
Aw, that made me teary eyed. You told Bobby's stiry beautifully.
Gattina said…
What a character your first dog ! I can imagine that he is for always in your heart. I got angry when I read about your neighbor ! How can he shoot on a dog ? He would land up in jail here. Guns are only allowed for hunters with a special permission but certainly not to shoot on dogs. You are a great storyteller, I really enjoyed to read your post.
janet said…
what a sweet story of your childhood pet. such loving, lovely memories!
Amanda said…
I don't remember hearing stories about Bobby. He sounds like he was a good mutt, though, like so many good mutts that we've had over the years. I love the pictures. It's hard for me to imagine you ever being a little girl, running around like I used to do. Even harder for me to imagine G'ma a pretty young woman!! Thanks for sharing Mom!! I love you
susan said…
What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful dog. You didn't warn me that I would be bawling though...
karisma said…
Oh dear! Now you have me thinking of all my childhood dogs. No fair. Sob sob.
As per usual . . beautifully written and executed! Bravo!
kailani said…
What a terrible way to pass. You must have been devastated to find him like that!
Hootin' Anni said…
Oh yes....I can totally relate to this post. What a great tribute. Bobby is indeed the #1 king of pets for you. Yessiree. Very touching...I loved this!!!

Have a great Fun Monday!
DesLily said…
awww, great story! My first dogs were all mutts too.. it sure doesn't make you love them any the less.
A smile curled my lips this morning when I realized this post was one of "those"...

Oh, how I enjoy YOUR strolls down memory. This is a lovely tribute to one of your first loves :).
laurie said…
oh my god somebody shot him? more than once?

i can tell you loved that guy. and i can tell how much he loved you, protecting you little kids all night while you camped out by the lilacs.

he was the dog of your heart.
nikki said…
You always have the best stories. When I was growing up we had a part German Shepard part wolf dog that was the big bad protector. I miss that dog still to this day and he's been gone for 25 years.
thefoodsnob said…
Oh, how sad for you to be the one to find him! It sounds like he was a really great dog.


Lisa
ChrisB said…
You must have been devastated when you found him in the ditch.
As a child I remember coming downstairs early one morning and finding my brothers cat dead. I couldn't tell anyone because we had been forbidden to go and see the cat (I realise now my parents knew it would not live and they were trying to spare us~ trust me to break the rules and pay for it!)
Karmyn R said…
Dang - I should have participated with George.

Good post, mom
Kaycie said…
Oh, Pam, you made me cry.

When I was a kid, our little miniature schnauzer was hit by a car while I watched.

I know how it felt for you to find him.

It's good to have the happy, pleasant memories, too, isn't it?
Jenni said…
Oh gosh! You made me cry. What a beautiful post and loving tribute.
Lil Mouse said…
its so tough to have an animal be hurt!
Nan said…
Awww Pam! How sad! :^( What a sweet pooch Bobby was though!
Loved your story about Bobby. Brought back many memories of dogs I have had during my life. I guess I will post on my blog about my first dog, since you jogged my memory. Just got ot view your "wind" pictures. Some of those winds were over 100 mph according to our news media. Mercy. Oh, Cheryl wants me to ask if you are a "Red Hatter".
By a sort of bizarre coincidence, I posted about "pets" today, too.

But my story is nowhere near as lovely as this — sorry you had to be the one to find him. And I love the picture of Bobby with the heifer.
Joy T. said…
Oh my goodness...tissue warning next time! *sniff* What a beautiful story. Bobby was truly a wonderful dog.
What a wonderful dog you had. And the fact that every dog since has been compared to him is a strong testament to your love.
Carrie Sue said…
That is the sweetest story. Bobby was the perfect dog.
heather goodman said…
what a sweet dog! makes me miss my childhood doggie.
Carla said…
This post was worth it just to see the old black and white photos. I love it. Sounds like a sweet dog.
Robinella said…
I found my Zonker (first dog) in a big ditch behind our houses. I guess it was more of a ravine. No cars, but plenty of grief.
I cried that you had to find him. Oh, that's terrible. I'm glad you have the wonderful to balance the sad.
coloursofdawn said…
That is a lovely post. It is so interesting how animals all have their personalities and they are so different from one another. One thing about dogs, they can be very faithful.
Retrohipster said…
WOW great post!!!! You did Bobby proud, by remembering him so fondly!!!
Well I was already to comment about your hummingbird, but you threw me a curve - not fair. There is nothing like a dog or any other pet as you describe. I have a very similar story myself but not enough room to share here. You can only hope to share a home with a pet now and share the memories that you have had in the past. Not fair....
NLM ;)
Susie said…
What fun memories of your wonderful dog Bobby! Loved seeing the old photos and reading the story.
Thanks for your prayers for Grandpa. I truly appreciate each one.
xo
Kila said…
Wow, excellent post once again. Loved it, though it almost made me cry!
Sabrina said…
*sniff*sniff* what a great post. and i love the pictures. oh my, my heart went out when you found him in the ditch. . .what a great friend he was.
Kerith Collins said…
I love your daughter's comments...and you story about your dog is wonderful...and I like the new picture.
kerith
http://kerithskontest.wordpress.com
sirdar said…
Sounds like a very loyal dog. Reminds me of my first dog Pal. He was a German Sheppard and he and I went everywhere. It was sad when he died, but part of life is death.

Glad you still have the memories.
bermudabluez said…
Oh Pamela...this was a beautifully written story about your wonderful dog...it's so nice to have good childhood memories. That dog had more than one life, I think!
Sauntering Soul said…
What a beautiful tribute to Bobby. This was a terrific post.
ped crossing said…
There is always something about our childhood pets.
Kaytabug said…
What precious photos of your childhood dog! It is so sad you had to be the one to find him. What a lovely remembrance story of a beloved friend.
BarnGoddess said…
wonderful story!

I enjoyed reading about Bobby. He sounds like he was a great dog. I nearly cried when he was killed :(
and I am just reading this. I cant imagine how you felt.

We had a polar bear white lab growing up named Zeus. He was a great guard dog who bit strangers but we kept him around nonetheless because he protected us from harm.
Debs said…
Love the pic and your post. :)
swampy said…
OH, my...reading about Bobby just threw me back about 50 years to my sweet White Shadow. Have I ever mentioned that you have such a way with words? If I haven't, "You have such a way with words."
Thank you.
Happy New Year.
Hayden said…
bittersweet memories of love and loss - beautifully written.
Jo Beaufoix said…
What a lovely tribute to Bobby. He sounds very special. It must have been terrible to find him like that.
I love the pictures of you and your family with Bobby. Beautiful.
-Ann said…
What a great first dog to have - lovely story, well told. Thanks for sharing it.

The New Fun Monday topic is now available. :)
Christine said…
What a wonderful story Pamela. The photos of you and your family with Bobby are something truly to treasure as are the memories of him. Beautifully written.
wolfbaby said…
*snif*

you always know how to tell a story... he sounds awesome;)
Jettie said…
i love your post! love the old photos!!!!!!!!!!
Susan in va said…
What a treasure that you still have these photos! Precious, precious memories...

Your words are as beautiful as the photos...
Karen Winters said…
A very touching story, Pamela, thanks for sharing it.
Susie Q said…
Oh Pamela...as I sit here snorting and sniffling and remembering all our pets. My first family dog was Petey. He was a stray that hung around the
fire station at which my Dad worked.
Pete came home with Dad one cold day and stayed with us the remainder of his life. I am sure he was a bit miffed when Mom and dad brought me home as he fully enjoyed being the *baby* yet he accepted me.
Oh the pets I have loved over the years...

I loved this post so much.

Hugs,
Sue
Tiggerlane said…
Wow...what a cool post. I am a fully-grown woman, and I can't imagine how horrible it would feel to find my dear dog deceased. There's something really wonderful about people who love dogs!
This is a touching story... and yes, we do experience grief that doesn't go away quickly with the passing of our pets.
Mert said…
Aww, what a sweet pup. Great pictures!

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