I never had a dog growing up. The family dog was given away when I was born–that’s in a much earlier blog. I don’t know if my brother ever forgave me for that. I wasn’t nearly as cute as the Scotties that were so popular back then. My younger sister had a short-lived turtle named Tillie and a shorter-lived parakeet she named Budgie. Miracle of miracles, I did get a cat when I was in eighth grade but I never had a dog.
But George had grown up with dogs. When he was in seminary, his sister gave him a puli, which is a Hungarian sheep dog. She raised them. Smart creatures, smarter than their owner plus prehensile paws. She could wrap my arm in her paw and drag it to exactly where she wanted me to scratch. She was grey and furry and just a darling. (But she looked nothing like the gorgeous picture of a beautifully groomed puli at the beginning of this blog.) My first dog–and I had no idea what one did with a dog. This is a picture of twenty-five year old George with his dog.
Andy–her real name was something fancy like Andromeda of Sunny Brook Farm but she was just Andy, the runt of the litter. Because I’d not had a dog before, I was amazed at her loyalty. She wanted to go wherever I went. She wanted to sleep with us. She loved me unconditionally.
We had a double bed. Andy took up a great deal of it. One stormy night, Andy work me up. I thought she needed to go out so I put on my rain coat, snapped the leash on her and took her outside. She looked at me with confusion on her fuzzy face but did her business. An hour later, she woke me up again. The same thing happened: I got up, took her out, she looked confused but was a good dog. I got little sleep that night because she woke me up every hour. Remember, I had no experience with dogs. I just knew I was worn out. George explained the next morning that she was probably afraid of the storm. She didn’t want to go outside. She wanted to be loved and protected–inside but, nonetheless, she went out into the storm because I wanted her to.
Andy had one friend, a dachshund. the two of them would run around the parsonage full steam. However, the dachshund had little short legs, so Andy would lap him. I still remember Andy’s romping, happier than any creature who’s ever lived.
Being a lovely, sweet creature, she forgave me all my sins. She adored me. She followed me everywhere. Since then, we’ve had Bridgette, Ginger, Pepper, Daffy, and Dream, but Andy was the first. Now I live in a apartment and miss everyone of them. I’ll be remembering them and sharing their stories every now and then.
Do you have a story about a pet you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it.