Friday, December 16, 2005
The Beagle's predecessor
Everyone seems to be writing about memories, and posting old photos (myself included). So here is another tidbit of nostalgia...
One Christmas Eve, many years ago when I was a mere 8 years old, I lay tearful and lonesome at home in my bed. I was not alone, so there was no Macaulay Culkin-type scenario happening. I was just lonely because my mother was in hospital, having just had my little brother Bug. My father was at home, but I was always a bit afraid of him. He was quick to fly off the handle, so I could never be sure when I might get into trouble. Mum was patient, and rarely raised her voice at me, and I felt safe with her. I wanted her to come home.
I also wanted a dog, desperately. Dad was dead-set against it, so that was final. No lovely woofy creature would ever gambol through our backyard, licking children in its' wake. So I knew there would be no Christmas puppy in my stocking that year.
The next day, Dad tried to be jolly with me as we sat, just the two of us, and opened the presents under the tree. I opened one present - a Holly Hobbie sheet set. This was not looking promising, I thought to myself (see what an ungrateful child I was). I opened another - a pretty sweater in creams and blues. *SIGH*. I was resigned to the fact that this was going to be the saddest, worst Christmas ever.
There was one, final, lumpy package under the tree. Dad was smiling expectantly as he gave it to me, and I felt a small thrill - if he was excited about the gift, maybe, just maybe, it could be something NOT boring! The wrapping was hurriedly removed to reveal..... a stuffed-toy Pekinese dog! Well! This was definitely not boring! I was in heaven! I was in love! (with the dog, obviously). I treasured that substitute dog for years, only putting it away when I went off to University. I dragged it out today from our storeroom, for it's moment of photographic glory. What do you think? Can you see how worthy it was of my adoration? Or do you think it looks sort of scary, like it's considering taking a small bite out of someone? (that's what I'm thinking nowadays)
As soon as we had a yard of our own, Fatty and I bought a dog. When I say 'Fatty and I', you can read, 'Fatty came too but really he would have had to kill me to stop me'. Finally I have a real, live, licky dog. She sits next to me on the steps and I scratch behind her ears. She rests her head on my leg and I'm in heaven, second time around.