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.


Motherkitty said...

Awwww. How cute. As I look at the picture, it's hard to see which is the live pup and which is the bedraggled stuffed pup. (I'm teasing, of course.) What a lovely memory.

I love it that you finally were able to fulfill your dreams of getting a four-legged friend. My husband is always threatening to throw my cats outside (six) whenever he gets perturbed with them and me, but he never does. I think husbands realize that it's not worth fighting about. We are determined to surround ourselves with that which makes us happy. And in doing so, it makes them happy. Husbands sure put up with a lot all for the sake of love, don't you think?

John Cowart said...

Hi Jellyhead,

Just visting by way of Heather's blog and thought I'd say hello.

Great little dog -- both of them.

Mel said...

What a sweet story. When I was little, we had 1 dog, which was mommy's baby, so there wasn't much excitement and all of us kids yearned for a dog that we could actually play with.

Today, I have 2 dogs and a cat, and I wouldn't trade one second of their companionship for anything!