I don't remember much of her puppyhood but she grew to be a good friend and companion by the time she reached adulthood. My father carefully trained her to know the perimeter of our yard, where to "do her business," to walk gently on a leash, and to obey some basic commands.
Occasionally Lady came back inside after breakfast with breath smelling as if she'd been eating garlic. Mom didn't cook with garlic and Lady had no access to local garbage cans, most of which had secured lids. No one could figure out where she might have eaten garlic. A few weeks later my father was talking to one of our relatives who lived near the opposite end of our street. He told my dad that he sure enjoyed Lady's morning visits. He invited her in and she was a very well-behaved visitor. Of course my father was surprised because he hadn't realized Lady had wandered from the yard. Further discussion revealed that Lady stopped by the homes of several other families each morning, too, and Dad discovered that last night's dinner at these different homes was incentive for her morning excursions.
Lady was a gentle dog but she was also a good watch dog. I remember once being in the back yard with my mom while she was hanging laundry. There were two lines of sheets blocking the view to the driveway and front yard plus another line or two of clothes waving in the wind. Suddenly Lady barked and charged. I was alarmed but my mom quickly went through the rows of sheets to find that a salesman had come into the yard unannounced. Lady warned but did not bite.
Lady lived to be about 18. My father was particularly heartbroken at her loss but, of course, the rest of us had sorrowful hearts, too.
There were also a series of cats in our family, some of which I dressed in doll clothes and pushed around in a baby buggy. How my 4- or 5-year-old self managed to put clothes on a cat I'll never know. Maybe they were just passive cats.
There were other animals in my childhood -- cows on my uncle's farm; my grandmother's dogs; my cousin's bird; a friend's pony -- but none were as dear to me as Lady and Put.
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This is another post in The Book of Me series, created by Julie Goucher of Anglers Rest. (See list at http://www.anglers-rest.net/book-of-me---geneabloggers-prompt-list.html)
Copyright © 2014 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.