Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dog for a Day

A dog for one day…that’s all! For only twenty-four hours, when I was just twelve years old, our family got a dog. We were acquainted with a family who lived near my grandparents who were moving away and needed to get rid of their two Scottish terriers – Holly and Beebee. We were chosen to take “Holly”, a pure white, eight year old Scottie.
Holly came to our family on a warm June Saturday morning. She came to a family of three pet-starved children. Three grasping, mauling children. Our grubby hands reached for her, fought for her, nearly squeezed life from her. Poor baby was smothered and completely nonplussed. In her confused state, she refused the food treats we shoved at her. She ran from room to room, hiding briefly behind shelves and under beds till little footsteps would be heard and she’d be dragged shaking into our arms once again. We LOVED her.
Eventually she found what she could only hope for – a momentary lapse in our ministrations…the porch door was left ajar. She was out in a flash. Holly headed for the hills!
The neighborhood was set on high alert. The new dog was footloose. Volunteers of all ages dropped other responsibilities to search for our new family member. Holly’s former owners were forewarned that she might try to find her old neighborhood. Her name was heard ringing through the streets. One by one, children were called in, darkness fell and only my forlorn father was left to search.

When we awoke the next morning, Holly was back. Our joy was quickly turned to sobbing, as we heard our parent’s decision…. this just wasn’t going to work. Holly was too old a dog, (56 in dog years) to “learn new tricks” as the saying goes, so her previous owners decided to take her back. Perhaps she missed Beebee way too much.
          As kids, we just didn’t get it. We were sad for days. But within a couple of weeks, a new pet was brought home…a milk white budgie, safely in her cage, who we promptly named “Penny.” She was our new companion and our intense love for Holly was set aside.

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