I was feeling in the mood to write tonight, but unsure of the topic. Then I came across Miss Carrie’s blog post from Tails and Tales, “The Greatest Dog Who Ever Lived”, and I was moved to not only respond, but to write about it as well.
In her post, Carrie shares the story of her Dad and his stories about his childhood dog, Tippy. (If you get the chance DO read it. It’s a beautiful and touching piece.) At the end, Carrie asks “What was it that made all of you want to share your life with a dog?”
Immediately, I was brought back to one day, when I was a child, and young enough to think that the hill in front of our house was a big huge hill. It was a wintery day and my sister and brothers and I had been sledding on our hill for most of it. At some point, a stray dog happened upon us and took the opportunity to join in on the fun. It was quite a fun day after that. She stayed and played with us for hours. Chased us on our sleds, played with us and let us pet her. All of us had a great time – as if she had been with us all of our lives.
I suspect she was a springer or border collie mix. I remember thinking that she looked a lot like Bandit from Little House on the Prairie. She was black and white and fluffy. She seemed to love kids. We really enjoyed playing with her and I think she had fun too.
When it started to get dark, Mom called us in for dinner. We didn’t want to go in, but dinner was waiting, so we grudgingly put away our sleds and trudged inside. We tried to convince Mom and Dad to let our new friend come inside too, after all it was winter and cold outside1 But Mom and Dad said no. They suspected that she probably wasn’t far from home and would go back once we went in.
That was the last time we would see our new friend. A knock on our door that evening would bring the announcement that someone had hit a dog – our dog, right in front of our house. I caught just a glimpse of her through the open front door, lying on the side of the road in front of the car. The car headlights bright on her prone body. I know she was alive when the pound came to get her, but I don’t know what happened to her after that. To be honest, I can guess what happened, I just prefer to believe in a happier ending.
My mom was haunted by that day and her decision not to let the dog in. I suspect that is why both of us have always chosen to help animals in need. Every one of my dogs has been a dog in need in some way. It never occurred to me until Carrie’s story that perhaps that is why I rescue the lost and scared ones.
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