Today’s blog is a bit of reminiscence. The day I got my first puppy was quite a while ago. The year was 1946, I was in 5th grade. I was 9 years old, soon to turn 10. The Second World War was over, we had gas (petrol) again so we could go a little bit out in the country to a kennel in Concord Mass. A leafy woodsy location. My father and my animal loving sister Ruth and I went on this expedition in our 4 door black Mercury car. Great excitement and anticipation. I can’t remember how the selection was made but we came away with a little bundle of fur who was subsequently named Duchess. I sat in the back seat, holding Duchess. Oh, oh – Duchess was not a good traveller and proceeded to be car sick. That was not a good start.
When we got home – and cleaned me and also the back seat of the car – the rest of the family oohed and aahed over our new little treasure. Then came the yucky part – spreading newspapers around to catch unattractive natural outcomes in puppy training. I can remember the smell. Hmm. I would rather forget that part.
Dinnertime soon came and it was decided that Duchess would be put in the basement. Duchess did not like this. Nor did we enjoy hearing her pathetic little whines begging to be with her new owners. How cruel can you get to put a new member of the family down in a dark lonely basement, maybe cold also. My father relented and Duchess’s banishment to the basement for mealtimes was short-lived.
Apart from the whining in the basement, Duchess was a very quiet dog – initially. Three days passed before my father eventually got Duchess to give a little bark – we had begun to wonder if Duchess was mute. My father had conjured up this little bark by gently tapping his foot. We all gathered round in amazement. This little bundle of fur was part Collie, part St. Bernard. She eventually grew quite big of course and her bark was not to be sneezed at, as the saying goes.
I won’t tell you any more tidbits of the story of Duchess at this point but will just say that she was a wonderful family pet and we had many happy years together.
The puppy in this photo though was in Bangladesh and the little boy holding its tail is my son when he was maybe 8 or 9. Said son is now more grown up and today is the day when he and his family are going to a kennel to get the long awaited puppy for their family. May they have as many happy years with their little treasure as our family had with our Duchess.