On Saturday afternoon Sandy our Evergreen Assisted Living activities director who loves animals put on a dog show for us. One was a friendly Collie that reminded me of Uncle Walter’s dog. On a one word command “fetch” his dog leapt to bring the cows to the milking shed.
Pepper was my childhood terrier. If I laid down she slept on my chest. If I lay on my back she slept on my chest. If I went for a walk by the run she chased after whatever she smelled in the woods, but if I called her name she was immediately at my side.
Pepper was replaced by Wimper: a boston terrier who earned his name by whimpering his way into our lives. We enjoyed him in many ways. But when Rachel visited her grandparents, Whimper made a fatal mistake. He snapped at Rachel when she toddled near his box behind the kitchen stove. The next morning at his wife’s request, my father took whimper behind the barn and ended his life. That sounds cruel, but to my Mother Whimper’s life was nothing compared to the safety of her precious granddaughter. Boston Terriers remain my favorite breed and I could tell several stories about them.
In Tampa, the dogs we adopted were usually killed by cars on the street in front of our house. Our neighbor worked for a vet and he promised a dog for Conrad, our little boy. One day I was met at the door by Rhoda with a little brown puppy in her hands. He became the favorite dog of our married life. The neighbor explained that he was one forth Chihuawa and the rest was anything we wanted.
Rhoda housebroke Teddy perfectly and he had a special attachment to her. He needed to be on a leash in a camp ground. If I took his leash and said “find Rhoda,” he unfailingly led me to where she was. He mostly traveled with us whereeever we went,
Also, he remembered wherever he had been as a puppy. He had a special fondness for Lakewood Retreat. If he went there with us he became excited a mile or two before arriving. It must have had a special small to him.
He went with us to a Mennonite Assembly in Aimes, Iowa. We were sent to a girl’s dormitory for lodging. We took Teddy with us. I called the attention of the girl who checked us in to our little dog. She said quietly, “I haven’t seen him”. We went to our room on the fifth floor before I remembered to take him for his “walk”. After he had finished his “business”. he pulled me into the dormitory to the elevator door, out on the fifth floor and down the hall to our room. He knew where Rhoda was. He was our dog and we were his people.
(Written while Joyce was in Milford, Nebraska, with her sister celebrating the seventieth birthday of their younger brother.)
Tippy, Pepper, and Whimper
Dearie, Teddy, and Candy
Goshen dog Crystal