When I was in fourth grade, I somehow talked my mother into letting me have a puppy. I was visiting some friends over the weekend, the daughters of one of my first baby-sitters, and their dog had puppies. I have no idea what kind of dogs they were, and I'm even fuzzier on exactly how I miraculously talked my mother into letting me bring one home. I must have hit her at a weak moment.
Mother hated animals. Still does. She doesn't see the point in them, sees neither their cuteness nor their cuddliness, and will shoot a dog with a bb gun if it so much as ventures into her yard.
She would probably use a real gun if she had one.
Anyway, I somehow talked her into letting me bring one of the puppies home. We lived in a trailer park, so obviously we had no fenced in yard. And Mother wasn't about to let an animal live inside. Back then dogs roamed all over the neighborhood anyway, so it would be just one more.
I named the dog Pee-Wee because it was the runt of the litter. I marveled that it knew its name and turned its head when I called it. Someone pointed out that it would probably come if I called it "George Washington," and sure enough, it did.
I couldn't have had the dog more than a few days when I got off the school bus and Katydid broke the news to me that the puppy had been run over. I guess that isn't surprising, considering no one was home with it all day and it probably had no idea where in the world it was.
When I think about that puppy, what disturbs me most is that I was NOT devastated by its loss. I was more distraught because my fourth grade teacher had been mean to me that day, had fussed me out royally because I had a fight with my best friend who just happened to be her great niece.
I guess I hadn't had time to bond with the puppy yet. Maybe I knew I wouldn't get to keep it long anyway.
I've always wondered if the puppy really got run over, or if Mother came to her senses and gave it away. I feel guilty every time I think about Pee-Wee.
Wouldn't you think I could have come up with a cheerier topic than THAT here on this week before Thanksgiving?