Heather has a new memory question for us over at MomsBlogging. She wants us to share information about our childhood pet.
I had one pet growing up. My parents weren’t paricularly fond of pets. My mom had bad memories about cats (pretty gruesome actually) and my dad disliked cats because he wanted to feed wild birds. Dogs were okay, and that was what we had. One little sausage type dog, named Candy. I got her when I was maybe 2 or 3. She was my best buddy. She was almost yellow in color and shaped a bit like a sausage dog, even though she was just a mutt.
She and I went every where together. She swam in the pond with me, hiked through the woods with me, and always met me when I got off the bus. Until I was 8, we lived between two farms. She and I were always out exploring, particularly one area that was near a creek. It was our own private spot we could go to.
We moved to a subdivision and dad built her the coolest dog house out of plywood and shingles. It even had a porch she could hang out one. She loved to eat ice cream and gum drops (please, no dog lovers are to fuss at me here…what we fed our dogs back in the 70s was way different than today.
Candy didn’t come inside very often. My parents didn’t think animals belonged in the house. Three times during her life she was seriously injured and those three times she got to come inside while we cared for her. Once she got in a battle with a muskrat. I am not sure if there was a winner, but she was hurt. She healed.
She also got hurt by a female boxer who was in heat. And amazingly, she survived that too.
When she was older, a female German Shepherd attacked her and bit her. We didn’t think she would live that time, but she pulled through yet again. In between her battles, the only other trouble we ever had with her was for some reason, she didn’t like black people. We lived in an area where people liked to take walks and if we saw black people coming by, we would have to restrain her. We never knew why she was this way, nor were we able to train her not to run after them barking. She never attacked or anything. She would stand in our yard next to the road, barking her head off.
When we moved, I had to catch the bus a block away from my house. She was always waiting for me when I got home. Always!
When I was in eighth grade, I went out to feed her one evening, but she didn’t come. She loved Gainesburgers. We looked all over for her, but we couldn’t find her. The next morning we were looking again. We found her at the edge of our yard with a look of pain on her face. She had died during the night, alone and probably trying to come to me when i was calling her.
I was heart broken. My parents didn’t want to get another pet, but they did buy me a stuffed dog that reminded me of her and I slept with that dog for many years. I missed the pet that had been by confidant and who would run up to me as fast as her short little legs would carry her. She was a special little dog.
I received permission to bury her where she and I used to play on the farm. My dad made her a beautiful cross and in the months that followed I visited her often. I never forgot her.
Here is the poem I wrote after she died. It is dated February 28th, 1980. I did use a bit of poetic license as in my poem, I said it was summer when it was winter.
Dreamily I awoke from the night
Though it was summer, the sun was not bright.
A heavy mist hung overhead
The kind that oft’ fills you with dread.
Intuition, you might say
Told me this was to be a sorrowful day.
Just then it hit me,
My dog I could not see.
I hunted and called for
My dog all day and then called some more.
I found her not until the next morn,
Her body still, cold and forlorn.
Death had touched my Candy,
My lovely companion, Candy.
I cried all day and all night too,
My Candy, what shall I do without you?
My dad and I buried her where
She used to run and play, there
In the golden sunset
Where she and I first met.