Thursday, January 04, 2007

Dad Dogblogging

Dad loved dogs. He liked having them around the house, and while he would have loved to had a home full of bird dogs, we ended up with Lucky.
Lucky was the “inside dog”. A small pekingese/toy manchester mix. Slept at the foor of Gramma’s bed for years, and when Gramma died, slept at the foot of my bed.
Anyway: We went to visit a friend of dad’s. This happened a lot. Dad would go to drop some cash or food or heating oil off to someone who had fallen on hard luck, or talk to a guy who was cheating on his wife about the error of his ways. Sometimes there were.. interesting things that happened. Dad goes into a house, and a few minutes later, a guy comes flying out the bay window, followed by a couch. Dad comes out the door, dusts himself off and gets in the car.
So we go out to this farm. It’s right after mass, so we know it’s not going to be a “tuneup” visit, more like a ” bud needs $120 to send his kid so she can get out of jail in poughkeepsie” visit. We sit in the car- a 72 Olds 98 Dad bought from the local bank president. Dad goes in, the cold winter air blasting into the car for a minute, and then comes back out. My sister and i sit in the backseat blowing breath on the window and playing tic-tac-toe,mom in ther front doing the Hammond Times crossword. Dad puts the Olds in reverse, backs down the long driveway, and pulls back out on to SR2. We are about five miles away when we hear a muffled whine.
Dad reaches into the breast pocket of his big black wool overcoat, and pulled out a puppy. It couldn’t have been more than the size of his fist, and it never got more than five pounds. My sister and I were immediately in love, and we called it Lucky. We should maybe have called her Licky, because she would lick anything, anywhere, anytime.
Lucky was the primary dog of my youth. She lived a long time, finally succumbing to heart attacks caused by heartworms- in those days, worming wasn’t something anyone paid any attention to. I remember watching her have a heart attack, straining and keeling over.. I picked her up and held her, panting and drooling, as her tiny heart raced. I looked in her eyes and saw the pain there, wanted so desperately to stop it, to make it go away. I had no idea what to do so I gave her an aspirin, sat with her on the livingroom floor. She made it through, lived a couple years beyond that, even.
There are a lot of Lucky stories, I’ll post more later.