Saturday, February 26, 2011


We didn’t get any pets right away after we moved into the new house. I
think the experiences with Flipper and Peppy had put my folks off on
the joys of having a dog. But we were visiting  former neighbors from
Evans St, the Neenans, who had also moved out to the south of Boston
and they had a relative whose dog had just had a litter of puppies.that
were half Boxer and half Cocker Spaniel. Now my Uncle Ed and Aunt
Emily had a full blooded Boxer named Missy that was very lovable and
well behaved, so I think that was the factor that led to us getting one of
those puppies, a female to whom we gave the highly unoriginal name of

She was slightly smaller than a fullblooded Boxer and the original owner
had already docked her tail before we took her, but we never had her ears
clipped. Brownie a character right from the start. She chased rabbits and
field mice round and round the house and through the field across the
street and once got a running start, leapt, and snatched a tail feather
from a pheasant just as it took to flight.  She was the sort of dog who
would look at you like she understood every word you were saying to her
and would make little noises back at you! We all pretty much agreed she
was the best dog we;d ever had.

I have three vivid memories of Brownie. Two of them involve her own
litter of puppies. Mom was pregnant with my kid brother at the time and
I came home from school one day to find Mom stretched out on the
sofa and Brownie sitting in the easy chair nearby. Now this was a major
rule back then, no dogs on the furniture, and I tried to shoo her down, but
Brownie engaged in passive resistance. I was about to pick her up when
my Mom looked over and said “Leave her alone, we’re pregnant!” so
Brownie got to stay there.

When the puppies did come, she had the first one on top of the bottom
of my bed, which was one heck of a way to wake up. She had a large
litter, and Dad thought she was through and let her out. When she came
back in, she was carrying yet another puppy in her mouth and placed it
at Dad’s feet! We were able to find homes for all of the puppies, incluiding
one that one of our neighbor’s took and named Bella, who definitely was
not as friendly as her mother was. One pup we kept and named Saddles
but eventually we gave him to our friends the Pais family where he was
loved for years.

The third memory is a less happy one. Brownie liked to roam about and
one day came running out of the nearby Golf course and was struck by
a car. She got up and wobbled off for home. I know this because the driver
of the car followed her home and told me what had happened. She reached
the foot of the driveway and lay down. One of the neighborhood kids knocked
on the door to tell us Brownie was hurt but I was the only one home. All I
could think to do was call the Dog officer and then call my parents. Brownie
was dead before any of them arrived.

We had other dogs afterwards, some of them great dogs, but Brownie was
the standard that all of them were measured against.

((597 words))

Written for the Family History Writing Challenge

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