Blogs by Patrick J McCormick
Man's Best Friend.
1/25/2005 9:42:33 PM
The First Dog was Blackie
There were kittens around when my children were small, but only one survived until we moved into a new home. The name of that cat was Ginger and was the first word my youngest daughter spoke although it came out as Ginga. Unfortunately when we moved Ginger made her way back to the old house twice that we know of and we were able to recover him twice. We do not know where he went the last time. We didn’t have any pets after that for some time, but as I found out the twins were spending a lot of time visiting the local pet store and obviously there was a need. Because of a job-required move I was not in a position to do anything about it for a while, but as soon as I could we started the search.
I found a newspaper advertisement for retriever pups and the twins and I went off to acquire one. There was a golden retriever tied up outside and we were told that was the pups mother, and when we went inside we saw the pups. We came out with a pup, which had a head like a German shepherd, was completely black except for a small white patch on its throat. It was very obvious that our new pet had a mixture of breeds flowing in his bloodstream. We were not looking for a pure bred dog however, we wanted a pet and it soon became apparent that was what we had.
He was a hit with the kids immediately even though he had to jump from one footprint in the snow to another when he was taken for a walk. The kids loved him and he loved the kids. He knew where they went to school, and every chance he could get to break free he would head for that schoolyard, where he played with all the kids. He was the best ball player in the school yard, but when he got the ball he did not want to give it up as long as there was someone he could tease with dropping it and then picking it up. Whether it was a stick or a ball he recognized both as an instrument to use for playing with his human friends, and he loved to tease his friends into thinking he was returning that instrument to them only to snatch it up at the last possible moment and dash off. If he were ignored however he would eventually drop the ball or stick at someone’s feet and then step back to wait for that person to pick it up and the game was off again.
When I met Sonia she was afraid of dogs and tolerated Blackie grudgingly. Her two young boys however thought it was great. He looked after her boys when they were around the pool and would run after them barking if they ran around the side of the pool. Sonia’s boys would tease Blackie when they were in the pool by pretending they were in trouble. He would get quite concerned and although he did not like getting into the pool he often did.
Sonia’s boys were very young when we met and when they got old enough that they wanted to go off to a park or somewhere on their own, their mother would insist they take Blackie with them. Blackie loved children and even when he was over thirteen years old he still thought he was a pup. He just loved someone to through a ball or stick for him. He had one problem however he did not like being left alone. If he was left alone in the house he could sometime take a little vengeance by causing some damage, and if he was put out in the garden he would try to get out to go looking for his friends, which often meant climbing a link fence. My children were by this time going to University and Sonia’s boys went to a school, which would have meant him crossing a few very busy streets. We had to tie him up to a tree in the garden when we left, but always gave him enough rope so he could roam around, and also reach to shelter if he needed to. While I was on a trip to Ireland his collar was put on a little too loose one day and he managed to slip it off his head and took off. I searched for him when I came back and checked at the dog pounds, but there was no trace. He was always a very friendly dog and we missed him, but never found out what happened to him.
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