Monday, January 28, 2013

premarital animals

Animals have been a part of my life since way back when.  There are two divisions:  premarriage and marriage – there is no post marriage.

We lived in Dodge City, KS after WWII  (normally, I might say “the war,” but since there have been so many “the wars”  let’s describe the actual one.  WWII ended when I was about 5 – not quite 5 – but close.  We moved to Dodge City about this time as my dad began working for Standard of Indiana (this company is explained at a later date as well as his job title and job progression – which at this moment seems somewhat unimportant).  My father had taught as a civilian ground school person during the war at Tinker Air Force Base near OK City.

I never knew many details, but when he came home he brought a dog – a mutt if you will.  Wobblepump.   Somewhere one of us kids has a photo of Wobblepump with a flyers hat and goggles looking out the cockpit of an open air army plane.  I was always told that Wobblepump was the mascot of the base – surely, if he were, there would be a photo of him in some war yearbook.

Wobblepump was the first dog I remember.  There is little to tell since  I was merely pushing 4 and have a limited amount of recall of that time.  They tell me he was hit by a car later and died.   I have a vague remembrance of my father burying Wobblepump on the shore of the river that runs through Dodge City.   I would think that boothill would have been better for a veteran pilot.
My brothers may remind me later.  I can remember having a dog when we moved to Levelland – and, it seems we had a cat which loved to wrestle and scar our arms.   For the life of me, I cannot remember that dogs name.   It would get out and start running.  We lived in an oil camp of 5 houses near the gasoline plant.  It would run from one end to the other and scare the little ole ladies in their yards.

At one point my father chained the dog to the clothesline – long wire – and the dog would run back and forth most of the day.

While this next bit is a stone for another time, dad bought little tiny cars for us boys before little tiny cars were in fashion.  In JHS Jim and I would drive those cars around the oiled roads near the house.   These roads connected oil wells and other stuff.   We would race from the house down these road and that silly dog would run after us.  Eventually, it will raise one of its back legs and run on only 3, alternating which leg rested.  We would do that for hours at a time with the dog on our tail.  What a mutt.
Our last dog was Koko – maybe spelled Coco – it never came up, the spelling that is.  Jim & I were at the local science fair being held at Levelland JH when my dad walked in.  It must have been cold cause he was wearing a coat.   In his pocket a little tan head popped out…Koko.   She was a tiny tiny Chihuahua – tan in color and as wide eyed as a tiny puppy might have been around all those big people.

It wasn’t long before she forgot her size and took over the household.  I would suppose she lived about 15 years – we were in college when she left.   That dog had a mouth that wouldn’t quit especially if a stranger were near.  Bark Bark Bark – really tough.   I remember some lady visiting one afternoon.  Koko was acting tough.  This lady picked up saying, “You’re not so tough,” and commenced to put her fingers in Koko’s mouth.  That dog bit as hard as it could.  No blood or injury.  Her bluff had been called.

My mother bred Koko one time.  People are funny about that kind of thing.  I’m gonna breed my dog and get rich from all the puppies.  She had one pup.  It was a white long hair Chihuahua.  How?   The puppy was beautiful.   Again, my folks were not ones to listen to others.  They gave that puppy to my future wife, Brenda.  I think her parents did not want to take the pup in.  It was beautiful.

Of course, Keeta – as it was soon named – became the pet of Brenda’s parents – slept in their bed – the whole shooting match.  BJ’s mom Josephine, once told me that a man had offered her $500 for Keeta.  I’m telling you, a white long hair Chihuahua is a rare critter.  Both Keeta and Koko and long unproductive lives making each household it’s very own.

One final note.  As I age and recall, I know that my pets would have been treated differently.  They were wo loving and kind.  Yet, we didn't hover over them in the manner I do today.  Some will say I am silly today.   I do hope that I will meet all my beloved pets later and be able to apologize for my lack of attention and care.

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